Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Pinocchio Factor

After watching the first Republican debate I wisely skipped the second one.  My stomach just couldn't take it twice.  I think CNN only ran it to compete with MSNBC, the TV channel that ran the first debate.  I knew the re-run would just be a rehash of the lies told during the first debate.

However, those journalists that are forced to endure the crap did watch.  Glenn Kessler has been debunking the lies told. The Washington Post ran an article called  Fact Checker  written by Glennn Kessler.

I have copied excerpts from the article that show how incredibly dishonest and deceitful the whole bunch of 'wanna-be presidents' are.  So 'heeeeers Glennie.'


“We know that President Obama stole over $500 billion out of Medicare to switch it over to Obamacare.”
— Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
“He cut Medicare by $500 billion. This, the Democrat president, the liberal, so to speak, cut Medicare — not Republicans, the Democrat.”

— Romney
Bachmann in particular loves to make this claim, but we have repeatedly explained why it just isn’t correct. 

Under Obama’s health-care law, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year. The law tries to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as “the baseline”) and the changes the law makes to reduce spending. 

The savings actually are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control. 

In fact, in the House Republican budget this year, lawmakers repealed the Obama health-care law but retained all but $10 billion of the nearly $500 billion in Medicare savings, suggesting the actual policies enacted to achieve these spending reductions were not that objectionable to GOP lawmakers. So it is misleading for Romney to say that Republicans did not make these cuts.

For a more detailed explanation, please see our longer examination of this subject in June, when we gave Bachmann two Pinocchios for making this claim at the first GOP debate.
“Let me say I helped balance the budget for four straight years, so this is not a theory”
— Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.)
Gingrich at least indicates there was a president — Bill Clinton — when the nation briefly began to run budget surpluses. And certainly the Republican Congress led by Gingrich prodded Clinton to move to the right and embrace such conservative notions as a balanced budget.
But the budget was balanced in part because of a gusher of tax revenues from Clinton’s 1993 deficit-reduction package, which raised taxes on the wealthy and which Gingrich vehemently opposed. The budget was also balanced because the Democratic White House and Republican Congress were in absolute legislative stalemate, so neither side could implement grand plans to increase spending or cut taxes.
Gingrich is wrong to suggest there were four years of balanced budgets when he was speaker. He left in January 1999; the budget ran a surplus in the fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. So he can at best claim two years.
During the surplus years, moreover, the gross debt (including bonds issued to Social Security and Medicare) rose by $400 billion. Gross debt is the figure that conservatives tend to use. During Gingrich’s time as speaker, the public debt was essentially flat and the gross debt rose $700 billion.
Obama “had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs.”
— Perry
Perry is wrong. The stimulus created jobs. But there has not been a net gain in jobs because so many jobs were lost early in Obama’s presidency. Since the stimulus bill was signed, the number of overall jobs in the United has declined by about 1.9 million. 

Economists differ on the effectiveness of the stimulus, but most say it has at least some effect (ie, created at least some jobs.) A recent review of nine different studies on the stimulus bill found that six studies concluded the stimulus had “a significant, positive effect on employment and growth,” and three said the effect was “either quite small or impossible to detect.”
“I was one of the only people in Washington that said: Do not raise the debt ceiling. Don’t give the president of the United States another $2.4 trillion blank check. You’ve got to draw the line in the sand somewhere and say: No more out-of-control spending.”
— Bachmann
Ever hear of a “blank check” with a number attached to it? In any case, Congress has already committed to spend much of this money, under budgets passed in previous years. Lifting the debt ceiling merely means that the Treasury now has the authority to make good on bills that are coming due.
“We have cut taxes by $14 billion, 65 different pieces of legislation.”
— Perry
That’s one side of the ledger. We are not sure if Perry’s figure is correct but as Politifact Texas has documented, he has also raised taxes repeatedly, including on cigarettes, to make up revenue for cuts in local property taxes.
“What we saw with all of the $700 billion bailout is that the Federal Reserve opened its discount window and was making loans to private American businesses, and not only that, they were making loans to foreign governments. This cannot be.”
— Bachmann
Bachmann is significantly overstating the case. Bloomberg News, which filed the Freedom of Information Act request that resulted in the disclosure of the Fed loans to foreign banks (some of which had had some government ownership), noted: “The Monetary Control Act of 1980 says that a U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank that maintains reserves at a Fed bank may receive discount-window credit.” All of the loans were paid back, according to Fed officials.
“And I happen to think that what we were trying to do was to clearly send the message that we’re going to give moms and dads the opportunity to make that decision with parental opt-out. Parental rights are very important in the state of Texas. We do it on a long list of vaccines that are made.”
— Perry 
Perry skated close to the edge of the truth here as he tried to defend his controversial order to require the vaccine that is said to prevent cervical cancer. As Politifact Texas reported in 2010, Perry “ordered the Department of State Health Services to allow parents dissenting for philosophical or religious reasons from all immunizations — not just this one — to request a conscientious objection affidavit form.” 

Just 0.28 percent of students filed such forms, which must be updated every two years to remain viable — and not all private schools accept the form. So as many as 15 percent of girls did not have the possibility of opting out of the requirement to receive the vaccine if they wanted to continue in their schools. 

While Perry denied Bachmann’s charge that there was a connection between his order and a $5,000 campaign donation, Texas media reported that Perry’s chief of staff held a meeting on the vaccine plan on the same day the donation was received. Perry’s aides said the timing was a coincidence.
“This is the election that’s going to decide if we have socialized medicine in this country or not. This is it. Why? I just have to say this. It’s because President Obama embedded $105,464,000,000 in Obamacare in postdated checks to implement this bill.”
— Bachmann
It’s wrong to say the health-care law — which builds on the existing private system — will result in socialized medicine, but apparently some people will never be convinced.
But Bachmann’s assertion of $105 billion “embedded” in the health-care law is another bogus claim for which she has previously earned four Pinocchios. We looked closely at her assertion in March and concluded that her charge that this money was “hidden” does not have credibility. The money for these programs was clearly described and analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office before the legislation was voted into law. And since then, the Obama administration has issued a new release every time it spent some of the funds. 

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Perry goes on the defesnive in GOP debate
By  |  12:34 AM ET, 09/13/2011

Exaggerations and half-truths have always been a part of political posturing, but since the emergence of Fox TV and the Tea Party it seems to be mandatory to spread blatant and provable lies.  Could it be because the tea party bunch of no-nothings are so disgustingly gullible and ill informed that they can get away with it?  Nah!  No one could be that stupid.  Or could they?


Anonymous said...

Darlene--It's a shame that politicians can't be like you and me...fair to a fault! *laughing* Well, with all of the damage that they can do, it is no laughing matter.

The other day, a guy on the radio was spinning a tale of what happened to him. (Forgive me if I get everything wrong but the bottom line. Memory is not my strong suit.) He had attended a session on how to evaluate political presentations. For examples of prejudiced reporting, writings/airings of one of the major political parties were presented.

The guy shook his head and muttered to himself about what a bunch of scoundrels the people in the X party were - really unscrupulous! On his way home, he got to pondering all of the flimflam and smoke and mirrors that the X party used. Eventually it dawned on him that his own beloved Y party used the same techniques. Funny thing: as he read writings/watched presentations of the Y party he just nodded his head in agreement and said, "Right on, brother!"

I think we all do this; however, that doesn't make me like the lies/half truths/distortions of either side. Bummer!
Cop Car

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - Yes, it's really funny that we don't see our own guilty part in the process. (I won't say hypocritical, but my Republican friend would.) However, I do think the outright lies and more prevalent with Faux news and the Tea Party gang.

Darlene said...

Oops - made a boo boo. I meant to say "lies ARE more prevalent."

Anonymous said...

Darlene--You may be right about the prevalence; but, we humans being as we are, I think that you are probably wrong. The difference is that each of us will make excuses for our own party/side/person because we understand where they are coming from and think that they are justified.

As a person, for many long years I have understand that my friends can get away with murder (not actually, of course) while my enemies must toe the line. I wish this were not so, but it seems to be a part of the human condition?
Cop Car

Nancy said...

Thanks again, Darlene, for always providing me with great ammunition for the "friendly" political arguments I have with my friends of another persuasion.

I always file your columns for future reference and they have come in handy more than once; actually more than ten times if you want to know the truth.....

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - You make a good point, but have you ever heard a Progressive (Liberal) deny science, mix religion with politics, and flat-out lie about the meed to go to war? I once read an article pointing out the many lies on the far right as opposed to those on the left. It was an eye opener.

*Nancy - Thank you for one of the nicest compliments I have ever had. You are a sweetie.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I didn't watch any of this...just couldn't deal with it Darlene. It's always nice to get your little highlighted synopsis of everything I miss. Thanks sweetie... ~Joy

Darlene said...

*Joy Des Jardins - As always, you are most welcome.

Hattie said...

Thank you for commenting on all this so I don't have to watch the programming.

Tabor said...

No one mentions the millions (perhaps billions) in "free" medical care that is provided when uninsured show up at the emergency room with real emergencies that comes out of my and your pockets. If we had everyone (young and healthy) paying into insurance, maybe our costs would be reduced.

Florence said...

Darlene, I just can't watch/listen to those people. The thought that one of them could actually become the President of the United States both sickens and terrifies me.

Xtreme English said...

They are that stupid. And the more often the lies are stated on radio, TV, and newspapers, the more they believe them.

Thanks for your summary. I can't bear to watch those "debates"--my BP is high enough without that.

Anonymous said...

I worry that the $500 billion said to be coming from the health care providers will be passed on to already struggling Medicare members.
I have suggested that if or when any of this will be resolved or not, dying with dignity be optional in all states.

Jack Jodell said...

The Republicans have nothing of any substance to offer the public. They are all crazy religious zealots or corporate shills. They hate and have no time for anyone but the rich. You didn't miss a thing, Darlene.

Darlene said...

For some reason my replies are not posting. I will apologize and tell you that I have replied to all who commented. If this posts I will do so again.

Darlene said...

Whoo Hoo. Blogger recognized me and published my comment.

*Hattie - This may be my last post on the subject because I can't watch any more either.

*Tabor - Good for you; you just made my argument for the Single Payer system'

*Florence - This is why we all have to become active in spreading the word. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment.

*Xtreme English - Join the club. My BP went through the roof when I watched the first debate. I wisely skipped the second one.

*Anonymous - I only hope that dignity is part of my demise.

*Jack Jodell - I'm still waiting for a sensible solution from the Republican party on creating jobs. It's never going to happen.

Kay Dennison said...

I think the technical terms for these alleged humans are crooks, liars and batsh*t crazy. And I know for sure that they aren't Christians be cause they break commandments every time they open their mouths. It's depressing!

Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - You got that right !!!!!