October 29, 2012

October 23, 2012

CNN Gets It Wrong

CNN was fact-checking the third presidential debate, a process I heartily endorse.

But only if you do it logically and honestly.  And on that score, CNN falls a bit short.

Take this one:

What CNN is refuting isn't what Obama actually said; helpfully, they've included the correct quote.  But whoever 'fact-checked' this one lacks basic reading comprehensions skills.

"... you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan, now you're for it..."

What Romney actually did - again, from this same CNN article:
What Romney has disagreed with was the announcement of the withdrawal deadline...
What is a timetable?  A schedule of activity.  You can't have a timetable without deadlines, they are the point of a timetable.

So in fact, according to CNN's own fact checking, Obama's claim is clearly true.

The only way you can come to a different conclusion is if you completely mis-characterize Obama's statements.  Which, of course, is what happened here:
Obama accused Romney of initially being against a withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
Again, this is a different statement than the quote they presented:
"... you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan, now you're for it..."
The rest of their fact checking in this article... um.... checks out.

October 8, 2012

From the Unfortunate Juxtaposition Department

I think these RSS feeds are random, but I'm not entirely sure.

Like this example, from today's  syndicated Daily Pulp feed on my Yahoo homepage:


October 7, 2012

Jack Welch's Jelly Brain

On Friday, Welch seemed to be claiming that Obama or someone in his administration had manipulated the results of the recent jobs report on his twitter feed:

Obama is from Chicago, and had just lost his first debate with Mitt Romney - or so I'm told.  I don't bother with such pointless charades.

Well, as you can imagine, this created a minor uproar, with media outlets, politicians, and even business associates questioning the merit of such an accusation.  First, the report was actually published before the debate.  Second, all the raw data is available, so it's not something that can really be manipulated.  Experts basically concluded that Welch was talking out of his ass.

So on Sunday, Welch sent out a new tweet:

Well, maybe he didn't comment on the White House, but he certainly commented on the jobs report, and only moments before his claims that he hadn't made any comments about the White House.

That link he posted leads to a story on AEIdeas, the public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute.  The article is titled "Economist: Unemployment drop ‘implausible … a statistical quirk’." 

Welch's claims are disingenuous, at best.

To accept Welch's comments, we have to find a plausible explanation for the first post; who are "these Chicago guys" that he's referring to, if it's not Obama, a former resident of Chicago?

Could he be referring to the band Chicago?  Did this jazz/rock fusion group fudge the numbers?

I know;

It's the Moon Furies.  Their website even says that they are "Chicago Guys."

Wait, he said they lost a debate.  So maybe it's...

...the Chicago Blackhawks!  Perhaps by "debate," he really meant "game.

But they weren't mentioned in the "interesting view" of the jobs report.

No, there's only one explanation of Welch's comment that makes any sense; he was, in fact, referring to President Obama, who has often been lambasted by conservatives for doing things "The Chicago Way," a reference to the violence and corruption of the government in the gangster era as depicted in The Untouchables.  Obama is from Chicago, and had just lost a debate, and certainly benefits from a positive jobs report.  This is the only context that fits.

Jack Welch is lying to us.  And he's doing a pathetically poor job of it.  It's almost as pathetic as believing he could get away with claiming that the POTUS influenced the numbers without offering one shred of supporting evidence.

If Jack Welch really believes that he can  simply wave away his comment by stating it wasn't about the White House,
he must be keeping his brains in this jar >

October 6, 2012


"I really mean what I'm saying now."     "I was completely wrong about that."
Mitt "Etch-a-Sketch Memory" Romney is now saying that he was "completely wrong" when he said that if he becomes president of the United States, his "job is not to worry about" 47% of the population of the country.  In case you've forgotten the details of the comments he made earlier this year at a fundraiser, let's refresh your memory:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them."

"...my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center..."
Of course, he initially defended his statements.
"This is a message I'm carrying day and day out and will carry over the coming months," Romney said on Fox News. "This is a decision about the course of America, where we're going to head. We've seen the president's policies play out over the last four years."
And he tried to explain that he just didn't make his point clearly enough:
"At a fundraiser you have people say, 'Governor how are you going to win this?' And so I respond 'Well, the president has his group, I have my group. I want to keep my team strong and motivated and I want to get those people in the middle.' That's something which fund-raising people who are parting with their monies are very interested in."
His campaign suggested that the comments were taken out of context.  That is, until Mother Jones posted the entire video.

“Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.”
When he thought he was basically "off the record,"  he told a group of his supporters that he he was only concerned with people like themselves, and the handful of people on the fence.  In the glaring spotlight of public scrutiny, he says that he was wrong to say that, of course he's going to try to be the best president for everyone.

We have no reason to believe that he wasn't being honest then to that audience of his supporters. We have no reason to believe him now when he claims that he didn't really mean it.

Either he was lying then, to gain support from those supporters, or he's lying now, hoping that he doesn't lose more support.

But make no mistake, either way, he's not being honest with us.

October 4, 2012

Putting Mitt in Perspective: PBS

For fiscal year 2012, PBS received $442 million dollars from the federal government.  That's an "m" in there. $442 million for the entire year.

That constitutes .012% of the entire Federal budget.  That's POINT zero one two percent, or less than 1/8 of 1%.

"But it's $400 million dollars" you say.  OK. Let's put that in perspective.

We're spending $300 million dollars PER DAY on the war in Afghanistan.  Obama is trying to remove our troops from Afghanistan in a safe and responsible manner.  Mitt says we shouldn't pull our troops out of Afghanistan just because it's expensive.

It seems to me that Mitt is saying we have to take Sesame Street away from inner city kids because we need to kill people on the other side of the planet.