The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘United States

This Won’t Be the First Time

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“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential cause of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.”–Will Durant

If the United States were the first in history to experience a debt crisis with deficits that are about to bring this nation to its financial knees, government officials might have some excuse for what they’ve done.

The most frustrating thing about this mess is that our elected leaders knew where this would end from the beginning and if they didn’t know they have no business running a lemonade stand let alone a nation.  If it’s ignorance that got us here we have a bone to pick with our education system and its failure to teach history.  Because historical precedents for what we are now experiencing are many and should be part of every high school curriculum

Every country that has spent beyond its means has spiraled to disaster. The crash the US is about to experience has been experienced many times before.

Rome anyone?

FallOfRomeThree successive Roman emperors, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, all emptied their treasuries to pay for lavish ceremonial feasts, luxurious villas, elaborate temples, servants who never served, and bribes to the army and praetorian guard to ensure loyalty. When the money ran out, these arrogant rulers raised taxes, seized the assets of wealthy citizens, or expanded the money supply by remitting old coins using more base metal and less gold and silver.

What they got from this manipulation was severe inflation. In one thirty-year period during the third century A.D., the price of wheat rose 100,000 percent! A loaf of bread that cost the equivalent of $2.00 at the start of the period cost $2.000 at the end. By the time Rome collapsed high taxes had already destroyed Roman commerce. Cities and towns were reduced to ruin by lack of investment in their maintenance, the population was impoverished and dwindling, and riots and rebellion were commonplace.

Thirteen hundred years later, Spain, which had been one of the mightiest countries in Europe, began running huge deficits to pay for wars, a bloated civil service, and endemic corruption. By the end of the sixteenth century, revenues covered only half the state’s spending. Sound Familiar? Repeated currency devaluations, growing inflation, and a murderous tax burden killed off Spanish industry and agriculture. Impoverished, Spain lost its global influence as its empire contracted to a fraction of former size.

America In Ruins

Some economists think if the U.S. is very, very lucky it can fix its debt/deficit and suffer no more in the process than Great Britain has in the last thirty years. Great Britain’s economy didn’t so much crash as run aground. In 1976, the British government had to ask the IMF for help in servicing its debt, an acute embarrassment to the once mighty kingdom. In 1979, with inflation nearing 14%, British elected Margaret Thatcher to right the ship. Her platform stressed fiscal conservatism, lower taxes, and a reduced public sector. Thatcher’s unpleasant task was to remind Brits that though the public might make unlimited demands on the government for services, the government’s resources were still finite.

If the United States has its own Margaret Thatcher, We haven’t elected him or her to national office yet.

One thing is certain in these troubling times: What we do now will determine what happens to us later, both as individuals and as a nation. Little time remains for us to act, and, even then, our actions must be decisive, bold and radical if they are to prove effective. Forestalling the demise of our country requires the commitment and participation of all of us.

And it has to start now.

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Written by DCL

March 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm

The Gun Control Letter Sent to Obama You Won’t See On Mainstream Media

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The gun control debate is accelerating.

On one side historical background, statistical evidence, and an amendment to the constitution of the United States.

On the other side raw emotion.

Evan Todd, a survivor of the Columbine school shooting in 1999, penned a letter to President Obama outlining in great detail his thoughts on gun control and how they were shaped by his experience.  Todd was shot by one of the gunmen that day and watched as 12 of his fellow students and a teacher were murdered.  His letter covers key aspects of the current gun control debate and why the arguments coming from the left are ineffective and dangerous to the rights of all American citizens.

Here is the letter.  Don’t expect to read, see, or hear about it in any major news publication or network and don’t expect to see a reply from the President.  This simply doesn’t comply with the narrative they have put forward about guns and gun control.  It would derail their propaganda machine.

Mr. President,

As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:

Universal Background Checks

First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens.

Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it.

Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.

It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.

Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons

The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.

Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.

10-Round Limit for Magazines

Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.
Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”

Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?

Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.

Selling to Criminals

Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”

Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?

Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops —  because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market.

Criminals and murderers will always find a way.

Critical Examination

Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.

Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?

You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:

First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.

Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.

This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.

Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.

Respectfully,

Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd

Tyranny Style

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In the whole history of the human race…Tyranny has never come to live with any people with a placard on his breast bearing his name.

He always comes in deep disguise, sometimes proclaiming an endowment of freedom [or rights], sometimes promising to help the unfortunate and downtrodden, not by creating something for those who do not have, but by robbing those who have.

But Tyranny is always a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and he always ends by devouring the whole flock, saving none.

– J. Rueben Clark, July 1935

Guns and the Hearts of Men and Women

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CNN’s British political pundit Piers Morgan has been making a case for gun control in the US and by so doing has been making statistical claims and comparisons between Great Britain and the USA to bolster his argument.

This week on Piers Morgan Tonight, his weekly program on CNN the Cable News Network, Morgan invited talk radio host and conspiracy theory icon Alex Jones onto the program to discuss gun control.  The word discuss however would be an incredibly inaccurate definition of the dialogue that took place between Jones and Morgan.  The colloquy that ensued must have had Morgan twisting and turning, jumping and shouting with glee on the inside, though you wouldn’t notice it on his calm and determined face.

Jones on the other hand came unhinged.

Regardless of whether you agree with Piers Morgan or Alex Jones or land somewhere in between, it’s important that facts be wielded correctly and in context.  Neither Morgan nor Jones did that during this spectacle but Morgan has been peddling numbers and making statistical comparisons that simply don’t exist in fact.  Jones facts got lost in the hysterical outburst that ensued where we were all left “rubber necking as if witnessing a terrible accident on the freeway.

FBI crime statistics which have recently come out  for 2011 refute Piers Morgan’s argument, show his numbers to be low and incorrect, and more importantly show incontestably that guns do not cause violent crime, unstable people with evil and violent intentions use guns or any other weapon as tools to inflict their evil intentions.

Ben Swann, a broadcast journalist at Fox 19 WXIX in Cincinnati, Ohio,  took Morgan to task on his numbers, comparisons, and insinuations on his Reality Check segment during a recent local newscast.

The numbers don’t lie but they can be cherry picked and used to mislead.  Whether by intent, lazy fact checking, or ignorance, Piers Morgan is misleading his audience and bolstering an argument that isn’t based in fact.  I don’t have a problem with Morgan’s opinion that some weapons should be banned.  I do have a problem when he or anyone else misleads their audience and continually pegs the BS meter with false information.

Whether we, as US citizens, should support a ban on certain guns and/or gun accessories is a debate worth having but it must be won on its merits with all evidence laid out for all to see, digest, and then fall on a side.  I believe in that scenario and when done with integrity the anti-gun argument falls apart and its non-solution position becomes self-evident.

The reasons for ratification of the second amendment of the United States constitution have not gone away.  They are as valid today as they were the day it was ratified.  A nation of citizens who cannot defend themselves are ripe for government overthrow and enslavement by tyrants.  History has proven it over and over again.  An armed citizenry does give pause to those who would consider such action and I believe prevents it from occurring.

Until all evil is eradicated from the face of the earth, the gun will be the determining factor as to whether men and women will remain free or lose their liberties and be ruled by an iron fist.

As Mr. Swann concluded in his report, “Violent crime is not the result of a gun or any tool, it is the result of the heart of men and women.”

Amen!

Written by DCL

January 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

The Speech May Be Old but the Message isn’t

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Rachel and Darrell ScottIn 1999 Darrell Scott, of Littleton, Colorado, sat in front of Congress and delivered stirring testimony concerning the Columbine High School shootings that took the life of his daughter Rachel.

What congressional members heard that day was not what they expected, but it was most certainly what they and a nation struggling to comprehend and process the horror that had taken place, needed to hear.  But how quickly we forget.

The media barely paid attention to Mr. Scott’s profound message which cut to the core of the deep seeded problems this nation faces with precision and clarity, leaving no room for interpretation or misunderstanding.

Now, in light of another senseless horrific massacre at a public school where this time the victims were barely into the discovery phase of their lives, his words ring loud and clear and just as true as the day he delivered them.

For that reason I post the entire transcript in the hope that everyone who reads it, Liberal, Conservative, or at any other point of the ideological spectrum, will gain a new perspective of the serious problems we face as a nation and will consider what I personally believe is the only real solution, a return to the roots of faith and God.

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.” “The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field.

The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart. “In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.

I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.”

“I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room.

Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. “I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:”

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”

You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

We do not need more restrictive laws.” Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored.

We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!” “As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!

I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA- I give to you a sincere challenge.

Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain!

The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”

Voter Fraud? What’s the GOP going to do about it?

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Voter Fraud in 2012 GOP can't fight it.The answer to the question in the title is quite simply, nothing.

But the reason the GOP will sit quietly as reports come out of battleground states of voter fraud is not for lack of desire to right a wrong, but because they are legally prevented from doing so.

You read correctly. The GOP cannot legally file suit or petition the courts to look into voter fraud in any of the 50 states.

In 1981, during the gubernatorial election in New Jersey (NJ), a lawsuit was brought against the RNC, the NJ Republican State Committee (RSC), and three individuals (John A. Kelly, Ronald Kaufman, and Alex Hurtado), accusing them of violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1971, 1973, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

To settle the lawsuit, in 1982, the RNC and RSC entered into an agreement or Consent Decree, which is national in scope, limiting the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the court’s approval in advance.

The RNC has tried to get court approval to help prevent voter fraud but has been denied by the courts.

The RNC also agreed that the RNC, its agents, servants, and employees would be bound by the Decree, “whether acting directly or indirectly through other party committees.”

The Consent Decree was modified in 1987 and redefined “ballot security activities” to mean “ballot integrity, ballot security or other efforts to prevent or remedy vote fraud.”

Here’s a fun twist. Since 1982, this Consent Decree has been renewed every year by the original judge, Carter appointee District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise, now 88 years old.

Debevoise has been retired for years but comes back for the sole purpose of renewing his 1982 order for another year.

In 2010, the RNC unsuccessfully appealed “to vacate or modify” the Consent Decree in “Democratic National Committee v Republican National Committee,” Case No. 09-4615 (C.A. 3, Mar. 8, 2012).

The judge who denied the RNC’s appeal to “vacate” the 1982 Consent Decree is an Obama appointee, Judge Joseph Greenaway, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. What? You were expecting a Reagan appointee?

The RNC and DNC made their Consent Decree 30 years ago, in 1982. The agreement in effect gives a carte blanche to the Democrat Party to commit vote fraud in every voting district across America that has, in the language of the Consent Decree, “a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations.” The term “substantial proportion” is not defined.

The Republican Party is either full of incompetents or part of a big plan where they are the Tom to the Democrats Jerry.

This is just another layer to be peeled back from the mess our election process has become, with each layer revealing an even bigger, deeper, and more disturbing problem.

Thanks to the following blogs for their thorough reporting of this story.

Fellowship of the Minds

gulagbound.com

Also check out this article at TheBlaze.  A good read about why, regardless of the number of cases of alleged voter fraud come forward, the election will stay the same.

Perpetuating the Lie that Romney is a Liar

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My liberal friends like to remind me often that my candidate for President, Mitt Romney, is a liar.  They then parade the fact checkers out as proof to their premise that Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, habitually breaks the 9th commandment.

The most recent accusation came in the form of this article at ThinkProgress.org with the headline: “At The Last Presidential Debate: Romney Told 24 Myths In 41 Minutes”  If you’re not familiar with ThinkProgress, I would characterize ThinkProgress.org as the Liberal equivalent to Ricochet.com on the right.  If you’re not familiar with either one you’re not missing anything but extreme partisanship, hyperbole, and group think (My opinion of course).

So I decided to go through these 24 myths and research their explanations to see if  the man I think is best suited to preside in this nation is indeed a dirty rotten scoundrel and a liar.

This will be a rather long post as I am including each “Myth” and the explanation given by ThinkProgress with my retort underneath in bold italics.  Bear with me as I hope this exercise will show that the true “Myth” is in our perception of another’s words as seen through our own world view.  This is not to say that President Obama and Mitt Romney have been 100% accurate in the debates or on the campaign trail when addressing each other or the issues, but it is to say that both men are explaining their positions in the best light possible and their opponents in the worst.  That’s politics and by its nature that is going to include elaborations, hyperbole, and yes  inaccurate depictions from each.

I think overall the fact checkers bring it all back to reality, but that doesn’t mean you should never check the fact checkers too!

The 24 “Myths” as presented by ThinkProgress.org

1) “Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.” Romney has his geography wrong. Syria doesn’t share a border with Iran and Iran has 1,500 miles of coastline leading to the Arabian Sea. It is also able to reach the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

Geography gaffe, not a lie.

2) “And what I’m afraid of is we’ve watched over the past year or so [in Syria], first the president saying, well we’ll let the U.N. deal with it…. Then it went to the Russians and said, let’s see if you can do something.” While Russia and China have vetoed multiple resolutions at the U.N. Security Council on Syria, the United States has also been working through the Friends of Syria group and other allies in the region. Obama’s approach “would essentially give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.”

I see a very sharp difference of opinion here but nothing to indicate a whopper being told. TP does not refute Romney’s initial premise, rather they try to clarify Obama’s position.

3) “Former chief of the — Joint Chiefs of Staff said that — Admiral Mullen said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. This — we have weakened our economy. We need a strong economy. We need to have as well a strong military.” If Romney is worried about the national debt, why does he want to increase military spending from 3.5 percent of GDP to 4 percent? This amounts to a $2.1 trillion increase over a ten-year period that the military says it does not need and Romney has no plan to pay for it.

Again sharp difference of opinion nothing more.

4) “[W]hen — when the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake.” Obama spoke out about the Revolution on June 15, 2009, just two days after post-election demonstrations began in Iran, condemning the Iranian government’s hard-handed crackdown on Iranian activists. He then reiterated his comments a day later in another press conference. Iranian activists have agreed with Obama’s approach.

Obama made two statements, a few brief words, and did nothing more, in Romney’s opinion and that of many others in this country, it could be seen as relative silence on the issue. I disagree here with Romney’s interpretation because Obama did acknowledge the situation if barely, but this doesn’t meet the definition of a lie.

5) “And when it comes to our economy here at home, I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay.” The Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Romney’s claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up.” In awarding the claim four Pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

Here’s the problem with this one. We’re talking about projections and estimates. One side says they believe their projections and estimates to be accurate and the other side says they don’t. As I’ve read the pros and cons on Romney’s plan it has become very apparent that both sides rely heavily on semantics and varied interpretations of the studies attributed. Frankly this is a Nancy Pelosi moment. “We won’t know what Romney’s jobs plan will do until we implement it”.  No lie just a lot of guesswork and pontificating.

6) “[W]e are going to have North American energy independence. We’re going to do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables.” Romney would actually eliminate the fuel efficiency standards that are moving the United States towards energy independence, even though his campaign plan relies on these rules to meet his goals.

An argument about different environmental opinions on standards and not explained very well here.  Not a lie though.

7) “[W]e’re going to have to have training programs that work for our workers.” Paul Ryan’s budget, which Romney has fully endorsed, calls for spending 33 percent less on “Education, training, employment, and social services” than Obama’s budget.

So spending less means no training or education possible?  More money doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. #7 is a joke and Think Progress is showing its stripes here. 

8) “And I’ll get us on track to a balanced budget.” Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut plan and his increases to military spending could explode the deficit.

Same Princeton economist and others EconomistsForRomney.com refute this opinion. again no lie here folks.

9) “Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education principles that focused on having great teachers in the classroom.” Education experts have faint praise for his proposals while he was governor. “His impact was inconsequential,” said Glen Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. “People viewed his proposals as political talking points, and no one took Romney seriously.”

Think Progress doesn’t like his proposals on education. Imagine that! Now a quote Think Progress surely could have found to balance it’s report “Governor Romney’s education reform plan addresses the single biggest challenge for our state’s economy, which is supplying the pipeline of skilled workers that technology employers need for sustained future growth,” said Massachusetts High Technology Council President Christopher R. Anderson. “The Governor’s plan rightly focuses on attracting and retaining the best math and science teachers, while giving them the support and tools they need to prepare students for the competitive global economy.”  No lie here but some serious bias on the part of TP in my opinion.

10) “So I’d get rid of [Obamacare] from day one. To the extent humanly possible, we get that out.” Romney cannot unilaterally eliminate a bill passed by Congress and his plan to grant states waivers may also be a non-starter.

Correct.  As Romney stated, he’ll get rid of Obamacare “to the extent humanly possible” TP confirms that.  Where’s the whopper?

11) “Number two, we take some programs that we are doing to keep, like Medicaid, which is a program for the poor.” Medicaid isn’t just a program for the poor. While it provides health coverage for “millions of low-income children and families who lack access to the private health insurance system,” it also offers “insurance to millions of people with chronic illnesses or disabilities” and is “the nation’s largest source of coverage for long-term care, covering more than two-thirds of all nursing home residents.” Medicaid is also a key source of coverage for pregnant women.

Semantics. Medicaid is more than just a program for the poor, OK…but not going into more detail certainly isn’t a lie. 

12) “[W]e’ll take [Medicaid] for the poor and we give it to the states to run because states run these programs more efficiently.” A Congressional Budget Office analysis of Paul Ryan’s proposal to block grant Medicaid found that if federal spending for Medicaid decreased, “states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding.” As a result, enrollees could “face more limited access to care,” higher out-of-pocket costs, and “providers could face more uncompensated care as beneficiaries lost coverage for certain benefits or lost coverage altogether.”

Very tricky handling of this by TP. Romney says give it to the states to run, but doesn’t say cut federal funding. TP turns to “what ifs” by pointing to Ryan’s budget proposal, which is just that, a proposal. Muddy analysis by TP, but yes you could accuse me of splitting hairs. Still no lie being told here.

13) “Our Navy is old — excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917…That, in my view, is making — is making our future less certain and less secure.” The U.S. Navy is smaller than it was in 1917, but it is not making America less secure. The navy has actually grown in the sheer number of ships under Obama and Romney’s plans to increase shipbuilding is unrealistic. As one historian told PolitiFact, counting the number of ships or aircraft “is not a good measurement of defense strength because their capabilities have increased dramatically in recent decades.” Romney’s comparison “doesn’t pass ‘the giggle test,’” he said.

According to NPR, analysts are divided on whether there is a need for a larger Navy.  However, in the same Politifact report used to glean the historian’s quote it says “In recent years, the number of active ships has fallen low enough to approach its 1916 level.  In both 2009 (the most recent year of the Heritage report) and 2011, the number was 285.  So Romney has a point. However, even using this metric — which, as we’ll argue later, is an imperfect one for measuring military strength.” So they’re arguing a perspective of “perfection”?  Really?   A lie?  No.

14) “And then the president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness.” Obama never embarked on an “apology tour.”

I concede. It is clear the President never used the words “sorry” or “apologize”  and did give praise to America while at the same time knocking America for sins perceived by Obama. It’s obvious Romney and others interpreted this as being apologetic to gain favor of other nations and therefore labeled it an Apology Tour. I think he should have changed the title and focused on what I see as a weakness in Obama and the First Lady.  That being their apparent lack of belief and conviction in US exceptionalism in the world.

15) “And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel, that they noticed that as well.” They haven’t noticed because it’s not true. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN, “President Obama is doing . . . more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security].” “When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issues, security, I think it’s a highly satisfactory record, from an Israeli point of view,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres.

TP quotes two Israeli Liberals, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres to bolster their premise and the Obama narrative that Obama is doing so much more for Israel than ever before. This one made me laugh out loud honestly. If you’re up on recent headlines you probably chuckled too. Read up on Barak and Peres and see where their political ideologies lie and you’ll see why TP didn’t want to mention Israel’s Prime Minister or conservative Jews at all. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador Dan Shapiro recently engaged in a sharp, un-diplomatic exchange in September over Netanyahu’s frustration with the Obama Administration’s Iran policy, according to US congressman, Mike Rogers of Michigan who attended the meeting.  It is very clear Israels highest officer is not happy with Obama’s policies concerning Israel.  Of course liberals are going to say what liberals want to hear.  Think Progress not being very balanced or objective here and ignoring the other side completely.

16) “And — and — we should not have wasted these four years to the extent they — they continue to be able to spin these centrifuges and get that much closer.” Obama hasn’t wasted time on Iran. In July 2012, Obama signed into law the most effective sanctions ever put into place against Iran, targeting the country’s oil and financial sectors. These sanctions were imposed unilaterally by the U.S. and come in addition to the four rounds of sanctions the UN has enacted since 2006. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the sanctions “very effective,” and Romney has said he would continue them if elected.

The fact is Iran is moving forward with its nuclear plans regardless of what you believe those plans to be.  I give the President credit for what he has done with sanctions.  This seems to be nothing more than bickering about whether Obama wasted time or not. Silly.

17) “I would tighten those sanctions. I would say that ships that carry Iranian oil, can’t come into our ports. I imagine the E.U. would agree with us as well.” Almost no Iranian oil has come into the United States since Ronald Reagan signed an executive order in 1987 banning all U.S. imports from Iran. The nation received a small amount of oil from Iran after the first Gulf War, in 1991.

TP is right on this one. Wondering where Romney got his info here.  Can’t find an explanation at this point.  Still, he is offering his opinion, right or wrong.  Not a lie.

18) “I see jihadists continuing to spread, whether they’re rising or just about the same level, hard to precisely measure, but it’s clear they’re there. They’re very strong.” Obama’s policies appear to have gravely weakened al Qaeda Central, the lead arm of the organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan principally responsible for 9/11.

Obama himself has fallen back on the rhetoric that Al-Qaeda is no longer a threat and is subsiding. We know that isn’t true. All TP dare say is Obama’s policies “appear” to have weakened Al-Qaeda. Much different from the language being used only weeks ago.  Analyst Seth Jones is leading the argument that al-Qaeda is doing better than we realize, that “the obituaries are premature”

19) “It’s not government investments that makes businesses grow and hire people.” The Romney campaign routinely touts government military spending as a way to create jobs and boost businesses.

Governments administer. It is with rare exception that government creates anything or even manages anything well. When government tries to do what the private sector does it generally does it less efficiently and more costly and there is plenty of proof to back that up. Romney is right on that one.  If you live around a military base you’ll see the effect of military spending on business and business creation in the private sector. This is just another item where TP sees the world through a different lens. No lies here.

20) “My plan to get the [auto] industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need — these [auto] companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy.” Romney’s plan for the auto bailout would have ensured the collapse of the auto industry. In his editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney advocated for letting the private sector finance the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Auto insiders, however, have said that plan was “reckless” and “pure fantasy.”

TP is the liar here. They mention Romney’s Op-Ed but fail to reveal the truth of it, just as Obama ignored and refuted Romney in the debate. The facts as presented by ABC News. Romney DID in that original Op-Ed, at the very end, say that there should be post-bankruptcy guarantees for financing. “The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk,” he wrote. It is not clear if such post-bankruptcy guarantees could have freed up pre-bankruptcy financing. And it is not something Romney has advertised on the campaign trail. But it is accurate. By the way GM builds more automobiles OUTSIDE the US than in it and its CEO was in China just last year touting his plan to bring more work to China. Listen in to GM’s CEO Dan Akerson addressing reporters in Shang Hai China: 

21) “Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tanks is great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not.” Ryan’s plan, which Romney has endorsed, “could cut spending on non-defence-related research and development by 5%, or $3.2 billion, below the fiscal-year 2012 budget, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Over the long-term, Ryan’s small-government approach would shrink funding for research and development to historically small sizes.”

Cutting spending doesn’t eliminate research or the need for it.  That’s just a dumb argument.

22) “One is a path represented by the president, which at the end of four years would mean we’d have $20 trillion in debt heading towards Greece.” The U.S. is not headed down a path like that of Greece. Greece, contrary to popular belief, had a revenue problem rather than a spending problem. While its spending was high compared to US standards — 50.4 percent of GDP compared to 38 percent of GDP in the US — its spending was average among European nations. As CAP’s Michael Linden and Sabina Dewan note, “Over the past 10 years, Greece has consistently spent less, as a share of GDP, than the European Union as a whole.” However, it generated less that 40 percent of GDP from revenue — one of the lowest rates in the EU.

All TP does here, is attempt to explain away Greece’s problems so they don’t look anything like ours.  Romney is not the first to use this analogy. Yes we can go the way of Greece.

23) “I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle.” Given Romney’s 844 vetoes as governor, Massachusetts legislators dispute this claim. As the New York Times has noted, “The big-ticket items that Mr. Romney proposed when he entered office in January 2003 went largely unrealized, and some that were achieved turned out to have a comparatively minor impact.”

Important distinction TP refuses to acknowledge, the line-item veto. Yes Romney issued some 800 vetoes, and yes, the Legislature overrode nearly all of them, sometimes unanimously. But it’s ridiculous to say Romney did not get things done as governor working with that overwhelming majority of Democrats.  Romney got praise and criticism from both parties in Massachusetts which I believe shows he was bipartisan.  Even Ted Kennedy praised him.  In 2006, Kennedy had only praise for Romney: “To our governor, and to our Senate president and our speaker, we all say, ‘Well done.’  TP’s perception is the myth here.

24) “We should key our foreign aid, our direct foreign investment, and that of our friends, we should coordinate it to make sure that we — we push back and give them more economic development.” Romney’s website promises to “Reduce Foreign Aid — Savings: $100 Million.” “Stop borrowing money from countries that oppose America’s interests in order to give it back to them in the form of foreign aid,” it says. In November of 2011, Romney said he would start foreign aid for every country “at zero” and call on them to make their case for U.S. financial assistance.

TP seems to be contradicting its own premise here. Romney is saying he wants to reduce and redirect foreign aid and TP says Romney wants to reduce and redirect foreign aid… maybe you can figure out what point they’re trying to make here.  Bottom line, no lies.

What we have here are 24 points where liberals simply differ in ideology and perspective from conservatives and where a conservative articulated his ideas and opinions including those inevitable mistakes and inaccuracies due to being a human and not a computer.  That doesn’t stop Think Progress from using a misleading headline leaving the lazy reader who doesn’t go through all 24 points to assume Romney is the guy my Facebook friend Tom calls “disgraceful” and a “habitual liar”. I think Tom spends a little too much time at ThinkProgress.org.  Time to round out your daily reading my friends.

I fear too many “fact checkers” are what has been termed Vigilante Fact Checkers.  Atossa Araxia Abrahamian wrote, “The vigilantes work with a very different goal. They’re guerrillas; they live to pounce, to catch their enemies at their most vulnerable moments, and to parade their heads around on a stick, declaring smugly: untruth!”

Read more of Abrahmian’s article 

When a lie is exposed and proven to be an intentional attempt to mislead by any political figure I am all for making it clear and shouting it to the rooftops.  I just happen to believe most of the statements being touted as lies these days are no such thing and we need to hold to the definition of the word, taken in the proper context, and not rely solely on our perception of it.

Lie – Show IPA noun, verb, lied, ly·ing. noun
1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.

If you know the intent of another’s heart, you have a sense the rest of us don’t possess.

Written by DCL

October 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm