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American Politics: The BIG LIE in Politics, From The Republican Presidential Convention 
I WILL GET TO the Democrats next but, because of the Republican primary, there is more fodder here. Fortunately, I don't need to do my own research here, Politifact is doing a great job (the link is to my source for this hub.) Each section will be devoted to an individual politician and their statetments. At this point, I will limit my commentary to those statements that were outright lies or deceptions or those that were nearly so.
JULY 18, 2016:
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul (R) claimed HRC will
"Open borders, executive amnesty and the surge of Syrian refugees," in regards to immigrants. - FALSE in part
In fact, "Clinton's platform on immigration incorporates a pathway to citizenship and enforcing immigration laws, including deporting people who "pose a violent threat to public safety."
HRC did say in Nov 2015 however
"to secure our borders. I'm for it, I voted for it, I believe in it, and we also need to deal with the families, the workers who are here, who have made contributions, and their children"
And again in Mar 2016 regarding open borders "[Obama has] done a really good job securing the border."
But regarding Syrian refugees she said on Face the Nation "I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in." - TRUE
Finally, on so-called "executive amnesty" Clinton does support a program to Temporarily status to Some undocumented workers - Partly TRUE
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) keeps telling America that the economy is in the dumps and it is President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's fault. At the convention he said
"Fellow Republicans, we must understand that the incomes of middle-class Americans today are $4,000 less per year than in 1999. This is an economic disaster. We're on the wrong track and the American people know it." - TRUE as to the specific words chosen, but FALSE when put in historic context.
This specific statement is true in only one regard, in 2009, as the economy was crashing into a depression, middle-class income was $54,925, in 2014 it is $53,657 - so that part is correct, as far as it goes. Here is what Sen Sessions didn't tell you.
- Income PEAKED in 1999 at $57,843 and has been DECLINING ever sense.
- By the time President Bush left office, it had fallen to $55,313; $2,411 LOWER.
- President Obama stopped the slide in 2012 where income BOTTOMED out at $52,605, a $6,894 drop in total from when Bush left office; ALL DUE TO THE MOMENTUM of the Great Recession of 2008
- Most importantly, Sessions didn't tell you that income has RISEN $1,052 since 2012
So, taken in historical context Sen. Sessions true statement is a BIG LIE by omission. Further, is statement that "This is an economic disaster. We're on the wrong track ..." is also FALSE and a BIG LIE. By every measure, the economy has recovered and is growing. But why don't the vast amount of Americans not know it? Because they don't see the money; it never makes it down to their economic level because it is retained by the wealthy and very wealthy individuals and corporations.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) also said, regarding immigration, that:
"From 2000 to 2014, while our existing population increased by millions, the number of jobs held by Americans actually declined. Amazingly, all the net job growth during that period went to immigrants," - FALSE
The FACTS are that:
- The report used by Sessions is from the Right-wing Center for Immigration Studies (Funded by Dr. John Tanton (think Koch Brothers), the preeminent anti-immigration billionaire)
- The report used a restricted age group to skew its findings
- The TRUTH is that the number of native-born Americans GREW by 2.6 million during that period; it didn't decline as Sessions said.
Colorado Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, speaking of race relations said two things:
- "We're more racially divided today than before he ran," - It Depends
- "Neighborhoods have become more violent under your watch." - FALSE
To the first point, it is for you to interpret theses surveys.
- A 2008 Pew Research survey reported that 52% of Americans thought race relations would get better with Obama's election as President, including 75% of black respondents and 49% of white respondents.
- Pew's recent findings indicate that 34% of Americans think the President has made progress on improving race relations, while 28% think he has tried but failed to make progress, and 25% think Obama has made race relations worse.
- From a New York Times survey it clearly shows Glenn's first state to by true, - In 2008, about 58% of Whites thought race relations were good, but only 42% of Blacks felt the same. By 2009, it changed dramatically where 64% of Whites and 59% of Blacks felt relations were generally good. It is downhill from there where today it stands with 38% of Whites and 28% of Blacks feel things are OK. Glenn wants to 100% of the blame for this on President Obama. That, of course, is absurd. While PBO may have a little responsibility, there is much blame to go everywhere. Nevertheless - TRUE, as stated.
As to "more violent", that is simply not true. FBI data shows that the level of violence, as they measure it, is DOWN 20% between 2008 and 2014. Therefore, FALSE.
Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke makes the same claim regarding violence when he says:
"a recent Gallup poll confirms it. More than half of all Americans now worry a great deal about crime and violence, up consistently and dramatically from just a few years ago."
While the good sheriff is "technically" correct, his implication that violence is increasing. As we just saw violence deceased dramatically. Therefore, his statement is FALSE by omission.
Patricia Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith made the following claims regarding what Secretary Clinton said and did surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack.
- From the Convention podium Smith placed the blame for her son's death squarely on Clinton, saying, the night before the attack, Smith's son told her "all security had been pulled from the embassy," but "when he asked why, he never received a response."
- Smith also said she was unsatisfied with the explanations for her son's death, claiming a discrepancy between a leaked email Clinton sent to her daughter, calling the attack terrorism, and what Smith said Clinton told her at her son's coffin ceremony, that "a video was responsible." Smith said, "She lied to me and then called me a liar."
Concerning the first claim, and with all due respect and condolences for her loss, NINE different investigations, all but one led by Conservatives exonerated Clinton of the implications Ms. Smith makes. - FALSE
By the way, here is list of those investigations:
- The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform;
- The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs;
- The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence;
- The House Committee on Foreign Affairs;
- The House Committee on the Judiciary;
- The House Committee on Armed Services;
- The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence;
- The House Select Committee on Benghazi;
- The State Department's Accountability Review Board
As to the claim Ms. Smith made that Clinton "lied" to her, that is also just her belief. It is neither supported by hard documentation or witnesses who weren't contradicted by other witnesses. - FALSE
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst at her turn to the podium claimed "Terrorists from ISIS are in every one of our 50 states," The FACT is, the FBI has arrested ISIS sympathizers in only 24 states. - FALSE
Donald Trump claimed, in a call to the O'Reilly Factor during the convention that it was HE, Donald Trump, who was responsible for selecting Cleveland as the site for the RNC convention. A BIG LIE says Politifact pointing out the decision was made July 8, 2014, a time when nobody thought Trump was going to even run for President! - FALSE
Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy made the very familiar hyperbolic claim that "Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us with $19 trillion in debt," While the $19 trillion is right, nothing else is. The implication is, of course, is that entire debt is the fault of President Obama AND Secretary Clinton. That, as any thinking person knows, is a BIG LIE.
- Big Lie 1: The debt was already $10 trillion at the end of President Bush's term,and growing rapidly; so the most PBO could be responsible for is $9 trillion, not $19 trillion. There is also the fact that he was given the front end of a depression. It is estimated that the economic downturn alone accounted for another $3-4 trillion for automatically generated expenses that would have happened regardless of who was president. The remaining $5 trillion was used to dig out of the massive hole his was given.
- Big Lie 2: Secretary Clinton has little control, beyond her Department, over the size of each years expenditures and no control over the debt itself. To add her name to the false claim is pure deception at its worst. - FALSE
Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. displayed his knowledge of history (or the clear lack thereof) by once again claiming that Barrack Obama is a Muslim (one of Donald Trump's previous assertions). In an interview with ABC after his speech he said: "We had a Muslim president for seven and half years," a conservative myth debunked as soon as it was first put forward by Trump almost a decade ago. FALSE and a really BIG LIE.
And That Was Just Day 1.
JULY 19, 2016
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said
"In China, Hillary Clinton praised the Chinese government for buying our debt to finance Barack Obama's bloated stimulus plan," - TRUE
While true, there is a major problem with what he implied ... that is bad economically; it wasn't. Gov. Christie convenientlyforgets that America was at the beginning of a possible depression; something President Obama's stimulus program prevented that from happening. At the same time, Christi displayed his either real or pretend ignorance of basic economics. You see, without getting too technical, when other countries buy U.S. Debt, they are taking money they received from U.S. citizens via imports from those countries, and putting it back into the U.S. economy where it is desperately needed. According to Gov. Christi, it was not good to put money into an economy that didn't have any. This makes his statement a BIG LIE.
Gov. Christi went on to make this amazing claim:
"In Nigeria, Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an al Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list," - FALSE
"Because of this reckless action by the candidate who is the self-proclaimed champion of women all around the world. These al Qaeda terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young women two years ago. These school girls are still missing today. And what was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign."
The REAL story, according to Politifact is - Christie and his fellow Republicans who called for the willie-nillie inclusion of Boko Haram on the terrorist watch list are foreign policy simpletons. Hillary Clinton announced her decision to leave office in November 2012 and left office February 2013. The first time the issue of putting Haram on a terrorist list was when Lisa Monaco, head of the Justice Department's national security division, sent a letter in January 2012 to State Department counter-terrorism chief Daniel Benjamin requesting that Boko Haram, also known as the "Nigerian Taliban," be put on the list.
This was a mere 10 months before Clinton decided to leave office to start her preparation for running for President. That is 10 months, not the two years Christi claims ... so that was a BIG LIE.
Now, how about the claim that the "reckless actions" of Clinton was responsible for the kidnapping of the 200 Nigerian girls in April 2014. This was over a year after Clinton left her job and Kerry took over; that was quite a feat for someone who wasn't in office to perform these "reckless actions. - YES, another BIG LIE.
Christie calls Clinton 'chief engineer' of Gadhafi's overthrow, a common, oft-heard conservative refrain. He says that Clinton's "grand strategies" made her guilty of 1) ruining Libya and 2) making Libya a next for terrorist activity of ISIS. But is it true? No, it is not!
Clinton was at first reluctant to support a no-fly zone in Libya to protect rebel forces which was being pushed by French President Sarkosy. In fact, France and Britain pushed for a U.N. Security Council resolution for a no-fly zone but Obama and Clinton demurred looking for more international consensus. Further, after campaigning on NOT getting into more wars, President Obama was in no mood to engage in one in Libya (hence the hawkish GOP complaint that Obama was "leading from behind"); Europe had different ideas.
Events, however, conspired to drive Obama in a different direction than what he intended. Gadhafi's huge success against the rebels was bringing the civil war to a swift conclusion and time ran out. Secretary Clinton realized this and FINALLY became a proponent for the no-fly zone France and Britain wanted. Obama agreed and authorized U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary Clinton to allow the Security Council resolution to pass and the rest is history. Clearly there is no "Grand Design" by Clinton, actually the opposite is true and therefore Gov. Christie's fantasy is obviously another BIG LIE and FALSE.
Donald Trump Jr. said about this about his father funding his own campaign by noting that "a President not beholden to special interests, foreign and domestic and one who funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket just to prove it." - FALSE So, what is the truth?
According to the Federal Election Commission, the Trump campaign has received $58 million. This $58 million breaks out to $44 million in LOANS from Donald Trump but also $14 million from 8,200 outside sources ... that is hardly nothing as Trump Jr. claimed. This is a BIG LIE.
Next Donald Trump Jr. claims Hillary Clinton is 'destroying' Medicare. He says:
"We're going to elect a President ... who will repeal and replace Obamacare without leaving our most vulnerable citizens without health care," Trump Jr. said, "and who will do it without destroying Medicare for seniors as Hillary Clinton has proposed."
OK, how is Clinton going to do this? Well, she says she is going to support a public option for ACA as a nod to Bernie Sanders. She says she plans to "expand" Medicare by extending it to those 50 years old and up; which according to conservatives, will destroy Medicare; but that is just their politically motivated guess; it is not substantiated by any research and presumes Congress will let the program die. This does NOT sound like Clinton wants to "destroy Medicare". Trump Jr.s second BIG LIE.
RNC co-chair Sharon Day continues the conservative mantra that Clinton, as head of the Clinton Foundation,
"... accepted tens of millions of dollars from foreign countries who enslave women and who treat them as second-class citizens," - FALSE
Here are the FACTS about that. The Clinton Foundation claims it has taken in the following amounts from these countries:
- Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Norway each gave the Foundation between $10 million and $25 million
- The Netherlands and Kuwait gave between $5 million and $10 million
- While Qatar, Brunei, Oman and the United Arab Emirates gave between $1 million and $5 million.
Now, what are these countries records regarding women, given that slavery is illegal in all countries. Let's consider what the United Nation's Gender Equality Index has to say. Out of 155 countries rated here is how the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation ranked:
- Saudi Arabia - 56
- Australia - 19
- Norway - 9
- The Netherlands - 7
- Kuwait - 79
- Qatar - 116
- Brunei - not ranked
- Oman - 53
- United Emeritus Republic - 47
- United States - 55
It would appear that of the eight countries ranked, 4 ranked significantly better than the US, 2 ranked about the same, and only 2 ranked significantly worse. Based on this analysis, it seems like RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day committed a BIG LIE as it relates to slavery/oppression. If you look at the The World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Gender Gap Report then Day is simply misleading because the United States does much better with regards to political and economic equality that most of those countries.
NRA official Chris Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, claims the time-worn lie that Clinton wants to take away everybody's right to keep and bear arms. Specifically, he said
"She said, 'The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.' Think about that. All the Supreme Court said was that you have the right to protect your life in your own home but Hillary says they're wrong." and that "a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court means your right to own a firearm is gone."
This is the normal propaganda technique of putting words you want to hear in someone else's mouth and leaving out any context. The fact is many people, including four of the Supreme Court Justices, think that the way Heller was decided was wrong, just not the outcome. Justice Scalia created new law in his ruling when he didn't have to. In other words, he added words to the Amendment that weren't needed. He could have just as easily, and correctly, ruled that the District of Columbia did indeed go too far in restricting a person's right to keep and bear arms with its laws based solely on the amendments words and intent. The simple version, which keeps inline with the original intent, would be to rule that in order for a State to maintain a well-regulated militia it is necessary that the body of the people be able to bring arms to the fight and that the D.C. law impinged on that ability; there was no need to add new words regarding self-defense in the home because that is just of subset of the overarching right to keep and bear arms; in other words, "it goes without saying ...".
Now that my opinion is over, what has Hillary Clinton ACTUALLY said about the subject? While it is true that one sentence in a longer speech did have her saying "The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment," it was in the context that
"Clinton believes Heller was wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe, like safe storage laws to prevent toddlers from accessing guns." The statement went on to say, "In overturning Washington, D.C.'s safe storage law, Clinton worries that Heller may open the door to overturning thoughtful, common sense safety measures in the future."
In May CNN reported: "Clinton ... has called for universal background checks and stricter controls on firearms, but has never called for the abolition of the Second Amendment. In fact, on her website, she calls gun ownership "part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities."
That is a far cry from wanting to take away everybody's guns, isn't it. Cox's claim therefore is a BIG LIE.
DONALD TRUMP CLAIMS he has "he received the largest vote total in the history of the Republican Party"; one of his standard hyperbolic claims. In one sense, however, he actually is right - in another sense, the opposite is true. While it is true, the 14 million votes Trump is estimated to won, a record; it is also a record that he has the most votes AGAINST him, 15.7 million votes to be somewhat exact.
Ex-AG Michael Mukasey made three claims about Hillary Clinton's use of private email servers:
- "We now know that she chose to use her private email overseas."
- "[Clinton's server] was so remarkably primitive the FBI could not figure out whether or not it had been hacked,"
- "we do know that the emails of people she communicated with were hacked."
- "[Clinton] sent and received secret, and top secret, and beyond top secret information and emails on an unsecure[d] private email system instead of on the secure government system.
- "she did it without authorization"
- Finally, "violated" her oath to uphold the Constitution.
Let's consider each, one by one:
- 1. Clinton never said she didn't, so the claim is meaningless; its neigher true nor false, just a transparent attempt to imply that she lied
- 2a) "remarkably primitive" - exactly where did Mukasey get this information? Common sense says her server could not be "remarkably primitive" because it had the capability of handling large volumes of data and modern day networking - FALSE
- 2b) "could not figure out whether or not it [the server] had been hacked"; again nonsense to imply an outcome when there is zero evidence to substantiate it. I could be just as correct by saying "I don't know if the sun will come up tomorrow or not." The fact is, the FBI found no evidence her servers being hacked.
- 3) Yes, we do now know this; we also know there is no evidence Clinton was hacked, so even more nonsense from Mukasey and false implications.
- 4) I find it strange that, although it is a cop out that would do more harm than good, nobody has pointed out that as Secretary of State Clinton is her own approving authority by virtue of the office she holds. She really doesn't need approval from anybody. That said, without affirmatively clearing this through her government experts was about as stupid, or as Comey said, "extremely careless" as it comes, but not illegal.
- 5) Exactly which part of the Constitution did Secretary Clinton violate? This is easy to say, but without specifics it is just scary hyperbole the Trump campaign is well-known for.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy claims "Getting our tax system right will be the most important factor in driving the entire economy back to prosperity," For the GOP and for Trump specifically that means cutting taxes on the wealthy and watch the resulting economic growth "trickle down" to the rest of us. This is the same thing Reagan proposed and enacted back in the 1980s; it didn't work then; it didn't work for President George W. Bush in early 2001; and it won't work for Donald Trump in 2017. When the dust settled after the Reagan "tax cuts" was actually a tax increase for everybody but the very wealthy and the next tier down. Reagan did this drastically compacting the tax brackets, just as Trump proposes. The reason of the multiple tax brackets is to implement a "progressive" tax system with gives a break to the less fortunate who cannot afford higher taxes and passes the burden over to those who benefit most from our economic system. In Trumps case, his plan will probably increase taxes on the lower tax brackets (by reducing the number of tax brackets), about 50% of the population and giving massive breaks to the wealthy 1%. Those 40% of Americans considered "middle class" will get an estimated 4.9% cut in taxes. On the other hand, the top 1% will see a whopping 17.5% decrease in their taxes; sounds very fair, considering that none of those savings will find their way to working class America. McCarthy's assertion is problematic and not supported by history.
On to Day 3
Gov. Mike Pence - GOP Vice Presidential Nominee
GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence criticized President Obama, as has often been done before, by saying "We've seen relentless mandates from the executive branch. It seems no aspect of our lives is too small for the present administration to supervise, no provision of the Constitution too large for them to ignore,"; emphasis on "relentless". It has been Proven time and again that this allegation is just a BIG LIE, but I'll do it again.
The National Archives Federal Register says that President Obama in his 71/2 years has executed 244 Executive Orders; most of them during the four years where Congress went on effective recess and stopped doing its job. But then:
- President George W. Bush: 291 executive orders in 8 years (36/yr)
- President Bill Clinton: 364 executive orders in 8 years (46/yr)
- President George H.W. Bush: 166 executive orders in 4 years (42/yr)
- President Ronald Reagan: 381 executive orders in 8 years (48/yr)
- President Jimmy Carter: 320 executive orders in 4 years (80/yr)
- President Gerald Ford: 169 executive orders in 4 year (42/yr)
Taking the average of all those orders, the number is 49/yr. Compare that to 33 orders per year for Obama. Exactly where does Pence come up with the word "relentless"? This is the definition of a Hyperbolic BIG LIE. How do you square this with his fundamentalist, family-values Christian persona?
Gov. Pence said Clinton 'all but invented' Obamacare when he commented
"Hillary Clinton essentially offers a third Obama term ... And the role is perfect for her. She championed Obamacare because, years earlier, she had all but invented it." - FALSE
Pence was referring to fellow Republican governor Mitt Romney, not Hillary Clinton. While it is true Hillary, as First Lady, did push for a universal health care program, it was substantially different from what Obamacare became. Obamacare, on the other hand, is the federal version of the system Romney put in place in Massachusetts. A BIG LIE.
Newt Gingrich has claimed that the administration lying about Iran nuclear deals by saying:
"We know this administration and its allies lied to us about the Iran nuclear deal. We know it because they openly bragged about it to The New York Times,"
Politifact looked into this and declared it to be TRUE but I beg disagree except in the most technical meaning. To be "true", Politico must accept the idea that America can have no Secrets in conducting its foreign policy. I say this because it is a the crux of their designation of the truth of Gingrich's claim.
Behind the story is this: The secret talks with the Iranians began in 2012 to try to secure Iran's agreement to stop their nuclear program. Without the secrecy, there would be no talks and Iran would keep on developing their nukes. To prevent such important negotiations from failing, it was incumbent on the administration not to reveal the existence of the talks if anybody asked; and reporters did ask. It would have been gross negligence on the part of the administration and extremely harmful to national security had they done what Politifact and Gingrich wanted them to do, blow the cover of the negotiations. The administration did what was right and necessary. So, Politifact's response should have been "True - But Very Misleading" and applauding the administration for protecting national security.
Sen Ted Cruz claimed it was the Republican Party who was responsible for passing the Civil Rights and similar Acts when he said:
"Together, we passed the Civil Rights Act, and together, we fought to eliminate Jim Crow laws."
Actually, that is True, but again very misleading. It is misleading because Cruz is confusing Party labels with Party beliefs. If fact, those responsible for the passage of the Civil Rights Act liberal and moderate Democrats and Republicans (assuming that is what Cruz means by "together"). On the other hand, those that strongly opposed these laws were the socially conservative (think Cruz himself) Republicans and Southern Democrats.
So, if Senator Cruz is including himself and those that believe like him, the the claim is FALSE and a BIG LIE.
Next, Ted Cruz claims that two of Iran's official holidays are "Death to America Day" and "Death to Israel Day.". According to the Iranian Consulate, this is FALSE.
Eric Trump claimed that his father was responsible for the refurbishing of Wollman Park skating rink in Central Park. He said that
"his father invested $2 million of his own money into this refurbishment because he was "disgusted by government incompetence" when the project "dragged on for over six years and ballooned to over $13 million -- $5 million over an already inflated budget." and that because of
"his father's investment, the project was completed less than six months later -- two months ahead of schedule and more than $1 million under budget." - FALSE
Yes, the project was over budget and late, but not by quite as much as Erick Trump claimed, but not too far away. Donald Trump offered to step in with his own funding "so long as he can run the franchises and use the profits to pay off his investment" (which seems reasonable on the face of it). BUT, Major Koch turned him down in part. He did let Trump run the project (successfully) but the city of New York would fund it, not Trump; Donald Trump didn't invest a dime (makes you wonder about his charity giving claims). let alone $2 million. Therefore, we conclude this is a BIG LIE.
Trump's middle son, Eric, rehashed one of his father's favorite lines - that the Obama administration agreed to give $150 billion to Iran as part of the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement. That was FALSE then and a BIG LIE now.
FACT - In Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew's July 2015 testimony to the Senate, he estimated that, after sanctions relief, Iran will only be able to access "about $50 billion" in unfrozen assets. He said that "tens of billions" of these assets comprise nonperforming loans to Iranian energy and banking interests.
FACT - In February 2016, less than one month after the United Nations certified that Iran had met its obligations, Iran's government spokesman, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, said that Iran had gained access to more than $100 billion in previously frozen assets.
FACT - But Iran's own Central Bank says the amount will be less than one-third that.
Astronaut Eileen Collins said, regarding our space program:
"In 2011, the space shuttle program ended, The last time the United States launched our own astronauts from our own soil was over five years ago [from 2016]. We must do better than that."
I share her sentiments, but not her implications. While what she says is TRUE enough, it doesn't tell the whole story (making a BIG LIE in my opinion). It is a fact the last time we sent an astronaut up from American soil (they are still going from Russia), it is because President Bush cancelled the shuttle program in 2004! In 2006, Bush slashed $3 billion from NASA. What PBO is guilty of is not trying to restore the funding or begin a new program, not that he could have gotten Congress to go along with it in any event. What he did, unfortunately through my eyes, is cancel a program he previously support to send a man to the moon again. Instead, he reoriented that program to use robotics instead. All in all, Ms. Collins is blaming the wrong president.
Oil and gas entrepreneur Harold Hamm goes beyond sensibilities when he said:
"Every time we can't drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded. Orlando brought this home once again. ... It's been 15 years since 9/11. We can't ignore this any longer,"
I really shouldn't dignify this inanity with a response, but I will just to bring out one salient point: While the explosion in shale oil has reduced imports of oil (in fact, it is now allowing the US to export it now that the restrictions have been removed) it still imports a lot, BUT mainly from Canada - hardly a terrorist country. Neither are the other countries we import from, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Columbia, even Venezuela to name a few
He also said that:
"America has two distinct choices. Our nation should embrace energy independence, not eliminate it. Hillary Clinton would eliminate fossil fuel development in America, she would kill jobs, drive up gasoline prices, and increase oil imports from our enemies. President Trump will release America's pent-up energy potential, get rid of foreign oil, trash punitive regulations, create millions of jobs and develop our most strategic geopolitical weapon: crude oil." - FALSE
Did Mr. Hamm forget that the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted the United States would hit energy independence, or a critical reduction in imports of foreign oil and gas, in 2028 if oil prices continue a modest and slow rise?
OR that the United States has been the world's top oil producer since 2014. Between 2008 and 2015, American oil production increased by 88%, the fastest increase in history. I would call Hamm's statement a BIG LIE.
And That Was Day 3.
Speaking about police officers, Donald Trump said:
"The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year," - Sort of TRUE, but misleading.
FACT - According to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page the number of police killed by gunfire so far in 2016 is 31. Now, that is an 82% increase from the same period in 2015; so Trump was low if anything in his estimate. However, Using percent-increase stats for such small data sets can be misleading.
FACT - 2015 was one of the safest years for police officers in history. However, over the last 10 years, the average number of officers killed by gunfire is 50 per year. If we extend out the current death rate to the end of 2016, then approximately 56 police officers would have valiantly given up their lives to protect you. That number is not too far from the annual average, even though fatal shootings of police are up from last year. (Cold comfort, however, to their loved ones.)
When talking about crime stats, Trump said:
"Homicides last year increased by 17% in America's 50 largest cities, That's the largest increase in 25 years."
"In our nation's capital, killings have risen by 50%. They are up nearly 60% in nearby Baltimore."
"In the President's hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 people have been the victims of shootings this year alone, And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office." - all TRUE for cherry-picked data designed to scare and mislead you.
What Trump didn't say was that:
- 13 of the 50 largest cities saw decreases in number murdered.
- There is no single explanation nor is there any pattern to the 770 more deaths that occurred in 2015 in those 37 cities that saw an increase
- That this increase in homicides did not stop the decades long decrease in national homicides
- That homicides are down by 9% in D.C. and 13% in Baltimore in 2016.
Trump speaking on the state of the economy said:
- "Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty," - TRUE
- "58% of African-American youth are not employed." - FALSE
- "2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago." - TRUE
- "Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely." - TRUE, but misleading
The unemployment (not employed) rate for black youth is 14.9%; unacceptably high, but not the 58% Trump claimed. If he had said "underemployed" then he would have been correct, but "not employed" sounds worse. Further, while 14 million people did leave the workforce, implying it was because of a terrible economy, they left because they retired - you know, the baby-boomer thing. He also didn't tell you that since President Obama took office, all of the 10 million jobs that were lost from the recession that began a year before he took office have been recovered as well as several million more. He also didn't tell you that the workforce participation rate is increasing as well.
Donald Trump got his history wrong again when he said, regarding the sailors Iran captured:
"We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing -- it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated," - FALSE and FALSE
Here is the problem. You see, the Iran deal was signed on July 14, 2015. Guess when Iran took our sailors (the cause of which has been determined to be a complete break-down in the Navy chain of command and lack of training), January 12, 2016. The BIG LIE about the $150 billion was covered in Day 3. As to the "worst deal ever negotiated" means that Iran dismantlement their offensive nuclear program was a mistake. Would he have preferred the world HELP Iran get nukes?
In bringing up letting Syrian refugees into America, Trump had this to say:
"My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian -- think of this, this is not believable but this is what's happening. A 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country already under the leadership President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there's no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from." - the 550% is TRUE, but the rest is FALSE
Where Donald Trump is lying is that not only are over 1/2 of the refugees children (terrorists in his eyes I guess) and most of the others are women, but there are several government and law enforcement agencies engaged in the process of screening refugees. There are several screenings such as biographic checks, in-person interviews, fingerprinting and medical screenings. In addition, Syrian refugees in particular go through additional screening called the Syria Enhanced Review process, So, regarding the vetting of refugees, Trumps claim is a BIG LIE.
Donald Trump said two things regarding illegal immigrants and crime;
"Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens," WHO KNOWS
"The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015, They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources." - UNDETERMINED and ended with
"One such border crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska," said Trump. "There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root." - FALSE
His first statement came from a claim by a strongly anti-immigrant senator, Senator Chuck Grassely during a Senate hearing. Who knows where he got his data and nobody can verify it.
While Polifact rates Trumps second claim as True, But Misleading, I can't see that because they say "there is no indication they are being released en mass". Finally, regarding Sarah Root. Yes, a Honduran immigrant killed her "in a drunk driving accident" (not murdered), but he had been here since 2013, not recently as Trump implies by juxtaposition with his previous comments, and he had no criminal record, also implied by Trump.by juxtaposition. He LIED BIG.
I START WITH Rick Santorum because, the good Christian that he is, he seems to have accumulated the most outright lies in the shortest amount of time.
1. On Feb 19, 2012, at a rally at First Redeemer Church in Forsyth County, Rick Santorum claimed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said "she prefers the South African Constitution over the United States Constitution." - this is a LIE, as was an earlier statement by Marco Rubio suggesting the same thing.
What Ginsburg was talking about in an Egyptian interview after the uprising there was that the new Egyptian leaders, in drafting their own Constitution, should look to more modern, human rights-based constitutions such as those in Canada, South Aftrica, and Europe, in addition to the more enduring U.S. Constitution as models for their own.
2. In Troy, Michigan, on Feb 25, 2012, Santorum called President Obama a "snob" because "he wants everybody in America to go to college." - a LIE! Santorum knows that Obama really said "he wants everybody in America to HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to go to college, including community colleges and vocational schools."
3. On Feb 19, 2012, in a CBS news interview, Rick Santorum said, "Amniocentesis does, in fact, result more often than not in this country in abortion" and is used to "recommend abortions." - the claim is a LIE! He does not want insurance companies to have to pay for this elective procedure. In fact amniocentesis, a procedure where a long needle is inserted in the uterus to withdraw a small amount of amniotic fluid from pregnant women, is extremely safe, less than a 1% chance of a miscarriage; and, instead of being used to recommend abortions, it can be used to diagnose gene and chromosomal disorders, neural tube defects, blood disorders and infections.
4. At a presidential campaign event in Georgetown, Ohio, on Feb. 17, 2012, Rick Santorum took this shot at President Obama. He said Obama, "actually went to France a year or so ago and was with Nicolas Sarkozy and said that, 'Here I am with the French Prime Minister [actually, he is the President of France], our best ally in the world.' Now think about this. Name one time in the last 20 years that the French stood by us with anything. But in Barack Obama's eyes, that makes them our best ally, because they fought what was in the best interest of our country." A BIG LIE! Has France supported America? Let me count a few of the ways: 1) they deployed 3,832 troops to Afghanistan, 2) France actually encouraged American involvement in Libya, 3) France supported our operations in Lebanon, 4) Sarkozy ended the 40 year old self-imposed exile from NATO, and the list goes on.
NEWT GINGRICH, WHO IS FALLING drastically in the polls, primaries, and caucuses is famous for his grandious pronouncements, so we will start off with one.
1. In a recurring 30-minute campaign speech which is run as a political advertisment, Newt says, "We may, in fact, by one estimate, have three times as much oil in the United States as there is in Saudi Arabia.", while trying to prove a point that American can rely on its own resources. - A massive DECEPTION, but not a lie.
In fact, there is between 500 billion and 1.1 trillion barrels of trapped shale oil in America, the estimate Gingrich refers to uses 800 billion as their estimate. He is also right in saying that we have the science and technology to extract it ... if you want to pay $15.00 a gallon. This is where the deception is; Newt is doing the famous "apples-to-oranges" comparison. When one speaks of of "oil reserves", one is speaking of "economically recoverable" reserves, of which Saudia Arabia alone has 13 times more than the U.S., and not "potentially, but uneconomically recoverable", which is what Gingrich is speaking of.
2. On Feb 10, 2012, in a radio interview, Newt Gingrich says he was "exonerated in every single case" in 1990s ethics violations charges. OH, what a LIE. In a Plea Deal with the House Ethics Committee, Newt Gingrich, in return for getting all but one of the charges dropped, agreed to admit to that he had "engaged in conduct that did not reflect creditably on the House of Representatives." and pay a $300,000 fine; he was also reprimanded by the House! Yep, that is being exonerated all right.
EVEN HONERABLE RON PAUL has his problems with the truth, as we shall soon see.
1. In an Arizona debate on Feb 22, 2012, Ron Paul said, "today, gasoline hit $6 a gallon in Florida." when talking about our international involvements bankrupting our country. This is a "pants-on-fire" LIE. What Paul was probably refering to was a Drudge report which mentioned $6/gallon. That number was the result of another report that two gas stations near Disney World were charging $5.79 and $5.69, respectively. In reality, at the time Ron Paul was lying to the American public, the average cost for a gallon of gas in Florida was $3.60.
MITT ROMNEY HAS A COMPELLING way of delivering a pronouncement, especially about the President. He uses this technique so often now, I think it has lost its ummphh, and people take it for what it is, just words, with little meaning. Nevertheless, some people still listen, and when he lies, he needs to be called out on it.
1. In the Mesa, Arizona debate, where Ron Paul lied about $6 gas in Florida, on February 22, 2012, Mitt tried to go him one better with this statement, "The President ... could have gotten crippling sanctions against Iran. He did not!" Politifact rated this "Mostly False"; they were being very kind, I would rate this a BIG FAT LIE!
Politifact spent many paragraphs ripping Romney's statement apart, but, I don't have the room to summarize it here nor go into my own dissertation. Before I give a few short examples, I thought I would bring to your attention that while these examples happened in a little less than three years, 2009 - 2012, very little, if anything was done in the previous eight years by President Bush; of course the Republicans are silent on this. According to Politifact, 1) in the Summer of 2010, Obama coordinated efforts with the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea to adopt sanctions against Iran, 2) in June 2010, the Obama administration successfully got the UN to pass sanctions against Iran, 3) in July 2010, Obama signed into law an initial set of sanctions against Iran, 4) in November 2011, Obama signed an Executive Order increasing sanctions on Iran, 5) in December 2011, Obama signed into law yet further sanctions, now on Iran's Central bank, 6) in November 2010, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that sanctions were causing significant problems for the nation’s banking sector, 7) after the December 2011 sanctions, Iran tried to close down the Straights of Hormuz and told the U.S. to keep its carriers out; Obama ignored their threats and brought the carriers back.
2. "Three years ago, a newly elected President Obama told America that if Congress approved his plan to borrow nearly a trillion dollars, he would hold unemployment below 8 percent." This is my favorite Conservative LIE; a lie which virtually every Conservative believes to be true. It is also, the worst nightmare of people in my profession, cost and economic analysis. It is a nightmare because people of ill-will and low morale and ethical standards will take a small piece of the results of our work, ignore all of the caveats we have placed around our conclusions, and use it to misrepresent the truth; often turning the actual outcome of the analysis on its head with their deceptive words. This Conservative mantra, this time spoken by Mitt Romney in his victory speech, February 4, 2012, is exhibit number 1. (I have to give Mitt a little credit in being a tiny bit circumspect in his choice of words by not using the word "Promise" which both John Boehner and Eric Kantor have.) Politifact rates this "Mostly False", again being charitable, I rate this a BIG FAT LIE.
There was once an economic analysis produced for the Obama team titled"The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" , on January 9, 2009, which laid out a PROJECTION of where a small team of economic analysts thought unemployment MIGHT go if a particular stimulus package were adapted and BASED ON 3rd QUARTER 2008 ECONOMIC DATA (foot-stomp). Keep in mind, in the 2nd quarter of 2008, President Bush was still predicting a slight economic downturn, don't worry, everything is going to be alright. The conclusion of this economic analysis was that, given what they know as of the beginning of 2009, their BEST GUESS, is that without the stimulus, unemployment might rise to 9% and with the stimulus it is possible to limit it to 8%. Other economists didn't have such a rosy picture and thought that without action, unemployment might rise to 11%.
This study is the source of the 8% figure, not anything President Obama or any of his staff said. And what the Conservatives conveniently ignored, of course, is all of the disclaimers that came along with the prediction. Disclaimers such as ""It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error," the report states. "There is the more fundamental uncertainty that comes with any estimate of the effects of a program. Our estimates of economic relationships and rules of thumb are derived from historical experience and so will not apply exactly in any given episode. Furthermore, the uncertainty is surely higher than normal now because the current recession is unusual both in its fundamental causes and its severity."
Sorry to spend so much time on this one, but it hits close to home, but one final point. The 3rd quarter 2008 economic data didn't even come close to describing the severity of what was to come, the 4th quarter data was not available until after Obama took office, by then it was too late. Even if he had made such a promise of 8%, it would have been impossible to keep because unemployment was passing through 7.9% just prior to the implementation of his stimulus program!
3. During the Jan. 7, 2012, Republican presidential debate in Manchester, N.H., Mitt Romney said the following, "We have to open up markets for our goods. We haven't done that under this president. European nations and China over the last three years have opened up 44 different trade relationships with various nations in the world. This president has opened up none." A BIG FAT LIE, or Romney is simply oblivious. Mitt apparently forgot about the trade agreements Obama signed with three separate nations on Oct. 21, 2011 -- South Korea, Colombia, and Panama; the agreement with Sorth Korea was the largest one America has signed since 1994!
IN A FAMILIAR CONSERVATIVE allegation, Sarah Palin, on Fox News Sunday, Aug 1, 2010, told Chris Wallace, while refering to the notes on her hand, that "... But Democrats are poised now to cause this largest tax increase in U.S. history. It's a tax increase of $3.8 trillion over the next 10 years ..."! Small problem, this is a HUGE LIE, and she knows it.
First, the number Palin quoted, $3.8 trillion, would happen only if ALL of Bush's tax cuts were allowed to expire, something NO Democrat ever advocated. In fact, only one person of note suggested this would be a good thing, Conservative economist, Alan Greenspan. Now, how about being the "largest n U.S. History." The tax increase on the top 2%, which the Democrats support and what Chris Wallace was asking about, would be roughly .4% if GDP; the Reagan tax cut-increase of 1982, (it was a cut for the wealthy but an increase for the poor), was around 1.2% of GDP ... go figure, the tax-cut king, Ronald Reagan, actually INCREASED taxes on Americans! Also, if you consider the $3.8 trillion Palin was wrongly thinking of, that is in the order of 2.2% of GDP, but it still isn't the largest. The tax increase in 1942 raised taxes a whopping 5% of GDP. Sorry Sarah ... wrong again.
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN
SENATOR SCOTT BROWN
LIKE ALMOST ALL CONSERVATIVE presidential contenders, Sen. Scott Brown repeted the mantra "The stimus bill didn't create ONE new job" in a Feb 4, 2010 press interview. As all politicians know, even the ones making this assertion, this is simply not true, it is PURE LIE. According to the CBO and three independent private-sector economic analysis firms, between 800,000 to 2.4 million jobs were created as a result of President Obama's stimus program by the time Sen. Brown told this lie.
CHAIN E-MAIL ON MEDICARE AND OBAMACARE
A CHAIN E-MAIL STARTED GOING AROUND, starting in 2009 and still circulating in 2011, that Obamacare is going to be responsible for dramatic rises in Medicare costs. Specifically, it claims that Medicare premiums will rise from $96.40/month now, to $104.20/month in 2012, to $120.20 in 2013, and finally $247.00 in 2014. In fact, this is a PANTS ON FIRE LIE!! According to Politifact, the following is the real truth:
- There is nothing in Obamacare that speaks speifically to Medicare premiums beyond in relation to some provisions regarding high income earners
- The Part B benefits, which the e-mail appears to be refering to, were $96.40 alright, but in 2009, not 2011. In fact, in 2011, the Part B rate was $115.40.
- In 2012, however, the Part B rate is $99.90, not the $104.20 claimed in the e-mail that Obamacare allegedly pegged it at.
- It is unknown what it will be from 2013 out because too many factors impact what the rate will be, including whether there is a Social Security COLA or not; no COLA, no increase in Medicare.
It is clear this e-mail chain is just Conservative propaganda not based on truth.