Republican Claim About Chinese Oil Drilling off Cuba is Untrue – As Congress has debated energy policy over the past several days, an unusual argument keeps surfacing in support of drilling off the U.S. coastline and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Why, ask some Republicans, should the United States be thwarted from drilling in its own territory when just 50 miles off the Florida coastline the Chinese government is drilling for oil under Cuban leases? Yet no one can prove that the Chinese are drilling anywhere off Cuba’s shoreline. “China is not drilling in Cuba’s Gulf of Mexico waters, period,” said Jorge Pinon, an energy fellow with the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami and an expert in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
More Lies Target Obama – Obama told his top aides it was time for a more aggressive solution to the rumors that have been popping up on the Internet about him and his family for months. For more than a year, Obama relied on conventional means to confront the blogosphere’s superheated rumor mill—to little effect. The “fact-check” feature on his website, for instance, only seemed to spawn more, and wilder, rumors. A mention there of Obama’s birth certificate spurred National Review Online to demand that he produce it to dispel groundless reports that Obama was actually born in Kenya and therefore would be constitutionally ineligible to be President; that his middle name is not Hussein but Muhammad; and that his mother actually named him Barry. That National Review article in turn became fodder for cable television.
And so the Obama campaign has built what might best be described as a Web-based rumor clearinghouse, located at fightthesmears.com , in which it hopes all the shady stories about Obama’s faith, his family and his rumored connections with controversial figures can go to die. fightthesmears.com is designed to be a guided tour of other sensational rumors circulating on the Web about Obama and his family. Click on the claim that Obama attended a “radical madrasah,” for instance, and it takes you to a CNN feature on the very ordinary-looking elementary school he actually went to as a child in Indonesia. The rumor that Obama was sworn in to the U.S. Senate with the Koran yields a photo of him with his hand on a family Bible. Also featured are videos of Obama saying the Pledge of Allegiance, to combat claims that he refuses to. And, yes, the campaign has posted a .pdf of Obama’s birth certificate .
McCain Wrongly Claims That Low-Income People Drive More – McCain used this anecdote to explain why the gas tax is regressive:
The people that drive the furthest in America are the lowest income people. You spent enough time in Washington, D.C. to know that the wealthiest live in Georgetown and can almost walk to work. The least wealthy live the furthest away and drive many, many miles.
McCain is wrong when he claims repeatedly that low-income people drive more. McCain has been repeating this mistake for months, repeating the claim at various appearances. The truth is, affluent families drive twice as many miles as lower-income families. They own more vehicles and drive each of them farther on average. And they spend more than twice as much on gasoline. The source for these facts is the most recent survey data released the Energy Information Administration.
More Lies About Illegal Immigrants – Various rumors are making the rounds that use misleading statements to give the impression that illegal immigrants are receiving perks from taxpayers, when, in fact, they are not. One example is a letter from an anonymous teacher about illegal immigrants getting school grants: programs available to LEGAL immigrants who entered the country by legal means or have legal permanent resident status. But none of the programs are available to illegal immigrants.
McCain Would Welcome Dick Cheney Into His Administration – Asked whether he’d be interested in Cheney had the vice president not already have served under Bush for two terms, McCain said: “I don’t know if I would want him as vice president. He and I have the same strengths. But to serve in other capacities? Hell, yeah.”
McCain Misrepresents Obama’s Stand on Naming Revolutionary Guard as Terrorists – John McCain is attacking Barack Obama’s opposition to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which (among other things) called for labeling Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. McCain claims that Obama’s opposition means that he also opposed calling the IRGC terrorists. But that is not true.
Obama cosponsored an earlier bill that also called for designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
The Kyl-Lieberman amendment did more than just label the IRGC terrorists. Obama stated at the time that he opposed the bill on the grounds that it constituted “saber-rattling.”
McCain claims that Obama must oppose calling the IRGC a terrorist group because Obama’s Web site doesn’t say anything about the IRGC. McCain’s argument is a glaring example of the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam.
McCain’s Economic Theory is Full of Holes and It’s Not Even His Actual Plan -McCain’s big promise is that he can balance the budget while extending Bush’s tax cuts and adding a few of his own. He likes to leave the impression that this can be done painlessly, for example, by eliminating “wasteful” spending in the form of “earmarks” that lawmakers like to tuck into spending bills to finance home-state projects. Not only is this theory full of holes, it’s not even McCain’s actual plan.
McCain’s pronouncements on cutting spending, and even on the growth in the size of the federal government, are dubious at best:
McCain seems to say that he can save $100 billion by cutting out earmarks. But budget experts say that cutting earmarks would actually save very little. earmarks often simply tell agencies how to spend money that they are already getting. And questioned more closely, McCain’s campaign now says that his planned savings have nothing to do with eliminating earmarks. (But more recently, he’s talking about vetoing earmarks again. – JLV)
With earmarks out as a potential source of savings, McCain hasn’t said what he’d cut out of the discretionary budget to get to $100 billion. He’s even indicated that defense spending might increase. If defense spending is off the table, saving $100 billion would require 18.5 percent across-the-board cuts in every other discretionary program, including things like elementary and secondary education, veterans’ health benefits and highway construction. The alternative would be severe cuts in a few programs, as yet unnamed.
McCain says that “just in the last few years” the government has puffed up “by 40 percent, by trillions.” Actually, it has taken federal spending a decade to grow 40 percent, and even longer to grow by “trillions.” In inflation-adjusted dollars, federal spending is projected to come to $2.45 trillion in fiscal 2009, including $1.4 trillion for Social Security, Medicare, military spending and veterans programs. The last time the budget was “trillions” smaller was 1951.
McCain Wrong on Tax Cuts – McCain’s exaggerations and distortions on tax cuts include:
McCain says that eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax will save “more than 25 million middle-class families more than $2,000 every year.” But McCain’s “middle class” includes families making up to $200,000 per year, and the $2,000 figure is an average. Those earning more money will see the lion’s share of the savings. McCain also leaves out the fact that the proposal could cost as much as $1.6 trillion over 10 years.
By the measure most economists prefer, McCain is wrong in his claim that Sens. Clinton and Obama want to implement “the single largest tax increase since the Second World War;” it would be the fifth largest. At a more basic level, it’s misleading to tag Clinton and Obama for something that was scheduled during the Bush administration – the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which by law will occur at the end of 2010.
McCain also repeats the mantra that cutting the capital gains tax rate will increase government receipts. In fact, rate cuts produce a spike in revenue, but it’s only temporary. McCain also falsely claims that higher capital gains tax rates will affect 401(k) plans.
McCain was the first to announce the now widely discredited proposal to suspend federal gas taxes. The proposal would not lower prices at the pump and would result in (effectively) an $8.5 billion windfall to oil companies.
Thousands With Incomes of Over $200,000 Pay No Income Tax – What are the effects of the tax law changes of the past several years? New IRS statistics show 7,389 federal tax returns with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income reported no federal income taxes in 2005. That’s a 161% jump from the 2,833 comparable returns filed in 2004.
Additionally, 4,224 of the over-$200,000 earners reported no worldwide income tax liability on their 2005 returns, the IRS data show. That represents a 75% increase from the 2,420 comparable returns filed in 2004.
“My sense of it is that the people who introduce these provisions know exactly who is going to benefit,” said Howard Gleckman, a senior research associate at The Tax Policy Center.
McCain Admitted He Agrees with Bush on Issues – McCain has worked hard to dispel the perception that he would be an extension of the George Bush presidency. But McCain’s case is complicated by his own words from just three years ago. In a June 2005 appearance on Meet The Press:
TIM RUSSERT: “The fact is you are different than George Bush.”
SEN. McCAIN: “No. No. I-the fact is that I’m different but the fact is that I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I’ve been totally in agreement and support of President Bush.”
McCain Is Not Too Sharp on His Foreign Policy Expertise – McCain tells a crowd that he’s super qualified to be President due to his extensive foreign policy experience dealing with Vladimir Putin…the President of Germany. Missed it by just that much! Germany … Russia, they’re not that far apart … on a small map.
Strike on Iran Nuclear Sites Under Discussion Again – Six months ago, after American intelligence agencies declared that Iran had shelved its nuclear-weapons program, the chances of a U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran before President Bush left office seemed remote. Now, thanks to persistent pressure from Israeli hawks and newly stated concerns by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the idea of a targeted strike meant to cripple Iran’s nuclear program is getting a new hearing.
As Bush travels across Europe to gain support for possible new sanctions against Iran, Israeli leaders have been working to lay the psychological foundation for a possible military strike if diplomacy falters. Possible repercussions could include missile strikes on Israel, an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, renewed attacks on Israel from Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon, a resurgence of Shiite Muslim resistance to U.S. forces in Iraq or an attack on oil shipping in the Persian Gulf, which could send crude oil prices well above $200 a barrel.
Neocon Plan for the Middle East – “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” is the Neocon approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on “Western values”. It has been criticized for advocating an aggressive new policy and advancing right-wing Zionism. The report proposes “a mini-cold war in the Middle East, advocating the use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment. Among the recommendations made in the introduction are:
- A repudiation of the concept of “Land for Peace”
- Armed incursions into Palestinian areas under the rubric of the “right of hot pursuit”
- Armed incursions into Lebanon, and possible strikes against Syria and Iran
Fox News Calls Michelle Obama “Obama’s Baby Mama” – During a segment discussing conservative attacks against Michelle Obama, the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, the network described the her as “Obama’s baby mama.” “Baby mama” is a slang term used to describe a mother who is not married to her child’s father.
Bill O’Reilly Calls Respected Journalist Bill Moyers a Fraud -On June 11th, O’Reilly said he is the journalist and Bill Moyers is a fraud. Look at their careers, and their journalism awards, then you be the judge. Bill Moyers has 46 national journalism awards, including 10 Peabodys, more than 30 Emmys, and 3 Polk awards. O’Reilly has 2 local Emmys from 28 years ago. [Tell Bill O’Reilly: Stop Pretending to be a Journalist]
Bill O’Reilly Compares The Left To Oklahoma Federal Building Bomber Timothy McVeigh – On the June 9th Radio Factor, Bill O’Reilly called the Far Left the greatest danger to the country, and once again claimed to be an Independent who didn’t have to excoriate the far right because “after Tim McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombing, the government put an end to militias.” In the past he has equated the Far Left with Nazis – “The Far Left in this country, the zealots, are Nazis.”
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