Archive for the Read for Yourself Category

Desperate Times: McCain using spliced and edited youtube video of Obama to lie to voters

Posted in Outright Lies, Read for Yourself with tags , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

From Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio:

In 2001, Chicago Public Radio interviewed then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama about civil rights.  Over the weekend, someone posted excerpts of the interview, edited to misrepresent Obama’s statements.  The item is now catching national attention.

Click here for Obama’s full interviews.

The clips are taken from an interview that aired in January of 2001. Then State Senator Obama is one of three legal scholars interviewed for a show about civil rights. Over the weekend, someone pulled excerpts of the show and posted them to You Tube—and today, the posting caught fire on political blogs, the Drudge Report, and Fox News.

The 4 minute spliced collection of clips portrays Obama as advocate a redistribution of wealth through the power of the Supreme Court. That folds in with some allegations by the McCain Palin campaign.

The twist here is that, when heard in the context of the whole show, Obama’s position is distinctly misrepresented by the You Tube posting. Taken in context, Obama is evaluating the historical successes and failures of the Civil Rights movement—and, ironically, he says the Supreme Court was a failure in cases that it took on a role of redistributing resources.

The McCain campaign told ABC News it plans to use the material to bolster its criticism of Obama.

 

Note: WaPo fact checker debunked this almost immediately.  This just goes to show how little substance the McCain campaign is working with at this point.  Instead of focusing on the issues that are important to us he has focused solely on the old warn out politics of negativity and fear.

CNN Fact Check: McCain tax cuts would give $200 billion to corporations, $4 billion to oil companies.

Posted in Read for Yourself with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

CNN Fact Check:

The Statement:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, speaking in Canton, Ohio, on October 27, referred to Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s tax plans and said, “It’s not change when he wants to give $200 billion to the biggest corporations or $4 billion to the oil companies.”

Get the facts!

 

The Facts:
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the numbers cited by Obama come from two studies analyzing McCain’s tax proposals, including cuts in the corporate tax rate. The two studies were done by unrelated organizations. LaBolt also said that Obama’s remarks do not refer to two separate tax cuts — the $4 billion in purported cuts to oil companies is part of the larger $200 billion.

Both studies project the effects of McCain’s proposal to cut the corporate tax rate from the current maximum of 35 percent to a maximum of 25 percent in a phased reduction over the next seven years.

One analysis, published in March by the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund, predicted how large oil companies would fare under McCain’s proposed corporate tax reductions. Based on taxes that the five largest American oil companies paid in 2007 and calculating what the study called “savings under McCain plan,” the study concludes that those five companies would realize a total tax cut of $3.8 billion a year under McCain’s plan to cut the corporate rate.

On its Web site, the organization refers to the tax reduction as “nearly $4 billion.” LaBolt said the Obama campaign uses the $4 billion figure because the study included only the five largest American oil companies, and the total tax cut to all American oil companies would be bigger. Also, 2008 earnings for oil companies are expected to be higher than earnings in 2007.

The other study — a detailed analysis of both McCain’s and Obama’s tax plans — was done by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. That study predicted the impact of McCain’s tax proposals on revenue in several categories. The Obama campaign arrived at its $200 billion figure by combining various categories in that study. Roberton Williams, principal research associate for the Tax Policy Center, said the Obama campaign’s calculation of $200 billion from McCain’s proposed reduction in corporate taxes was an accurate conclusion.

The McCain campaign contends that lowering the corporate tax rate will enhance business development and create jobs in the United States. In an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Oct. 22, McCain cited lower tax rates in other countries as being a key reason American companies move business overseas. “We should be cutting corporate tax for every business in America,” he said. “To somehow allege that a company or corporation that can be international is not going to go where they pay the lowest taxes and create the most jobs is just foolishness.”

The Verdict: True. Obama’s statement accurately reflects two studies of McCain’s tax proposals.

Fact Check: McCain Lying About Obama’s 2001 Interview

Posted in Outright Lies, Read for Yourself with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

Update:  It has just been brought to light by the radio station in which the interview below took place, that the audio has been spliced and edited.  They have released the full audio here.

From the WaPo Fact Checker:

The Facts

“Obama Bombshell Audio Uncovered. He wants to Radically Reinterpret the Constitution to Redistribute Wealth!!” runs the YouTube headline from the conservative video blog Naked Emperor News. “This video exposes the radical beneath the rhetoric.”

On closer inspection, the “bombshell audio” turns out to be a rather wonkish, somewhat impenetrable, discussion of the Supreme Court under Earl Warren. Obama, then a University of Chicago law professor and Illinois state senator, argued that the courts have traditionally been reluctant to get involved in income distribution questions. He suggested that the civil rights movement had made a mistake in expecting too much from the courts — and that such issues were better decided by the legislative branch of government.

You can read the entire transcript of the interview here, courtesy of Fox News, but here is the passage in which Obama explains that courts are “not very good” at redistributing wealth:

Maybe I am showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but you know I am not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know the institution just isn’t structured that way…. Any of the three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts. I think that, as a practical matter, that our institutions are just poorly equipped to do it.

In other words, Obama says pretty much the opposite of what the McCain camp says he said. Contrary to the spin put on his remarks by McCain economics adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, he does not express “regret” that the Supreme Court has not been more “radical.” Nor does he describe the Court’s refusal to take up economic redistribution questions as a “tragedy.” He uses the word “tragedy” to refer not to the Supreme Court, but to the civil rights movement:

One of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think, there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.

Holtz-Eakin “read a different interview to the one I heard,” said Dennis Hutchinson, a University of Chicago law professor who joined Obama in the panel discussion. “Obama said that redistribution of wealth issues need to be decided by legislatures, not by the courts. That is what a progressive income tax is all about.”

While there are sharp differences between the two candidates on economic issues, they both favor a progressive income tax system in which people with high incomes are taxed at a higher rate than people with low incomes.

The Pinocchio Test

With very few exceptions, all American politicians, including both presidential candidates, are in favor of a progressive income tax system and welfare policies (such as Medicare and Social Security) that “redistribute wealth.” Barack Obama is more enthusiastic about “spreading the wealth around” than his Republican rival. But that does not make him a “Socialist.” The McCain camp is wrong to suggest that the Illinois senator advocated an “wealth redistribution” role for the Supreme Court in his 2001 interview.


Fact: McCain Campaign Caught Soliciting An Illegal $5,000 Donation From Russian Envoy

Posted in Accountability, Read for Yourself with tags , , , on October 21, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

 

From the Russian newswire RIA-Novosti (via Politico):

Russia’s permanent mission to the UN has received a letter from U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain asking for financial support of his election campaign, the mission said in a statement on Monday.

“We have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia’s permanent mission to the UN nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries,” the statement said.

According to Ruslan Bakhtin, press secretary of the Russian mission, the letter dated September 29 and signed by McCain, was addressed to Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the UN, and arrived on October 16.

The ambassador’s title was not included in the letter, and was not clear why the letter had taken over two weeks to arrive.

Enclosed was a request for a donation of up to $5,000 to McCain’s election campaign to be returned with a check or permission to withdraw the money from the donor’s credit card until October 24.

Individual donations to candidates’ election campaigns are capped by law at $2,300, and it is illegal to accept donations from foreign nationals.

McCain accepted the $84 million in public financing available to his election campaign, and consequently cannot accept private donations. However, the Republican National Committee is collecting donations that can be used to support his candidacy in limited ways.

McCain / Republicans Blame Acorn Despite Their Own Relationships With The Organization

Posted in Accountability, Read for Yourself with tags , , , on October 13, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

2008-10-13-mccainacorn.jpg

John McCain at ACORN rally in 2006 where he was the keynote speaker.

“It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans.”

”We are sure that the extremists he is trying to get into a froth will be even more excited to learn that John McCain stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN, at an ACORN co-sponsored event, to promote immigration reform.”  

Bertha Lewis, Acorn’s chief organizer

 

Fact: ACORN has implemented the most sophisticated quality-control system in the voter engagement field BUT in almost every state they are required to turn in ALL completed applications, even the ones known to be problematic.

Fact: ACORN flags in writing incomplete, problem, or suspicious cards when they turn them in. Unfortunately, some of these same officials then come back weeks or months later and accuse them of deliberately turning in phony cards. In many cases, they can actually prove that these are the same cards they called to their attention.

Fact:  Canvassers are paid by the hour, not by the card.  ACORN has a zero-tolerance policy for deliberately falsifying registrations, and in the cases where their internal quality controls have identified this happening they have fired the workers involved and turned them in to election officials and law-enforcement.

Fact: No criminal charges related to voter registration have ever been brought against ACORN or partner organizations. Convictions against individual former ACORN workers have been accomplished with ACORN’s full cooperation, using the evidence obtained through their own quality control and verification processes – evidence which in most cases THEY called to the attention of authorities

Fact: Most election officials have recognized ACORN’s good work and praised their quality control systems. Even in the cities where election officials have complained about ACORN, the applications in question represent less than 1% of the thousands and thousands of registrations ACORN has collected. 

 

Sam Stien points out today that several republicans have history of working with ACORN:

– Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, for example, partnered with ACORN in March 2008

– Republican governor, Rick Perry of Texas signed ACORN’s Lending Law Reform Bill in 2005

– California Governor and McCain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that ACORN helped draft aimed at California homeowners facing foreclosure in July, 2008

Continue reading

CNN Fact Check: Would McCain’s mortgage plan shift burden to taxpayers?

Posted in Accountability, Read for Yourself with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

From CNN 10/10/08

The Statement:

An ad released Thursday, October 9, by Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, titled “Tested,” takes aim at Sen. John McCain’s mortgage plan. “McCain would shift the burden from lenders to taxpayers, guaranteeing a loss of taxpayer money,” the ad’s narrator says. “Who wins? The same lenders that caused the crisis in the first place.”

Get the facts!

 

The Facts:
The ad refers to a plan McCain announced during a debate Tuesday night in Nashville, Tennessee. “I would order the secretary of the Treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes — at the diminished value of those homes — and let people be able to … make those payments and stay in their homes,” McCain said.

On his Web site, McCain calls it “an American Homeownership Resurgence Plan.” Under his plan, the government would buy up some troubled mortgages at their full value — meaning the lenders would not take a loss. The government would then renegotiate those mortgages, so that eligible homeowners would be paying rates based on their homes’ current, reduced value.

McCain previously supported renegotiating mortgages with lenders, who would take losses. His economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, told reporters Wednesday that McCain now believes having the government pay the entire value of the loans is “the only way” to begin stabilizing the housing market “in a timely fashion.”

Obama, in his ad, highlights this quote from a CNNMoney.com story: “Much of the burden of paying to keep troubled borrowers in their homes will shift to taxpayers.” The McCain campaign acknowledged that point, both on a conference call with Holtz-Eakin on the day after the debate and in a follow-up interview with CNN’s Les Christie, writer of the CNNMoney.com story.

The McCain campaign says the plan would cost about $300 billion. “Funds provided by Congress in (the) recent financial market stabilization bill can be used for this purpose; indeed by stabilizing mortgages it will likely be possible to avoid some purposes previously assumed needed in that bill,” the campaign Web site says.

McCain’s plan puts him at odds with a bill adopted by Congress in July that required lenders to write down mortgage balances to 90 percent of a home’s current market value in order to qualify for refinancing insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Neither McCain nor Obama voted on that bill.

While the Obama ad refers to “lenders that caused the crisis in the first place,” Obama himself has been using slightly different language on the stump, referring to lenders who “helped create this mess in the first place.” But the substance of Obama’s attack has not changed.

The Verdict:
True. The McCain campaign acknowledges the plan would shift the burden to taxpayers.

CNN Fact Check: Did McCain join, or lead on Fannie-Freddie reform?

Posted in Accountability, Read for Yourself with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2008 by doubletalkexpress

CNN Fact Check:

The Statement

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama said at the Oct. 7 presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, “With respect to Fannie Mae, what Sen. McCain didn’t mention is the fact that this bill that he talked about wasn’t his own bill. He jumped on it a year after it had been introduced and
it never got passed.”

Get the facts!

The Facts
Since the recent financial meltdown, McCain has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he warned his fellow lawmakers about a potential crisis with the government-regulated mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He’s referring to a May 2006 speech he gave on the floor of the Senate in support of a plan he co-sponsored — the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Act of 2005.

In the speech, he cited a federal report, saying that “Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets.” He also noted a $3.8 million fine Freddie Mac had recently paid to the Federal Elections Commission over problems with disclosure of its political lobbying. “These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform,” McCain said in the speech. He urged senators to support changing how the institutions were overseen by the government.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, sponsored the bill, which was introduced in January 2005. The legislation, which never became law, would have moved oversight of Fannie and Freddie from the department of Housing and Urban Development to an independent Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Agency.

The Verdict: True. McCain’s warning came more than a year after legislation was introduced. He was not the sponsor and the bill failed to pass.

Update: More claims debunked by CNN

Fact Check: Has Obama never ‘taken on’ Democratic leaders?

Fact Check: Did Obama get second-most money from Freddie and Fannie?

Fact Check: 94 times?

Fact check: What did Obama say about troops in Afghanistan?

Fact Check: Is Obama ‘palling around with terrorists’?

Fact Check: Did Obama say subprime loans ‘a good idea’?

Fact Check: Obama’s tax plan and small businesses

Some truths McCain doesn’t want you to know:

Fact Check: Did McCain intervene on behalf of Charles Keating?

Fact Check: McCain’s proposed health care tax credit

Fact Check: Are business groups critical of McCain’s health plan?

Fact Check: Did McCain say the Iraq war would be easy, popular?

Fact Check: The potential impact of McCain’s health care plan

Fact Check: Does McCain’s tax plan give tax cuts to CEOs?