Mind Candy

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Fact check the candidates

Posted by mandyf on October 15, 2008

 For some time now I like many other people have depended on factcheck (Will be called FC for ease in this article) to determine what was true and what was false. I have operated under the belief this is a truly non-partisan, non-biased outfit that had the voters best interests at heart and nothing more. Let’s look and see if it is true or not.

 There’s no way to argue they have in the past slammed Cheney and Bush, let’s face it with some of the words coming out of their mouths they deserve it. More and more though when you visit FC things don’t always add up many people claim.  Maybe it is that they are overburdened, there’s a lot out there to go over. Maybe sometimes they just miss things, again think of the volume they deal with. Then again some believe that due to FC’s association to Anneneberg of Chicago who Obama once represented there is a little partisan bias creeping in.

 Before we get into exploring factcheck and the candidates a bit more closely let me be clear on one thing, this isn’t about my personal preference in candidates. To be honest I don’t like either one. What this is about is seeing if in fact FC is living up to their reputation as being unbiased, and if not what are the reasons that may be the case.

 Lately Obama was cleared by FC on his stance on guns. Basically people wanted to know if the NRA was telling the truth about Obama’s Support of handgun bans. FC said Obama is proposing no ban on on the use of firearms for self defense in the home. Well that isn’t true. Obama supported handgun bans in the Chicago are in 2004 (SB 2165). Throughout his campaign he has upheld this position, that is except where guns are a favorite of the locals.  He also supported the total handgun ban. Not just that he voted in favor of Sen. Kennedy’s ammunition ban which would make any rounds which could be used in a handgun that may pierce armor. I think in principle that is a good idea, but that’s not the point, factcheck missed or overlooked his long standing documented votes against handgun ownership and use.

On the same note Obama said he has never supported any handgun ban and never has. Obviously we can check just this one previously mentioned vote and see that’s false, however factcheck again said that is true. Someone dropped the ball on this or again, they just decided to ignore the facts. He has been on record since 1996 with this stance, there are plenty of examples to prove his stance.  What’s funny is if you go through FC’s archives you can clearly see they have the documentation contrary to the answers they are giving on this issue.

FC has been called into question concerning the Obama birth certificate fiasco. They have certified what they were given as true, and in all honesty they are likely very right. The problem is many people feel they are not doing enough digging to see if that is truly his first birth certificate. With all the allegations of his Kenyan birth it is significant. I do not doubt FC in the work they have done with what they were given, it is just curious that they stopped digging at that point but continued on concerning McCain’s 1960 ditching of an aircraft while in the Navy. Which is more important?

 Sometimes FC is dead on the money. When Planned Parenthood made attempts and ran ads linking McCain to charging for rape kits in Alaska FC was right there to knock that theory out of the sky with great ease. They even went so far as to prove that McCain’s vote in 1994 on the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act had nothing to do with rape at all and his problem with the bill was that it was riddled with pork. They did the same for Obama when he erroneously voted to allow early release for sexual predators.

In the Saddleback discussion for lack of a better description, Obama stated “I worked with John McCain” which was true but misleading. They worked together for part of a week and McCain even then blasted Obama for partisanship and stated “I won’t make the same mistake again.” Oddly enough it was ethics legislation they were working on. Obama voted for it, McCain against it as he stated “it was written by Democrats with no input from Republicans.” Is that really working together?

Obama claimed abortions have not gone down under the Bush terms but in fact they went down 9% which is more than 100,000 abortions each year. Oddly enough nobody called him out on this, but FC caught it and put it out there. They asked Obama to provide where he came up with his numbers but were ignored.  This doesn’t ring true as being biased, afterall if they were truly all out for Obama would they expose this?

McCain gave false numbers or at the very least exaggerated the numbers to be kind concerning his proposals to tax cuts. His $7,000 per child tax credit boast of being seven times higher than the current levels is badically true. The problem is his plan only goes to $3,500 which obviously is a big difference. In fact FC demonstrates where McCains plan will only gradually increase to $3,500 over time, not immediately. It may reach $4,200 with inflation adjustments etc… but it is nowhere near $7,000. Not today, not in 4 years.

 Sure FC has been charged with going soft on Democratic politicians a few years now, It was true when checking Kerry on some touchy issues like his 1971 testimony concerning activities in Vietnam, many feel it’s true now with Obama and any number of claims. There are people that feel they did the same for Bush and are doing the same now for McCain. Nobody can be completely happy.

Take a look at those little snippets, a full analysis could fill volumes, not just one book. It is true that in some way FC through Annenberg has connections to Obama. Much in the same way I have connections to my cousins husband, something is there but is it really significant? Some say yes and others no. I’m not here to speculate personally, take the information, follow the money, question the authorities and make up your own mind. In doing so ask this, are oversights really the product of partisan politics or are they just that, oversights of an organization pushed to the limit by ever increasing demands and an impossible expectation of perfection?

 You decide. All that can be asked is when you decide be informed. Reach a rational conclusion.

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