"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

None of the Above after Reading Fact Check on the Debate!

When I started this site, I vowed that I was going after Democrats that sold out for money but also Republicans were also not immune from being a target.  Last night's debate showed why that was a good policy on here.  I am calling it like it is including the fact that Rick Perry ran a horrible campaign even though I am a big supporter of his plus he ran against all odds with the trashing he took from the Bush 41 group in support of Romney.   Small gaffes became major issues thanks to that group and even Fox News was laughing that they had stacked the deck in the Orlando debate.  

Since I have have taken the time to step back and look at the candidates, it occurred to me last night that Perry, Huntsman, and Pawlenty said what they believed in the debates and on the campaign trail because they were honest with integrity and not going to sell out for votes by trying to change the narrative or rewrite history.  Their experience far outweighs what is left but looks like experience was not the key in this race -- it is the underhanded dirty tactics along with major donors buying candidates that are the hallmarks of this race.

Former New Mexico's Governor Johnson's experience is right up there as well but the RNC wouldn't let in the debate because he didn't poll high enough while he wasn't even on the list of a lot of polling companies.  How do you get people to know a candidate when don't allow them the debates at all?  Same thing happened to Alan Keyes in 1996.  Once again it was a Bush 41 establishment candidate,  Bob Dole, running who ran a horrible campaign.  See a pattern here.

Last night's debate showcased Republican candidates who are still running for President.  Decided to check out Fact Check sites for those of you who had better things to do like do dishes or feed the dog.  One of Gingrich's gaffes actually got the 'Pants on Fire' meter from Politifact which I am not sure I have ever seen in a debate before.

The statement by Gingrich saying electric co-ops and credit unions are "government-sponsored enterprises" like Freddie Mac in the debate last night was not a new one from him but it is still wrong.  Repeat a lie often enough and maybe people will believe but there is a slight problem.  Many of us belong not only to a Federal Credit Union like Navy Federal but also have belonged to an electric co-op like they have in in Texas or Oklahoma for years.  NFCU goes to great lengths to tell you they are not associated with the Navy or the DoD even though they are located on a lot of the bases as a service to the military and DoD civilians.  Our funds are insured by the NCUA just like funds in banks are insured by the FDIC.  They are not in the same category as Freddie Mac -- not even close.  My electric and phone co-ops from Texas still send a check every year for excess profits that are divided between the members.  When is the last time Freddie MAC sent out checks for too much profit?

For Gingrich to keep trying to say they are the same is a cover-up for the truth that he worked for the head of lobbying group of Freddie Mac.  If he cannot tell the truth about that, then why would we expect him to tell the truth about much else. How can Newt claim to have four balanced budgets when he resigned under duress in 1998 as Speaker and then didn't run of office in 1998.  Two of the budgets were after he was no longer Speaker? As we are finding out, he is not the friend of truth, but then neither is Romney or Santorum as we will get to later in this post.  First we are looking at what Gingrich said last night compared to the truth from PolitiFact and New York Times Fact Check:
The Truth-O-Meter Says: 
Newt Gingrich says electric co-ops and credit unions are "government-sponsored enterprises" like Freddie Mac. 
Newt Gingrich on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 in a Republican presidential primary debate
Gingrich repeats claim that Freddie Mac, credit unions are ‘government-sponsored enterprises’
Pants on Fire!
Often criticized for his lucrative work for Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich has compared the mortgage giant to government-sponsored enterprises such as credit unions and electric co-ops. 
He said it again in a debate in Tampa on Jan. 23, 2012, in an effort to portray Freddie, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association, as a benign entity that serves citizens -- not an out-of-control bureaucracy that brought down the housing market, as his rivals maintain. 
"Government-sponsored enterprises include, for example, telephone cooperatives, rural electric cooperatives, federal credit unions. There are many different kinds of government-sponsored enterprises, and many of them have done very good things," said Gingrich, who collected more than $1.6 million in fees from the federally chartered mortgage company. 
PolitiFact has checked Gingrich's claim that electric coops and credit unions are government-sponsored enterprises and found it’s not true. 
In the last debate before the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich had to explain another wrinkle in his past dealings with Freddie. One of the panelists asked him about his words from 2007: "I like the GSE, or government-sponsored enterprise like Freddie Mac, model."
Gingrich defended his position, much the same way in that debate, saying "when you look for example at electric membership co-ops, and you look at credit unions, there are a lot of government-sponsored enterprises that are awfully important and do an awfully good job."
How valid is the comparison? 
There is one similarity between a GSE and a credit union or an electric co-op. Neither pays federal or state income taxes. But Patrick Lavigne, spokesman for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), said GSE  "is not a term that I’ve heard applied to electric coops before."
In fact, the term GSE applies to just a handful of very particular institutions. It takes a specific act of Congress to create one, usually to ease the flow of money to a certain industry, like housing or agriculture. Glossaries like Investopedia define GSE’s as "(p)rivately held corporations with public purposes created by the U.S. Congress to reduce the cost of capital for certain borrowing sectors of the economy." 
When the White House submits its annual budget, it includes the GSE’s, and the list isn’t long.  There are the Agricultural Credit Bank and Farm Credit Banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation. And that’s it. No electric co-ops. No credit unions.
The 2012 White House budget explains that Congress chartered Freddie Mac in 1970 to facilitate "the flow of investment dollars from the capital markets to mortgage lenders and ultimately, to homebuyers."
A credit union or an electric co-op is created completely differently. They come into being when a group of local investors pool their money. The country’s very first credit union was started in 1908 by a priest in Manchester, N.H., to provide credit to factory workers in textile mills.  Washington played no role at all. 
Later, the federal government offered both funding assistance and regulatory guidelines. Local co-ops and credit unions need to apply to a government agency for recognition as a nonprofit, member-owed entities.  And that’s another difference. Freddie Mac is owned by stockholders. Co-ops are owned by members, the people who use them. Levine, with the NRECA, says electric co-ops started in the 1930s when "farmers would each throw $5 into the hat and then ask Washington for a loan for a transformer or some power lines."
Back then, and today, those loans would come with a very low interest rate, but Freddie Mac was treated even more favorably. It was formed with a direct line of credit from the federal Treasury for more than $2 billion. "They could borrow money cheaper than anyone except Uncle Sam himself," said Kathleen Day, a former Washington Post reporter who covered GSE’s for over two decades.
The deal for Freddie Mac got even better. Thanks to that intimate association with the federal government, Day says "the markets perceived them as something that was backed by Washington and invested at a very low cost ... That’s what allowed it to grow."
Our ruling
Gingrich spoke of credit unions and electric cooperatives as if they were the same sort of entities as Freddie Mac. We find no support for that and do find major differences in how they are created and operate compared with GSEs. Congress created Freddie Mac, as it does every GSE,  by passing a specific law to bring it into being. Freddie Mac has stockholders and a direct line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. The term, Government Sponsored Enterprise, applies only to a handful of financial entities listed in the federal budget.
None of those characteristics apply to credit unions and electric cooperatives. Once again, we rate Gingrich’s statement Pants On Fire.  Source:   Politifact   
Politico: “Romney kept at it throughout the first half of the debate, criticizing Gingrich for having been rebuked by his GOP colleagues in the House, earning money as an advocate for Freddie Mac and teaming up with Nancy Pelosi to talk about global warming.” (Alexander Burns, “Republican Debate: Mitt Romney Mauls Newt Gingrich In Florida,” Politico, 1/23/12)  
The New York Times: “During an answer from Newt Gingrich about his time as a consultant, Mr. Romney pounced. It was the first time that the former Massachusetts governor went after Mr. Gingrich — directly — with fervor. And he wouldn’t let go. The back and forth exchange, with Mr. Romney unloading one after another accusation, went on for several minutes. Mr. Romney accused Mr. Gingrich of being an influence peddler. He accused him of being paid by Freddie Mac. He said Mr. Gingrich had lobbied Republican lawmakers on health issues while getting paid by health care companies. He accused him of falsely claiming that he was paid to be a historian. And he did them all to Mr. Gingrich’s face.” (Michael D. Shear, “In Shift, Romney Pounds Directly And Relentlessly On Gingrich At Debate,” The New York Times, 1/23/12) 
Associated Press: “Romney says that companies don't spend that much money for history lessons and that Gingrich's time since leaving office has been spent trading on his connections.” (“Romney: Gingrich Didn't Earn Millions As Historian,” Associated Press, 1/23/12)                                    
 Associated Press: “Newt Gingrich…flubbed his own history in Congress on Monday night when he claimed the nation ran four consecutive budget surpluses during his time as House speaker.” (Calvin Woodward, “FACT CHECK: Gingrich Flubs History In GOP Debate,” Associated Press, 1/23/12) 
Los Angeles Times: “When Gingrich first won a seat in Congress, Romney said he had begun his own career in the private sector. As Gingrich left the House to become ‘an influence peddler,’ Romney said he was running the Olympic Games and beginning ‘a very successful turnaround’ in Massachusetts. And, as Romney said he was ‘fighting cap and trade’ and supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare, Gingrich was ‘sitting down with Nancy Pelosi on a sofa’ and accusing Ryan of ‘right-wing social engineering.’" (Michael Memoli, “GOP Debate: Aggressive Romney Calls Gingrich An 'Influence Peddler',” Los Angeles Times, 1/23/12) 
The New York Times: “Newt Gingrich Released A Contract That Is Mostly Legal Boilerplate, And Contains No Details About The Advice He Gave...” (Trip Gabriel And Mike McIntire, “Gingrich Releases a Freddie Mac Contract With Few Details,” The New York Times, 1/23/12) 
The New York Times: “Mr. Romney Accused Mr. Gingrich Of Being An Influence Peddler. He Accused Him Of Being Paid By Freddie Mac. He Said Mr. Gingrich Had Lobbied Republican Lawmakers On Health Issues While Getting Paid By Health Care Companies. He Accused Him Of Falsely Claiming That He Was Paid To Be A Historian.” (Michael Shear, “Romney's Relentless Assault,” The New York Times, 1/23/12) 
Politico: “Gingrich - adamant that he wasn't a lobbyist as he explained why he only released one year of his Freddie Mac contract, which dated back to 1999 (he uttered something about going through a confidentiality process) - volunteered that at his firm they'd brought in a ‘lobbying expert’ to explain to his team what qualified as lobbying and what didn't. … But why one would hire a ‘lobbying expert’ other than to explain to staff how to walk up to the ‘bright line’ Gingrich described, but not legally cross it, was not clear.” (Maggie Haberman, “Newt's Unforced Error,” Politico, 1/23/12) 
(Maggie Haberman, “No Debate Applause Hinders Newt,” Politico, 1/23/12) 
(Press Release, “Newt: Lobbyist? Sure Looks Like It. Liar? Yes.,” Ron Paul For President, 1/23/12)
Politico: “Mitt Romney came ready to fight. The former Massachusetts governor assailed Newt Gingrich from his very first comments in Monday’s debate in Tampa, saying that the presidential election is ‘about leadership’ and reminding voters that Gingrich ‘had to resign in disgrace’ from the House of representatives. … Gingrich’s response: benign neglect.” (Alexander Burns, “Mitt Bombards Newt With 'Disgrace,' 'Influence Peddler',” Politico, 1/23/12)
The Associated Press: “Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich clashed repeatedly in heated, personal terms Monday night in a crackling campaign debate, the former Massachusetts governor tagging his rival as an "influence peddler" in Washington…” (Steve Peoples, “Heated Charges, Counter-Charges In Florida Debate,” The Associated Press, 1/23/12)
PolitiFact: “PolitiFact.com Rating: False” (Louis Jacobsen, “Newt Gingrich Repeats Claim That He Balanced The Federal Budget Four Times As Speaker,” PolitiFact, 1/23/12)  
Next up Romney.  Must admit I was shocked when Romney talked about putting a carrier in the Gulf -- we have had carriers there for sometime and as one leaves, another enters the Gulf through the Straight of Hormuz.  How does Romney think we handled the No Fly zone in Iraq if we had no carriers there?  Obviously no one in his campaign knows anything about the military and how it works.  Shame on them!   Fact Check at the NY Times was used as they have some of the best fact checkers.

American Presence in the Persian Gulf 
If there has been one major theme to the foreign-policy debate among the Republican candidates, it has been a race to show who — save for Representative Ron Paul — can get tougher on Iran and its suspected nuclear weapons program. 
But it is possible that President Obama already has a tougher plan in place in the Persian Gulf than Mitt Romney is imagining. He said that to counter the Iranian threat, “we ought to have an aircraft carrier in the gulf.”  
In fact, White House and Pentagon officials say they keep an average of 1.8 carriers in the gulf at any one time now — that allows one to go off station periodically — and have built up antimissile defenses around Iran. 
David E. Sanger 
 Dodd-Frank and Small Banks 
In condemning the new Dodd-Frank law tightening regulation of the financial sector, Mitt Romney cited the law’s negative effect on smaller community banks in particular. But lobbyists won exemptions for community banks from many if not most of the Dodd-Frank limitations on banking. A top lobbyist for the sector publicly described the legislation as beneficial for smaller banks because it leveled the playing field with bigger banks and set a limit on their size.
- Jackie Calmes 
Size of the U.S. Navy 
Mr. Romney repeated a statement he has made before, and it is still wrong, or misleading at best. “Our Navy is now smaller than at any time since 1917,” he said.
Nonpartisan fact checkers at PolitiFact have described the claim as “pants on fire” wrong, calling it “a statement that, despite being close to accurate in its numbers, uses those numbers in service of a ridiculous point.” 
In a lengthy explanation, PolitiFact concluded: “A wide range of experts told us it’s wrong to assume that a decline in the number of ships or aircraft automatically means a weaker military. Quite the contrary: The United States is the world’s unquestioned military leader today, not just because of the number of ships and aircraft in its arsenal but also because each is stocked with top-of-the-line technology and highly trained personnel. Thanks to the development of everything from nuclear weapons to drones, comparing today’s military to that of 60 to 100 years ago presents an egregious comparison of apples and oranges.” 
Moreover, given the long lead times for major military acquisitions, if the Navy or other military services were woefully small, that development would have begun long before Mr. Obama took office.   
Jackie Calmes
NY Times is right that the Obama Administration cannot be blamed for weapon systems not being in the inventory as it takes years to get them from design to production and then into the inventory.  One of the planes that was needed desperately by the Air Force was a new tanker which was delayed for years by Senator McCain who seems to always be mad at the Air Force.  It is still years away from being in the inventory so the depot at Tinker AFB, OK, is doing everything possible with the help of Boeing to keep our current tanker fleet flying.

It is obvious with the four candidates left that none of them have a clue how the Department of Defense works or they wouldn't make some of the dumb comments we are seeing.

Just shake my head at how bad these four candidates are collectively.  If this is the best the Republican Party has, we are in real trouble in 2012.  When I can sit and pull apart the answers and go looking for the links, then so can the Democrats.  It is going to be like taking candy from a baby.

Then we have Rick Santorum who was asked few questions in comparison to Romney and Gingrich but the ones he was, he blew several of those according to NY Times Fact Check:

Santorum and Terri Schiavo 
Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, was asked about his involvement in the case of Terri Schiavo, the young Florida woman who suffered brain damage in 1990. After her husband filed a petition to remove her feeding tube, a state court ruled in 2000 that she was in a persistent vegetative state. Her feeding tube was removed but then reinserted after her parents appealed the ruling. 
After the tube was removed once again, Congress intervened in 2005, enacting a law allowing for the parents’ case to be heard in federal court. 
Tonight, Mr. Santorum said he “didn’t call for Congressional intervention, I called for a judicial hearing” to review a case in which the parents, who were constituents of his from Pennsylvania, and Ms. Schiavo’s husband were on different sides. 
But a New York Times Magazine article in May 2005 about Mr. Santorum said he “not only pushed the Senate to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, but he also traveled to Florida and prayed with her parents.” 

 Rate of Illegal Immigration
Rick Santorum said the rate of illegal immigration in the United States was dropping.
That is correct. Illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America has dropped sharply in recent years.
In 2010, the number of apprehensions by the Border Patrol along the Southwest border dropped to 448,000, the lowest number since 1972, and a decline of 35 percent in the two years since President Obama took office, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The decline under the Obama administration accelerated a drop in border apprehensions that began under President George W. Bush. Since 2005, apprehensions at the Mexican border are down 61 percent. The apprehensions figure is widely accepted as a rough guide to the number of immigrants crossing illegally. 
The Mexican census has reported a sharp drop since 2008 in the number of Mexican migrants leaving Mexico. During the Obama administration, the population of illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the United States has dropped by about 500,000, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. 
- Julia Preston
 Santorum's Loss in 2006
 Mr. Santorum said that when he lost his re-election bid for the Senate from Pennsylvania in 2006 – by 18 percentage points – it was a “meltdown” year for Republicans and that at least he “stood tall for what I believed in.” 
It was a bad year for Republicans, but Mr. Santorum omitted at least one factor in his loss that infuriated conservative voters: he had endorsed Senator Arlen Specter, then a Republican, for re-election in the 2004 Republican primary over a conservative, Pat Toomey. 
Mr. Santorum has said he supported Mr. Specter because Mr. Specter, who supported abortion rights, had agreed to support President George W. Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court. Mr. Specter has said there was no such agreement. 
- Katharine Q. Seelye
At the end of the day, I am asking myself why we have such a group of bad candidates and most importantly  why would I vote for any of the four is the question:
Romney -- moderate to liberal -- changes his stances (lies) to fit the audience pretending to be conservative but was for mandated healthcare and believes his sons' service in a Mormon mission was the same as being in the military -- that last one is why he won't get my vote not to mention neither he nor his advisers seem to know much about the military.  Also don't have a clue where he stands on issues today and how he would stand on them as President.  He is all over the place and is extremely arrogant toward regular people.  Keeping money off shore to avoid taxes is not something I want in my candidate for President.  Romney has no clue how most of Americans live because he never takes the time to come out of his elitists bubble to find out how we think or live.  His Town Halls are made up of Mormons and staffers who can ask questions.
Gingrich -- arrogant, unethical, and lies about the past bragging up his time as being a Reagan consultant when he wasn't as he is only mentioned as a young Congressman in Reagan's papers.  He also said he supported Barry Goldwater when he was Rockefeller's main person in Georgia.  Facts have a way of coming to the surface when you try to use names.  He was also for healthcare mandates and traveled around with Pelosi and Daschle supporting global warming -- any way to to earn a buck so he can maintain his lifestyle for his new wife.  She was a Congressional aide he was having an affair with as Speaker but we are not supposed to talk about how unethical that was even though it went on for six years and it was the second time he had an affair with someone while still married.  Don't know about anyone else, but I can probably overlook a short time affair but six years during Monicate when he was trashing Clinton?  Give me a break!
Santorum seems to be a nice guy but I cannot get over his endorsing Specter over Toomey in the Senate race in PA and then Specter turning Democrat.  Toomey was the choice of that race, and he now sits in the Senate.  I doubt if he is going to endorse Santorum.  
Paul -- proverbial loser in the race who is there to get his ideas out.
Last night on Twitter several were talking about if Romney loses Florida, we are going to need a smokey background to get a good candidate because Gingrich will get beat very bad by Obama as the voters  remember him railing against Clinton on Monica while having an affair.  Maybe the Bush 41 group should have thought about that before pushing Romney so hard.

People in SC should not be near the first of the primary season with an open primary.  SC elected Newt they told exit polling because he went after the media.  What a lame reason to vote for someone.  When none of the candidates had a cheering audience like they planted at the other debates, Newt didn't do so well with his one liner quips.  Romney came out like a bulldog last night.  At the end of the debate, I just wanted all four of them to go away off my TV for good.

Now I am supposed to vote for one of these four?  Not happening as come November I am going to be looking at other candidates like former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson who is running as a Libertarian. I am not Libertarian but I like what I see because he was a two term Governor and understands immigration better than the four men on stage at last night's debate.   I would have to believe he also understands we already have aircraft carriers in the Gulf.  My neighbors who I asked this morning in my own poll knew about the carriers.

Can also state that I will not give one dime to the RNC until they figure out how they blew this race with so many debates, favoritism toward states, and support of Romney which has not gone unnoticed by the people in Middle America.  We understand the debates with liberal moderators was a set up for Romney -- doesn't take a genius.  In the end all the debates have been doing is showcasing what bad candidates are in the race.

The way the RNC Chair is elected along with national committee people having to fund their own trips needs to end.  We need to get the best and brightest person we can find to head the RNC and represent our states at the RNC.  The following needs to happen in the primary in 2016:

  • Move states who went for a Democrat for President to the back of the pack 
  • Move Open Primary states to the back of the pack
  • Move states allowing independents to vote to the back of the pack
  • Reward Closed Primary States who voted for a Republican in 2012 for President
It is so wrong for two states to be the first caucus and first primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire, when both have gone blue in past elections especially NH which has been trending Democrat since 1960.  For those two states to demand that candidates spend so much time in their states ignoring others is ludicrous when in the general election their chances of going Democrat are extremely high.  Shows a very weak Republican National Chairman and Committee that this was done away with years ago when problems of those states even being Republican surfaced.

There has to be a better way and it is time that it is found before 2016 turns into another disaster which I believe the RNC is capable of doing if this year is any indication.  

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