Free Markets, Free People


SOTU Fact Check

Surprisingly, AP does it (credit where credit is due).  They cover the “spending freeze” (it would amount to less than 1% of the deficit) which we’ve covered in some detail.  They also point out that the nonsense about the health care plan preserving the “right” of Americans to keep their doctor and their plan isn’t exactly true (we’ve covered that before as well).   And they take on the claim about lobbyists which Michael has handled quite well below.

AP also talks about the deficit commission that Obama covered last night:

Obama: “I’ve called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can’t be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”

THE FACTS: Any commission that Obama creates would be a weak substitute for what he really wanted — a commission created by Congress that could force lawmakers to consider unpopular remedies to reduce the debt, including curbing politically sensitive entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That idea crashed in the Senate this week, defeated by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Any commission set up by Obama alone would lack authority to force its recommendations before Congress, and would stand almost no chance of success.

The key line is in bold. Any commission formed by executive order will have no authority over Congress. Thus it will be a “gimmick” designed to “pretend we solved a problem”. How can it be anything else?

As Obama mentioned the Senate blocked a bill that would have created the commission. The same Senate that today used its 60 vote supermajority to pass a 1.9 trillion dollar hike to the debt ceiling. So you can draw your own conclusions as to how serious the party that can muster 60 votes for raising the debt ceiling but can’t manage to get those same 60 votes to pass a deficit commission is about the debt and cutting spending.

Another one covered by AP has to do with the claim of 2 million jobs saved or created by the “stimulus”. By their calculation and those of CBO, it may – let me stress that word – may have been in the range of 600,000 to possibly 1.6 million. Yeah – with tight numbers like that, you can bet they know what they’re talking about.

That brings us to Obama’s quote about transparency in which he calls on the White House and Congress to “do our work openly and give our people the government they deserve”. Most of the people have awakened to the fact that after not vetting the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, we have the government we deserve. However, AP points out that Obama just skipped past all the broken transparency pledges he made and hasn’t even attempted to keep. Why in the world would anyone take his latest plea for transparency seriously?

You may or may not remember one of the few mentions of foreign policy last night – other than the usual tough talk toward Iran, most likely signifying nothing in reality – in which he claimed, “The United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades.”

Yeah, well, not quite. According to AP:

Despite insisting early last year that they would complete the negotiations in time to avoid expiration of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in early December, the U.S. and Russia failed to do so. And while officials say they think a deal on a new treaty is within reach, there has been no breakthrough. A new round of talks is set to start Monday. One important sticking point: disagreement over including missile defense issues in a new accord. If completed, the new deal may arguably be the farthest-reaching arms control treaty since the original 1991 agreement. An interim deal reached in 2002 did not include its own rules on verifying nuclear reductions.

And one of my favorite claims of the night – I’ve killed more terrorists than Bush did in 2008:

“And in the last year, hundreds of al-Qaida’s fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed — far more than in 2008.”

Not so fast, says AP:

It is an impossible claim to verify. Neither the Bush nor the Obama administration has published enemy body counts, particularly those targeted by armed drones in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. The pace of drone attacks has increased dramatically in the last 18 months, according to congressional officials briefed on the secret program.

If it is an “impossible claim to verify” then Obama knew when he said it, that he was safe from scrutiny. Nice. I have four words for those who choose to believe his claim: “saved and created jobs”.

Last but not least we turn to PoltiFact for the SCOTUS shot by Obama:

“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.”

Politifact says that if it’s true, it is “barely true”. They have a very fine write up which I encourage you to read about why Justice Alito may have been absolutely justified in his silently mouthed “not true” as Obama took that shot. And I have to say, trying to humiliate the SCOTUS in a public speech with them sitting right there open to such ridicule is a politically stupid stunt. They are, after all, still human beings, and I wouldn’t want to be arguing a case for the Obama administration that could go either way after POTUS called SCOTUS out. They’re not underlings like the JCS who have to sit there and take it. They are members of an equal and separate branch. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of that little bit of political stupidity.

~McQ

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14 Responses to SOTU Fact Check

  • “If it is an “impossible claim to verify” then Obama knew when he said it, as he said it, it was a bald faced lie. Nice.”
    Well, to be fair, the AP seems to be saying it’s impossible for them (or the public in general) to verify, because what numbers do exist (and are imperfect, naturally, given the question) are classified or simply not released.
    (And note further that he said “captured or killed”, and captures at the low level aren’t typically publicized either.)
    It’s possible, though I deem it unlikely, that Obama is speaking gospel truth on that… but we also have no particular reason to believe him.

  • You dense righties are so disconnected from reality. Unfortunately, it seems that AP has been listening to too many cackling righties, and is now falling down on their responsibility, which is to promote wise leftist policies.

    Instead they did the same thing the Nazi-like inbred thugs on this site have done, which is nitpick over every little thing. As if a Lightworker like Obama has the time for every fussy detail! It’s up to wise leftists like Obama to set goals, and then you grunt engineer types are supposed to use them as marching orders and get things done. That’s just the way it works, as I explain to my political science class students every week. I counsel them to go into public service so they can change the world, instead of being just another grunt engineer type or even worse becoming a brutal business owner who punishes people who make the money for them, such as overworked managers of pizza parlors.

    The US is really in the grip of a big business/big government nexus. Big business is probably the most anti-capitalist force, wanting to use government to protect their interests, and needing to be bought off if meaningful reform is going to take place. But the answer to that is definitely not to shrink government and reduce its power to reward business cronies! Oh, no! The answer, you see, is to make government even bigger and more powerful and pass major new regulations that clamp down so much those brutal businessmen can’t even go to the bathroom with filing a form with a government bureaucrat. Because government bureaucrats are good and wise and honest, and they would never let their own self-interest or biases get in the way of cracking the whip over those wicked big businessmen, for the greater good of all, of course.

    For a first year, he got a lot done, in part by being willing to push his agenda despite political costs — that’s leadership. And you ex-military basket cases who think you know all about leadership just because you’ve been trained in it and stuff, just stop sniggering about what I just said! Because you’re wrong about leadership! Just wrong! Thick righties simply can’t be leaders. We on the left, with our post-modern godlike powers of political science, have redefined leadership so that only leftists, especially those with a cool temperament and a Christ-like visage, can be leaders. That’s just the way it is, and you ex-military basket cases who post on this blog don’t get a vote. Suck on it.

    But part of his job is to sell the policy and communicate, and he hasn’t done that enough. Nope, he definitely needs to be giving more speeches about his policies. Communication, that’s the key. Why, I see it in my political science classes, where I sometimes have to repeat the same things over and over and over before some of the students see the brilliance of my ideas and analysis. It’s even worse for Obama, since he has to convince uneducated proles and grunt engineer types to go along with his programs, and they lack the sensibility to instantly intuit his Lightworker status.

    He has focused on policy and the ‘inside game’ and neglected real communication. Because real communication would have meant that we had healthcare and cap-and-trade wrapped up, and the Democrats would be heading for another big landslide this fall. If only we communicate our wondrous plans for leftist utopia, it is guaranteed that everyone out there in flyover country will see the light and cheer us on. Except for a few Nazi-like inbred extremists, of course. Like the ones who frequent this blog, which I don’t either come to have someone to feel superior to, so stop saying that! I come here to offer new perspectives to you dense righties, in the forlorn hope that a few of you will see the light and recognize my godlike powers of political science, and experience a complete inner conversion to wise leftism, which is not either like a religion, so stop saying that too.

    So Obama now has to better communicate his ideas, and actively seek bi-partisanship. As I’ve explained before, bi-partisanship means doing basically everything wise leftists want, only a little slower than we would ideally like to move. It gets us to leftist utopia a bit slower, which is unfortunate, but it gets everyone invested in the process, which makes it easier to pass. Everyone except the Nazi-like extremists I was talking about earlier.

    Overall, the GOP is over-optimistic if they think Obama is dead. And no I’m not going to link to anyone who has actually said that, so stop asking! It’s out there! I’m not going to take the time to do your research for you! You lazy righties just love to try and trick me into doing that, don’t you? Well, I’m too smart for you. My godlike powers of political science are enough to simply decree that things are true, and you have to accept them. I decree it.

    Much of the negative ratings on Obama come from the left, angry that he is so pragmatic and willing to compromise. He is too pragmatic! Like me! Stop laughing! Just because he rejected every single measure Republicans offered up about healthcare, that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to compromise! Because all they brought up was “free market this” and “legal reform that” and of course we can’t hurt our valuable lawyer allies because they’ve been reliable troops for the left for a long time. That doesn’t count. Obama is a wise pragmatist, and thinks like me, and the left is rejecting him because he can’t achieve leftist utopia as quickly as they would like. And all those surveys that say the American people want smaller government and less debt and less taxes are just wrong, they have to be. Because people really, really want leftist utopia in their hearts. I decree it.

    The leftists aren’t going to swing GOP, however. They’re way too smart for that. Independents might, provided the GOP doesn’t screw things up by embracing the tea party fringe. Yes, those teabaggers are just Nazi-like, and if the GOP embraces them, they will definitely lose. And don’t you dare bring up how Scott Brown embraced them and won! He didn’t! He just played along with them and took their money! He doesn’t really mean it!

    No, embracing the tea parties would be disastrous for the GOP. I decree it. I can just tell it’s true when I look at Sarah Palin. Those naughty librarian glasses and those full lips and that ample bosom – that alone tells you that she’s just not serious about politics. Not like Nancy Pelosi, who has none of those things, thank goodness.

    • I almost stopped reading the comments, wondering what severe psychosis would cause someone to even consider these things.  It was then I realized the satirical, tongue-in-cheek parody of the leftist mind set…….Well done!

    • as I explain to my political science class students every week.

      Oh good, another Progressive Socialist in our education system destroying the brains of our youth. We wonder why the public school system is in shambles, too many Socialists attempting to indoctrinate instead of teaching. You need to be fired and put on the unemployment line.

  • THE United States today officially stated a goal to cut carbon emissions by 17 per cent by 2020 off 2005 levels, in a submission to the United Nations as part of last month’s Copenhagen meeting.
    The United States said it expected to cut emissions blamed for global warming “in the range of 17 per cent” and “anticipated” that Congress would approve legislation to meet the target.

    Say what ?  “The Won” is just too funny for words.

  • Leftist run government is a Joke. Obama better pay attention to the “details”. He is a ivy league college educated pompus loser. Has the american public not spoken loud enough to hear him. He is just following the “Rules for Radicals” playbook for Community organizers. I think he should just resign from his position. Did you know that Jesus is seated to the right of God. Is that just a coincidence, I think not.

    • Obama resign from his position?  Are you nuts?  Have you reviewed the line of succession to the presidency?  If Obama leaves, then Biden becomes president.  After Biden comes Nancy Polosi, and then Hillary Clinton.  We are sooooo screwed!

  • To paraphrase one of Mr. Obama’s own lines, Obama acted stupidly.
    Starting at the end of page 46 (53 of the pdf)

    We need not reach the question whether the Government has a compelling interest in preventing foreign individuals or associations from influencing our Nation’s political process.

    … clearly shows that Obama was wrong.
    Perhaps this “Constitutional lawyer” should take the time to actually read the opinions before making a complete ass of himself, like he did in this case.

  • When the SCOTUS finds unconstituionality of any pet leftist loop hole like McCain/Feingold they go bonkers.  Several states 18 I think, already allow corporate advocacy ads in state elections.  None of these states report an upsurge in corporate campaigning.  If you think it through it is similar to the Neuclear Arms treaties that exixted between the US and the former USSR.  The threat of mutual distuction kept rational minds from using the BOMB.  If, by untieing the hands of corporations to run ads to refute untrue  claims by a Candidate painting the corporation as being evil,  Candidates would be a little more careful in how the campaign.  Nothing like an even playing field to keep the players honest.