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Letters to the Editor

Deception

November 23, 2010

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To the editor:

You discover your car has more miles than show on the odometer or a false charge on your credit card. Lies have a reason; someone wants something they can’t get with the truth. The mechanic tells you your brakes are bad when they’re not. A kid lies to get what he wants. Lies are always about getting someone to do something they wouldn’t if they knew the truth.

They said Obama’s trip to India was costing $2 billion, $200 million a day. They said 2,000 people were sipping champagne at the five-star Taj Mahal Palace Luxury Hotel, the streets filled with motorcycles and limousines, dozens of airplanes buzzing and 34 warships swarming the Indian rivers and Ocean! Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachman said so on CNN, and Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly and the rest echoed.

Was it true? Of course not. Turns out the only source was an anonymous provincial Indian official. There was no one-tenth of the U.S. Navy, no daily cost greater than the war in Afghanistan, no 2,000 people and no Taj Mahal Luxury Hotel that does not even exist. But Bachman, Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly all said so.

Was it just a mistake, or did they make it all up? Have you heard them retract or apologize? What did they want that they couldn’t get with the truth? Do we chalk it up to politics and forget about it?

I hope not. Normally, we remember when people deceive us — at least long enough to stop listening.

William Skepnek,

Lawrence

Comments

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

Good letter Bill.

Yes unfortunately this new generation of republicans in the news media and the elected republicans lie not only to their own party members but to the rest of us as well.

My conservative republican father in law says the republican party walked away from him. The example mentioned in the letter is but one reason. The Imperialistic Bush/Cheney war machine,lying to the nation about Social Security and Medicare, the history of wiping out financial institutions,putting millions upon millions out of work and their reckless spending habits is of great concern to my father in law.

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

The role of the Bush administration in the Permian extinction has never been fully investigated. You want to get to work on that, merrrill?

beatrice 4 years ago

So you just accept being lied to? It is a legitimate question.

Abdu Omar 4 years ago

And it is to me too, Merrill. When it comes to politics, I turn on the truth detector right away becauase I learned in the 1990's while everyone was bashing Pres. Clinton, that half the stuff he supposedly did was false and that made me distrust him a lot. All of that came from O’Reilly because we watched him everynight. Wouldn't miss him. After this he proved to be an exaggerator and teller of falshoods to get the country in a uproar. "Fair and Balanced?" get a grip people this is pure propaganda for the destruction of what is right about America.

independant1 4 years ago

If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics. Will Rogers

Cait McKnelly 4 years ago

Is White House spokesman Tommy Vietor good enough for you Moocher? Or do you want it straight from the GAO? http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/india.asp

notajayhawk 4 years ago

"Is White House spokesman Tommy Vietor good enough for you"

Yeah, 'cause lord knows a White House spokesman would never lie.

Cait McKnelly 4 years ago

OH! I also heard that Sarah Palin said that with the new healthcare legislation we were going to have death panels! Can you believe that? Death Panels!

Jimo 4 years ago

Funny. I spoke with a Fox viewing relative on the telephone this weekend and they were convinced it was $200 million a day. (Of course, this same Fox Bubble viewer is also convinced that health reform covers undocumented workers and that foreign aid is a major budget component. Wonder where they got those ideas?)

Oh well, I'm going to put the Republican Propaganda Channel on in the background. Maybe they'll invent a new terrorist event to entertain me this sleepy week. Its that or watching Sarah's Socialist Alaska with Sister Sarah looking as comfortable shooting clay pigeons as a pig on greased ice.

"Don't retreat when they catch you in another lie; just reload!"

whynaut 4 years ago

How many yellow journalism tactics can you find in the article posted by vertigo (see above)?

1) "A foreign force this size probably hasn't been in India since the era of British colonization."

Why use the word "probably"? Because to say "A foreign force this size hasn't been in India since the era of British colonization" would be a provably false statement. By throwing "probably" in there, the reporter editorializes the statement, making it too vague to be proven one way or the other.

2) "The logistical details of the trip are mind-boggling and if not for an historic midterm election surely would have dominated the headlines over the past week."

Again, editorializing by use of the subjective phrases "are mind-boggling" and "surely would have". Indeed, this statement serves no informative purpose at all, but rather seems to have been written only to artificially inflate the relevance of the story.

3) "The president will be accompanied by 40 aircraft, 3,000 people, a fleet of cars and 34 warships, according to a string of blow-by-blow news updates. [...] Obama's said to have booked the entire Taj Mahal Palace hotel..."

Here are two examples of the reporter presenting supposed facts with no real citation. From where did those "blow-by-blow news updates" come exactly? Obama is "said to have booked the entire Taj Mahal Palace" by who exactly?

Fox news is the master of the suggested fuzzy reference. They use it all the time with phrases like "people are saying", and "some people are suggesting" and then they proceed to spout their own views and they never go back and say whose arguments they are supposedly just reiterating... because there isn't anybody to cite. They are not reiterating at all. They are editorializing, and by slipping in a fuzzy reference before hand that they never intend to go back and cite properly, they are able to pass their opinion as legitimately sourced to an audience with attention spans stunted from watching too much reality TV.

whynaut 4 years ago

4) The second half of the article is where the real reporting actually starts, and it proceeds to pretty much invalidate the entire first half of the article. In fact, if you read the second half of the article first, and then go back and read the first part of the article, you might wonder why the reporter would have even written the first half at all, only to invalidate him/herself in the following paragraphs.

The reason is because they are taking advantage of the reverse pyramidal structure of your standard news article, where the beginning of the article presents the most amount of relevant information, and then proceeds to provide further details as you read on. The reason for this structure is because many people do not read the full article, they read the beginning to get the gist, and then move on. By putting the editorialized part of the article at the beginning, they are attempting to capitalize on people's reading habits and increase it's staying power in the reader's memory.

5) The do indeed quote the (now proven false) $200 million figure. Anybody know where to find the retraction that they "surely would have" printed by now?

6) Who is the reporter of this article? It's not syndicated. The byline says "Published November 04, 2010 | FoxNews.com". Answer: there is no reporter. The byline is accurate. This "news" piece was created by FoxNews.com, not a reporter.

Abdu Omar 4 years ago

YOU may think he is a failure, but he didn't spend all of our surplus, start two wars, one certainly for no reason and the other was never executed for the reasons stated and all the tripe that your guy did. I am glad to see Obama in the WH and became an independent because of your guiy. Now if you run the girl who is iching to be president, you will know exactly what the country thinks, so run her and let;'s see,.

roscoepoet 4 years ago

oh moochy & shewmon & corky! you guys work too hard, you're like mean girls standing around the playground looking for a fight. here's something pretty to make you feel happy and forget your meaningless angry guy computer lives:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/83731368@N00/5197381146/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/83731368@N00/5164960035/

whynaut 4 years ago

No. The article is simply pointing out that multiple right-wing pundits reported a ridiculous speculation as news, without correcting themselves when their claim was proven, obviously, false.

What a bumbling bunch of morons. No integrity. And they don't give a rat's sphincter that their bumbling moronic audience gobbles up their half-truths and flat-out-lies as facts.

cato_the_elder 4 years ago

To the letter writer: GM's recent IPO should remind Americans of one of the worst lies of many promulgated by the Obama administration. Last spring, Ed Whitacre, then CEO of Government Motors, with the full connivance of Barack Obama and his administration, came on TV with a series of fancy ads announcing that GM had "paid back its government loans" and was "going strong for America." Of course, that was patently false. All GM had done was pay off a small portion of the loans, and to add insult to injury had done so with more printed money borrowed from the taxpayers. As a postscript, in conjunction with the IPO (in which only a small amount of the stock was made available to individuals - so much for Barack's looking out for the little guy), the government quietly wrote off over $9 billion of the original loans, with many billions of unpaid loans still on the books and the government and the UAW still retaining effective control of the company.

Whitacre's and Obama's joint, patent lie, which made a mockery of the taxpayers of this country and was broadcast all over the United States, constituted a much more serious breach of trust from within government that whatever a few pundits said about Obama's garishly unsuccessful trip to India.

jayhawklawrence 4 years ago

I see our local representative from the Ku Klux Klan is here today.

Great letter Bill.

Reflects exactly what frustrates me about politics today. It is especially depressing when you see these liars making 10s and sometimes 100s of millions of dollars right before our eyes and being idolized as heroes of righteousness.

The Bible mentions that great leaders are a blessing from God. Sometimes I feel like American is being punished for its sins because our leaders sometimes appear to be Rush, Glenn and Hannity.

seriouscat 4 years ago

"I can hear God saying to America that you are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power, and place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name."

Martin Luther King Jr.

this one is growing more appropriate every day

BigAl 4 years ago

FOX News, Fair and Balanced. If it weren't so harmful, it would be funny.

jayhawklawrence 4 years ago

Not one of these guys, Rush, Beck or Hannity, had the discipline to make it through college and get a degree.

I doubt if Rush made it through even one year.

The reason Limbaugh can't make on television is because his body language suggests a man of supreme and complete arrogance.

BigAl 4 years ago

I agree. But during the Bush Administration, all of these men were war "Hawks" and NONE of them served a day in the military. Not that a patriot needs to serve in the armed forces but I do find it funny that these big talkers were no where around when it was their time. Limbaugh received several deferments to keep him out of Vietnam. As did Dick Cheney.

Abdu Omar 4 years ago

Hmmm. Tom, I have been reading you every day for the last 12 years and you haven't made a dent in my understanding of anything but falsehood, fraud and lies. I could listen to you another 12 years, every day and still think you are nothing but a bigoted person who hates the "annointed one": because he is of African descent.

Come on man, think if McCain won and he got sick or was president now. He doesn't have the smarts to do that job and certainly Palin is in no position either.

madameX 4 years ago

To be fair, Lincoln lived during a time when it was possible to get a law license just by passing the bar, now you can't get one without a JD, which you can't get without a BA or similar. So even a person who is able to teach themselves law, or gain the relevant experience some other way, can't actually practice law legally without going through a whole lot of school.

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

Perhaps the North Korean Dear Leader isn't overly impressed by our Dear Leader.

osi 4 years ago

Michelle Obama said "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." I agree with her. Now she meant the voter turnout rate in 2008, which was the highest since 1960 or 1968 depending on which numbers you like. But I am only twenty-five years old and when I look back on my country's important events in my lifetime I had never felt any pride that I was an American until 2008. I remember Clinton, I remember 9/11, I remember Afghanistan, I remember Iraq, I remember Katrina. Political drama, terrorist attacks, and war do not make me proud to be an American. I don't support war for revenge or for oil. But in 2008 America said to the world, you don't have to be a white man to be our president and I was proud that we proved that.

seriouscat 4 years ago

Who is really stupid enough to think that lying is exclusive to only one political party? Why can't people on the LJ boards get past the sophomoric bickering about which party is the goodies and which is the baddies?

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Fox and the pundits lied. They lied. Show me where they have apologized for these stories. Don't tell me about what other lies have happened. Stay focused on this story. What have they done to atone for this crud. Focus. They could admit faulty sources, they could admit out and out that they lied. But they need to take responsibility if they want credibility.

whynaut 4 years ago

Fox news climbs to number one at the same time reality TV gains unprecedented popularity. Coincidence? I think not.

Reality TV is a hoax. Has been from the beginning. People don't know when they are being marketed to, or they simply don't care, and they continue to watch the drama "unfold" in it's predetermined way. Viewers get excited when other people make huge deals out of practically nothing. It makes good TV.

Fox News does the exact same thing. They are #1 in the RATINGS because that is their goal, to become #1 in the RATINGS. Oh, but how many awards for journalistic excellence has Fox News won? How many Pulitzers? How man duPont's? I'm sure if Fox News were focused on journalistic excellence, and allocated their resources toward that goal instead of staying #1 in the RATINGS, then they could start competing for some of these awards with real news organizations. But I suppose awards such as these are part of the leftist media conspiracy, and Fox wouldn't accept them even if they won them. Hey, maybe Fox can come up with their own award. Call it the "Foxie" and reward it to the most fair and balanced news organization who says "fair and balanced" the most often.

Using that whole "but then why is Fox News #1" argument, is like pointing to the fact that Worlds of Fun receives more annual visitors than the public library.

Or it's like saying that McDonald's is superior to 5 Guys because they sell more burgers.

When convenience of delivery holds greater value to the consumer than quality of product, people who don't care about quality (or don't know the difference between good quality and poor quality) tend to consume crap. Capitalism exploits this tendency to an obscene level, and the producers of crap will invest heavily in making sure their consumers either continue not to care about the quality, or continue to not know the difference.

Being #1 in RATINGS has nothing whatsoever to do with being #1 in JOURNALISM.

Congratulations Tom, you and millions of others are the targets (witting or otherwise ) of one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever launched. And you and millions of others will probably keep Fox News right there at the top of the RATINGS because either you don't care that your favored source for journalism is not very good (as evidenced by the lack of accolades compared to other outlets), or you cannot tell the difference between good journalism and poor journalism. Either way, keep on buying what they are selling. Maybe you'll win a "Foxie" for "Most Patriotic News Consumer".

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

Compared to the evil minons of the current regime, the Nixon administration was a pack of beginners when it came to creating enemy lists.

pizzapete 4 years ago

The current regime ain't got nothing on Bush, those guys were masters of BS.

notajayhawk 4 years ago

I read the Fox story vertigo linked to above (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/04/security-entourage-earning-epic-reputation-ahead-obama-india-visit/), and I have to say, if this is what has our fine liberal brethren screaming "Fox lies", y'all really need to get a grip.

"The Press Trust of India quoted an official in the state of Maharashtra pegging the cost at $200 million a day."

If the Press Trust of India did, indeed, quote that official as saying that, then the statement above is not a lie, it's a fact. They didn't say that the trip was costing $200 million/day, they said the Press Trust of India quoted an official as saying that. They then quoted a White House spokesman disputing the official's statement. That they reported on the claim made by an anonymous official is a non-issue. One of the "military official"s they cited disputing the claims about the size of the naval force was also unnamed.

In fact, a quick scan appears to show two paragraphs enumerating the claims, and seven paragraphs disputing them. As to which came first in the story, who cares? Before the details of the claims were alleged, this statement appeared: "The details on the trip, extensively reported in the Indian media but strongly disputed by U.S. officials". In other words, they told you up front there's two sides to the story, and then told you what those two sides were.

Should they not have reported it at all because it was in dispute? Pick any of your favorite "Bush lied" rants and see if the administration disagreed - should those not have been reported because they were in dispute?

Seriously, folks, if this is the best you can come up with, maybe the problem is that you need how to learn to read a newspaper.

whynaut 4 years ago

http://bit.ly/fOmlbd

They didn't lie. They just took an obviously dubious statement and dressed it up to play "news" for the day.

Of course you have to be vigilant when reading/watching/listening to news. You just have to be more vigilant when reading/watching/listening Fox.

Not claiming that they lied. Just claiming that they suck. Fox News has about as much journalistic integrity as Justin Bieber has musical integrity. Both are insanely popular. People prefer crap sometimes. What can you do?

beatrice 4 years ago

This is like Dan Rather reporting on the false military papers about Bush as if they were fact. He didn't do his due diligence to investigate the source or accuracy of the papers, and he paid the price in loss of trust of the viewers. Why this isn't happening with Fox is ... well ... beyond me. I guess FoxNews viewers hate Obama so much that they will accept anything said about him. They just don't care if it is the truth or not.

beatrice 4 years ago

nota, the source was a single blogger in India. Kind of like taking Big Prune's word on something and reporting it as fact. That doesn't bother you?

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years ago

You are the Tom Tom, Tom...a.k.a. Master Baiter, Plasteredebater, Spastic Hater, Etceterator!~) Can you quit beating your fool drum for a SECOND? I didn't think so. You ARE FoxSnooze!

MrRighty 4 years ago

I voted for George W. Bush because Al Gore is a blithering idiot. I was throughly dissatisfied with GWB's first term and was forced to vote for him again to keep John Kerry, out of the Oval Office. I would have much preferred Colin Powell the first time around but he was too smart to run. Two things disappoint me most about Obama's election as our President. First, it saddens me that the American people valued being part of some PC statement to prove something to the world over serious scrutiny of the person ready to take the highest office in the land. It was socially more important to elect a non-white and/or non-male; so important that his dubious background didn't matter. Whether or not he was constitutionally qualified to even hold the office was swept under the carpet. The ensuing media bloodbath could have been avoided altogether but, instead, hiding something very costly to his campaign was worth losing that much credibility and enduring all that political heat. His involvement in some of the most notorious Pendergast-style Illinois politics was marginalized by the media. For the first time that I know of in recent history, a candidate's records were sealed from investigation. If the contents are innocent, there should be no problem. Second, if you subscribe to the above that it was indeed that important, above all else, to put a non-white in office, blacks across the country should be severely disappointed. Obama has taken the first and, perhaps only opportunity, to powerfully promote the positive image of blacks across this nation and squandered it. He's made a laughingstock of the Office of President of the United States and significantly damaged the security and reputation of the United States. When the dust (and paper) settles in 5-10 years and Obama's Presidency, like all before it, is examined by historians to determine its successes and failures, Obama will most likely go down as one of the most incompetent Presidents of all time....surpassing even Carter and Hoover. FYI, they were President before you were born. Sadly, however, Obama's presidential papers will probably also be sealed like everything else about him and he will not only be the first non-white President, he will also be the first modern-day President without a library. There is a reason that the U.S. Constitution and the form of government we currently enjoy stands as the longest-lasting in the world. America works; whether its convenient for you or the rest of the world. The convoluted, highly un-natural process Obama's rise to power has taken is an example of a perversion of that Constitution and that form of government. Osi, if you're so ashamed of the country you live in, you should renounce your citizenship and move away. What? No? That's what I thought.

meggers 4 years ago

You sort of lost all credibility when you questioned the constitutionality of Obama's qualifications to be president. The birth certificate has been presented, as has the newspaper announcement of his birth in Honolulu. There was nothing "unnatural" about Obama's assent to the presidency, and I find your use of that particular word quite curious.

Nevertheless, if you're attempting to claim some sort of consipiracy, perhaps you should include GW Bush, because his disastrous policies helped to ensure a democratic victory in 2008. To call Obama a laughingstock who has "significantly damaged the security and reputation of the United States" is downright laughable, particularly given his predecessor.

For all of your flag-waving sentiments, telling those who disagree with you that they should leave the country is about as unpatriotic as one can get.

MrRighty 4 years ago

First, I've seen the document you are talking about. It would not pass as evidence in any court. I can understand the Social Security number being redacted but there is less than half the usually data that appears on a birth certificate. It doesn't quite pass the muster with me. Second, you conveniently failed to answer my charges against his personal records being sealed. Presidential candidates are subject to all manner of investigation; administrative, as well as public and media-based. Why should this one be any different? It bothers a lot of people. sorry. FACT. You also conveniently glossed over the race issue I spent a lot of time crafting to be fair and objective. why? Probably BECAUSE I'M RIGHT! If I was a black American right now, I'd be torqued to no end. Third, as fas as Bush's policies go, its obvious you didn't read my comment very well (probably because you were already mad and only reading the convenient passages) because I started this comment with the fact that I was NOT happy with him and would not have voted for him either time were the alternative not even worse. I don't particularly like the way the war has turned out. I'm not happy with the reactionary response to 9/11. I'm not happy with the creation and proliferation of DHS and its special police powers. I however do not give this President a pass because his predecessor was also less than desireable. No one forced Obama's administration to further enhance those policies. Funny, aren't we talking about airport body scanners and other "security theater" measures right now? No one forced Obama to keep troops overseas as he is and commit further involvement in Afghanistan. If he's so much better committed to bringing our boys home, why are there more of our troops than ever over there? No one forced him to follow Republican spending habits and increase the rate to record-setting levels. And don't you DARE question my patriotism. I've served this country before, and I serve this country now. I have no problem with people that disagree with me. Heck, if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have anyone like you to argue with you right now. LOL. I'm perfectly happy to have people that disagree with me living right next door to me. I just posited the opinion that if Osi is so ashamed of this country and holds it in such contempt, there may be many more conducive countries in which he/she could emigrate to and obviously be happier. And my last few words should have clued you in to that...... "what? no? that's what I thought." Its so nice to have people decide to attack you but only address the parts of your speech that support the argument instead of taking the whole comment and deciding if they have an argument at all.

meggers 4 years ago

When you question another’s patriotism, you subject your own to equal scrutiny. Telling someone they SHOULD (you said should, not could) move away seems to imply that they are not appropriately patriotic to remain here. I just get irritated with all of the “if you don’t like it, leave” talk. To me, it signals a hypocritical and myopic form of patriotism that is not at all reflective of our founding principles. I now understand that you did not intend it to come across that way, but that’s how it read to me. I apologize if I was too harsh.

Thank you for your service to the country. I genuinely appreciate the sacrifice of our military. I actually agree with you to some degree about our foreign policy, however I don’t think Obama really broke any promises. He said he would draw down in Iraq and focus on winning in Afghanistan. He’s kept both of those promises, despite the controversy about increasing troop levels in Afghanistan. Like you, I’m also troubled that he has allowed so many of the Bush administration security and detainee policies to remain in place. I won’t even try to defend them because the only defense I can see is the political one (being labeled “weak on terror”) and I don’t consider that an adequate defense for civil liberty and human rights abuses.

I honestly don’t understand the point you are trying to make about race. I don’t think black Americans should be more or less disappointed than white Americans in the president’s performance. Then again, I don’t view his presidency at this stage quite as disastrous as you seem to, especially given the cards he was dealt when he was sworn in. I think a lot of people are seriously hurting due to the economic crisis and they’re looking for A) someone to fix it NOW, and B) someone to blame. Despite virtually every economist telling us that it’s going to be a long, slow slog to recovery, we live in a society that has come to expect immediate results.

The birth certificate has been authenticated, the seal touched by human hands, and declared authentic. I honestly don’t know what other records you are referring to, unless it’s the financial aid thing that was also proven to be a false rumor. Here is some information from snopes that will hopefully address whatever it is you were referring to.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/occidental.asp

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/carter.asp

Sorry if I’ve missed responding to anything in your post. It isn’t intentional, just a time management issue!

MrRighty 4 years ago

I checked out your links. The financial aid issue was a new one for me and, I must agree, pretty weak. Snopes is right on all counts here but doesn't really answer my questions. #1, the Obama folks did indeed release an authentic document...but it was not a birth certificate. I can't remember what it was called, but it was not quite a birth certificate and the legal differences and ramifications were spelled out. I wish I could find the articleI read about it from. The Federal court order Snopes was interesting but still not quite on point. I agree with Snopes that a court order was never filed.....the fact is the case quietly and mysteriously died. That doesn't make me any more satisfied. #2, the Obama team could have, right up front, cheerfully provided the proof that was requested the first time with the, "glad we can get this out of the way" attitude. Instead they chose to drag their feet until insurmountable pressure was exerted. Why go to all that trouble...unless there is a reason? Then and only then did they finally produce something....and it wasn't even a birth certificate....it was something else...authentic or not. In closing, if it looks fishy, smells fishy, and tastes fishy, its probably fish. BTW, when I say I've served this country, I did not mean I was or am in the military. I'm a government employee. However, I do share your sentiments about our military. Overall, they are a fabulous group of people that deserve a debt of gratitude we can never repay.....and usually go out of our way to withhold for political reasons. Have a good holiday Meggers.

beatrice 4 years ago

M.R., did you vote for McCain because he was the White guy?

I'm assuming you will say no. Well guess what, others didn't vote for Obama because he was the Black guy, or that it was the PC thing to do. Sorry, but that just doesn't cut it, or we would see much more of it in elections around the country. Instead, he was elected DESPITE his being the Black guy. Why? Because he was the best candidate for the position. Otherwise, Alan Keyes could have been elected President.

The color of Obama's skin seems to be a real issue with you. Why is that?

Also, feel free to back up any of your accusations about perverting the Constitution with real examples. Any time.

Given who he followed, Obama has a long way to go before he can be called the worst President. A mightly long way.

osi 4 years ago

I really don't see how the "love it or leave it" attitude solves any of our country's problems and I appreciate Mr. Obama's presidency so far. I love hearing him speak. He is very intelligent and tries hard to keep his politics positive. I think healthcare reform is an enormous step forward for our country. This is my country too whether you like it or not. I have traveled to India and the Ukraine and at least from my experiences talking to students and professors in those countries it was Bush that had the world confused about America's intentions not Obama. So far Obama hasn't started any wars or gotten any shoes thrown at him. But only time (not the comment section on the LJWorld) will tell how Obama and Bush are remembered. The U.S. Constitution and our form of government is only 234 years old so I would hardly call it the longest-lasting in the world and it is those kind of statements that piss off the rest of the world because it is an ignorant statement that sounds like you have never taken world history and probably don't care to.

beatrice 4 years ago

The odd thing is that the letter asks about lies told to the American people. Since it is looking at the lies coming from the Right, some are here defending the Right. Instead, why isn't the question "are you (or am I) willing to accept lies that are told us, or do we want honesty?"

I'm sorry, but when someone lies, even if it is a lie about someone or some group you don't care for, it is still a lie. If you are okay with that, then you are just a pawn and nothing more.

MrRighty 4 years ago

Now that it's taken so long to craft that comment, the comments it was meant to address are buried far deep in the past. I was referring to Osi's comment about Michelle Obama's "finally proud to be an American" speech and the ensuing race-based replies. If you don't read those, you'll ask, "where did this come from?" My apologies for my tardiness.....but not the content.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Great letter. Why only the right? Seems to me the left also engages in "spin"???

As to this specific, taking a group to anywhere costs money. Mr. Obama has a duty to deal with other nations on behalf of all of us. That is what he was doing and unless somebody comes up with specifics about an actual unreasonable expense this whole issue is nothing but politics as usual.

LEFT: Mr. Bush did ...

Right: Mr Obama did ...

Have we always been this way?

meggers 4 years ago

Yes, political mudslinging is as old and cherished sport in this nation. The difference is that we also used to have reputable journalists that actually reported the news. Now, we have 24-hour entertainment shows masquerading as 'news' and propagating misinformation that people accept as fact. Compound that with the ability to make any lie go viral on the web and we have an outraged, but woefully misinformed electorate.

meggers 4 years ago

mudslinging is an old and cherished sport

carry on...

MrRighty 4 years ago

Now that is something I can agree with you whole-heartedly on. Very well said. Journalism these days is a joke. It would be nice to sit down at night and watch one show and be assured you got most of the straight skinny. These days you have to watch/read ten sources and find out who the liars are. Anyone left is probably telling the truth...at least most of it.

meggers 4 years ago

Yeah, it's frustrating. I'm a firm believer in CSPAN. In my opinion, it's really the only objective news source out there. Their website is fantastic- you can watch video (or just listen to the audio) of briefings, committee hearings, military briefings, press briefings, house and senate debates, etc. Plus, you can link to specific pieces of leglislation. You can also listen to audio of all the Supreme Court oral arguments, which is downright fascinating to me.

Other than that, like you, I just sort of sift through the rest!

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

Here's a direct quote from the story nota cited: “…The Obama administration has pushed back on some of the more sensational claims about the trip. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor shot down the $200 million-a-day figure -- to put the outrageous sum in context, that's 5 million times Rachael Ray's recommended $40 a day. "The numbers reported in this article have no basis in reality. Due to security concerns, we are unable to outline details associated with security procedures and costs, but it's safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated," Vietor said…” Doesn't sound deceptive to me. Not quite in the same league as Gunda Dan's tub thumping.

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

In other news: "A wonderful, reusable metaphor for the current Administration" http://minx.cc/?post=308600

BobtheBuilder 4 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 4 years ago

Yes, it is important that we kill the messenger.

Question remains, do you personally care that news channels are blatantly lying to you?

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Bea,

It makes it very hard to be an informed citizen when the leadership (both parties) and the press (most of it) spin the story. Not sure what to do about it. I am not willing to "control" the press. The leadership stands for election and if they spin too much we can fire them.

beatrice 4 years ago

It isn't just the spin, but the out and out lies that bother me the most. Sadly, as we see here, too many people end up believing and repeating those likes -- Obama wasn't born in America, he is a Muslim, he is spending $200 million a day to go to India. Those are just clear and blatant lies, and people soak it up.

Indeed, news stations shouldn't spin a story, but it is worse when they just flat out lie to us. That is just wrong. Not wanting spin is why I don't understand how anyone can watch either MSNBC or FoxNews. If I want to watch that much spinning, my clothes better come out clean when I'm done.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

I was being polite. IMHO, (yes-humble) most of what I hear is not an outright lie. The prevaricator just tells part of the story - the part that makes their point. When the networks do their conflicting spokespersons thing, more often than not all we get is restatements of talking points rather than discussion of the points made by the other player. Really makes it hard.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Question for the conservatives. Do you, or do you not believe that 200 million a day was spent on this diplomatic trip, something Presidents are suppose to do? Do you believe that an armada was there for his protection? I'll bet a lot of you and other sheep believe it, and even if you were presented with an itemized expense account of all money spent, and a sworn statement from the Navy that this was all BS, you would still believe it. Just like you all still believe that Hawaii is lying about Obama's birth and that there are death panels in the health care bill. You also believe anything you get in bulk email, from other people who believe anything on TV or on the internet is truth. I've heard the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale. Wanna buy it?

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

How times have changed!

"Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" - Patrick Henry, 1775

"A government of the people, by the people and for the people." - Pres. Abraham Lincoln, 1863

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself!" - Pres. Franklin Roosevelt, 1933*

"That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong, 1969

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Pres. Ronald Reagan, 1987

"This war is lost." - Sen. Harry Ried (D), 2007

"When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." - Barack Obama, 2008

"If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." - John Tyner, 2010

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2010/11/23/not-with-a-bang-but-a-wimper.php

beatrice 4 years ago

How could you have forgotten to include "I have a wide stance." - Larry Craig, 2007

tomatogrower 4 years ago

"When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." - Barack Obama, 2008

So a strong middle class is bad for the country? So we should be a country of filthy rich people and their servants? How does that serve to be "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people." You hate the government, remember? We have had public education for years, because, yes, we want to indoctrinate people into democracy. To convince them that they have power to make the world and the country a better place. To improve each generation, and make our democracy finally able to include everyone. I'm sure that neither party, and especially the Tea Party, want democracy. They want to advance the agendas of the rich people who really put them in office. Start thinking critically.

beatrice 4 years ago

Yes, a strong middle class is bad for America. We should just give all the money to the wealthy individuals, and they will treat us nicely and hire us all as gardners and house-keepers. How could you be so un-American not to appreciate this simple truth? Besides, don't you know that some day you might win the lottery and be rich yourself? Why do you want to treat your potentially rich self so poorly by wanting to raise taxes on your potential self?

However, you shouldn't worry. I hear rich people like tomatoes, so you should do well under the new aristocracy.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Gee, I thought we were giving all the money to the wealthy people (>250K). Most of us are seeing static or lost income against inflation. Only very rich elites (and KU faculty) are seeing increases above inflatiuon.

Now progressives, explain to me why Mrs Pelosi could not get a tax increase on the rich passed back in August when 47 democrats were reported to have been unwilling to vote for it? How about last spring when the democrats had full control? Numbers really don'tt mattre the fact is she could not get the job done.

Could that be because both parties are owned and operated by the rich elites (and KU faculty).

Please look in the mirror for some of the problem.

kcaj 4 years ago

So, William has a problem with the estimates. Does he know what it costs? They do not publish what presidential trips cost. If they did we'd all just set still & take it. Because noone cares. Kind of sad, the country is in terrible shape & going downhill faster than anyone wants to admit & our prez goes on a worthless trip. Maybe we won't vote for a college professor next time.

BigPrune 4 years ago

Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes. An old Social Security card with the "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION" message.

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be Completely voluntary,

No longer Voluntary

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program,

Now 7.65% on the first $90,000

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

No longer tax deductible

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

Under Johnson the money was moved to The General Fund and Spent

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Under Clinton & Gore Up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed. So you pay taxes on the money when they take it away from you and you pay taxes on the money when they give it back to you? And the Democrats pretend to be worried about oil companies making windfall profits?

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to 'put away' -- you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent 'Trust Fund' and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the 'tie-breaking' deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it! Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it! Some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn't so.

George Lippencott 4 years ago

Agnostick (anonymous) says…

I say: Both comments are true but deceptive.

Social Security benefits have not always been taxable. Social Security contributions have not in recent memory been tax deductible. Now the benefits are taxed according to income level. So, if you planned as you were supposed to plan and have enough other income SS is taxable up to 85% of your benefits. Nice incentive.

Social Security was voluntary (and still is) for some classes of employees (state and local). There are conditions. Some municipalities have their own funds and their employees do not pay SS. Just about the time I joined the military the troops were put under social security (they had not been previously). There were other exemptions but few survive.

One could go on but the point is made that both sides in this argument are simplifying a complex subject.

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