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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

George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months 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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ksrush 3 years, 4 months ago

Bill,this article is great fiction.

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Agnostick 3 years, 4 months ago

BigPrune, compulsive liar and deceiver, gets it all wrong yet again. Copy/pasting something that's been around the globe via the internet at least 1,000 times. Don't believe me? Google the last paragraph of BigPrune's lying smear and see how many hits you get back.

Now, on to the truth of the matter...

Q: Did FDR promise that Social Security would be voluntary? Did Democrats end tax deductions for Social Security withholding?

A: Social Security has never been voluntary and taxes paid to support it have never been deductible from federal income taxes. A widely e-mailed "history lesson" gets nearly all its facts wrong.

Read more...

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/03/fdrs-voluntary-social-security/

Snopes nails this one, too...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/socialsecurity/changes.asp

Too bad, so sad, BigLiar! :p

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BigPrune 3 years, 4 months 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.

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kcaj 3 years, 4 months 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.

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tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months 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.

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Agnostick 3 years, 4 months ago

Bachman, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Malkin, O’Reilly, ad nauseum have absolutely nothing to back up their ridiculous claims. Neither do any of their supporters on this or any other message boards.

On the other hand, several links have been posted, critically and thoroughly questioning the voracity of these claims.

If Barbara and David Mikkelson can post their sources on Snopes.com (links provided earlier by cait48, vertigo, meggers and others)... why can't the hatemongers?

It seems that a few recently-booted trolls have re-registered under new usernames. Pretty easy to spot these fools.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months 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

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tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months 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?

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George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months 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.

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BobtheBuilder 3 years, 4 months ago

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

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

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

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months 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.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 4 months 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?

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MrRighty 3 years, 4 months 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.

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beatrice 3 years, 4 months 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.

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MrRighty 3 years, 4 months 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.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 4 months ago

Looks like judging from some of the comments, people far and wide are being "Tommed" to death by Fox News. You guys are absolutely terrific! Stop "Tomming" me!

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notajayhawk 3 years, 4 months 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.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months 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.

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tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months 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.

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seriouscat 3 years, 4 months 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?

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 4 months ago

You wanna read some drivel from a Kool-Aid drinking, apologist galore, race-baiting, bitter, clinger, hater---read this.....Cohen---taking his talking points from Huffie----how quaint.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/22/AR2010112204388.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

The Palin Bashfest is now in full swing. The uber disgusting Andrea Mitchell trashed Palin last night. She makes me want to hurl---but unlike the left, I actually WATCH and READ the left's garbage to see what they're really doing and saying---not just go on what some blog tells me.

Michelle Obama said what she meant and meant what she said. The Obama's soaked up Rev. Wrights divisive and hateful anti-White Black Liberation Theology rhetoric for 20 years. There is nothing about what Palin said that is not dead on accurate----unless your a lefty ideologue.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

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

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 4 months ago

The last time Nuclear bombs murdered innocent women and children the Democrats were in charge. That was when Democrats imprisoned Japanese Americans in camps.

What was this LTE about.......North Koreans bombing Koreans and China looking the other way?...oh that's right, Deception.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 5 months 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.

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Number_1_Grandma 3 years, 5 months ago

Rightwingers have turned in the christmas stocking caps for tinfoil hats this christmas....

.....Said they get better reception on Beck, O' Reilly and Hannity.

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BigAl 3 years, 5 months ago

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

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 5 months 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.

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jstthefacts 3 years, 5 months ago

The reason the right wingers make lying the main part of their daily routine is because their base believes them without question and then they spew the lies repeatedly as if that will cause them to gain some credibility as the ignorant and uniformed believe them as well. Just look at the posters above. True believers. Yep, pretty pathetic. Its the rights way.

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i_tching 3 years, 5 months ago

Unions are destroying America. They should go back to China where they came from.

/snark>

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 5 months 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.

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Liberty_One 3 years, 5 months ago

We, as a nation, would be better off if we did pay Obama millions of dollars to take a vacation all year-round. It'd be much better than the $ billions a day he spends on "stimulus" and other vote-buying, kickbacks and union rewards.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

The paranoia on the left is well represented by Skepnek. Since three weeks ago, the left is seriously paranoid. Their progressive grab bag full of goodies is about to be emptied by Republicans and they are freaking.

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roscoepoet 3 years, 5 months 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/

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

For sure Obama is the laughing stock of the world. And when you have two prominent Democratic strategists with rock-solid reputations opining in a co-written op-ed that The Anointed One should immediately announce he will not seek re-election, you know Obama is a failure. Practically every single thing he has tried to do---at least the big issues---have been an unmitigated disaster. Obama is not presidential material in any way, shape, form or fashion. He needs to go back to being a constitutional scholar and activist. The liberal establishment media is swiftly running out of ways to protect him. We will be cleaning up his "fundamental transformation" mess for generations.

One thing you can say with certainty though, our first black president will go down in history----bigger than ever possibly imagined.

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CorkyHundley 3 years, 5 months ago

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

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 5 months ago

Funny, I heard with my own ears on FNC it was around $20 million per day. What is FNC trying to achieve with all these lies Mr. Skepnek? Do they have an agenda sorta like the dominant liberal and highly incompetent and willfully dishonest corrupt establishment media did when the heavens opened up and the seas parted upon the advent of The Anointed One appeared? Why does Bill O'Reilly practically on a nightly basis, out at least one---if not several corrupt leftist media's lies? Why does the New York Times, the go-to source for cnn, abc, nbc and cbs and the far-left blogs lie or lie by ommission practically every day? Why do they bury negative and big stories about Democrats on page 24?

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Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 5 months ago

As reads: LTE writer witnesses Obama trip first hand. Repudiates National News.

Should read: LTE writer spews BS he heard on left leaning media, believes it as fact.

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independant1 3 years, 5 months ago

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

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 5 months 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.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months 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.

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