I am going to be entirely honest here, the debate last night left me confused and discombobulated (it's a word, look it up!). Whether it was the stringent rules of the debate or the moderator herself, I thought Ifill did a less than stellar job of keeping this thing on track and on topic. For me, Joe Biden was off his game and only regained composure in the second half of the debate. The most confusing though had to be the performance of Sarah Palin. I certainly have my bias but she seemed to be all over the map at all points and rarely answered anything other than her own self imposed questions with any specificity. Her expectations had been set at a bar so low that as she walked onto the stage she had cleared that bar.

In the end, I cannot possibly fathom where or how people can honestly come up with the notion that Palin is either qualified or knowledgable about the core issues facing this country. It reminded me of the student who had crammed the night before the final exam, barely passed the exam, and just as quickly emptied their had of the crammed information.

I notice that my good friend and right wing spin machine, Gary Gross, copied and pasted a list of "14 Lies" on his blog conveniently provided to him by the McCain campaign. Let's take a look:

I am not going to dispute all of these, because frankly, Biden did make some inaccurate assertions. Interesting, though, that Gross decided not to be honest enough to also include a list of Palin lies.

JOE BIDEN’S 14 LIES TONIGHT

1. TAX VOTE: Biden said McCain voted “the exact same way” as Obama to increase taxes on Americans earning just $42,000, but McCain DID NOT VOTE THAT WAY.

Given that this statement provides no context or hard evidence either way, it is nearly impossible to dispute this claim. That is the beauty of it...

What specific bill are we talking about? FactCheck.org seems to know the bill in question and calls the Palin claim that Obama voted to increase taxes on "families" earning just $42,000 FALSE. So here is the spin: Biden may have misspoke that McCain voted the same way but seems to leave out that they are lying in the first place about the original claim.

Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.

Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.

2. AHMEDINIJAD MEETING: Joe Biden lied when he said that Barack Obama never said that he would sit down unconditionally with Mahmoud Ahmedinijad of Iran. Barack Obama did say specifically, and Joe Biden attacked him for it.

This particular assertion is accurate but the question is, why isn't John McCain willing to do the diplomatic work necessary to deal with Ahmadinejad and others who are our enemies?

3. OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING: Biden said, “Drill we must.” But Biden has opposed offshore drilling and even compared offshore drilling to “raping” the Outer Continental Shelf.”

This assertion makes the assumption that Biden is referring to the outer continental shelf when he makes the statement "drill we must". We ALL know what happens when you ASS U & ME!

4. TROOP FUNDING: Joe Biden lied when he indicated that John McCain and Barack Obama voted the same way against funding the troops in the field. John McCain opposed a bill that included a timeline, that the President of the United States had already said he would veto regardless of it’s passage.

And Barack Obama opposed a bill that DID NOT include a timeline for withdrawal. McCain wants the two situations to be judged on two different merits, which is what Biden was trying to say even though he misstated the "voted" part. What Biden should have said is that the issue here is opposition or support of a withdrawal timeline and NOT an issue of opposition or support of funding the troops.

5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

He has a record of voting against clean coal? FactCheck.org questions whether the voter exchange was taken out of context but they also make it clear that this assertion by the McCain campaign is false by defending Biden.

Whatever Biden meant or didn’t mean to say on the rope line, he has supported clean coal in the past. When the McCain camp used this one remark from Biden as the basis for a TV ad saying that Obama-Biden oppose clean coal, we said the claim was false. Obama’s position in favor of clean coal has been clear, and pushing for the technology has been part of his energy policy.


6. ALERNATIVE ENERGY VOTES: According to FactCheck.org, Biden is exaggerating and overstating John McCain’s record voting for alternative energy when he says he voted against it 23 times.

I am going to leave this one but it is amusing that the McCain campaign would first, use FactCheck.org for this one given that they have already disputed some of the items on this very list and second, that FactCheck.org makes it clear that while this is an exaggeration it is clear that McCain has not been a supporter of alternative energy. It certainly doesn't paint him as a champion of alternative energy:

Biden said four times that McCain had voted 20 times against funding alternative energy. However, in analyzing the Obama campaign's list of votes after the first presidential debate, we found the number was actually 11. In the other instances the Obama-Biden campaign cites, McCain voted not against alternative energy but against mandatory use of alternative energy, or he voted in favor of allowing exemptions from these mandates.
The point for the McCain Campaign here: "I am not as bad on alternative energy as my opponents make me out to be!"

7. HEALTH INSURANCE: Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people’s health insurance coverage; they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false.

I would love to see the "independent fact checkers" that are cited here. The only mention I have found is from the AP:

BIDEN: Warned that Republican presidential candidate John McCain's $5,000 tax credit to help families buy health coverage "will go straight to the insurance company."

THE FACTS: That's not surprising - the money is meant to pay for health insurance. The Obama campaign tried to capitalize on the candidates' health care exchange by issuing an ad Friday contending that the Republicans can't explain "the McCain health tax."

However, I did find this from FactCheck.org about the McCain health plan:

The McCain campaign hasn't released an estimate of how much the plan would cost, but independent experts contradict Palin's claim of a cost-free program.

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that McCain's plan, which at its peak would cover 5 million of the uninsured, would increase the deficit by $1.3 trillion over 10 years. Obama's plan, which would cover 34 million of the uninsured, would cost $1.6 trillion over that time period.


8. OIL TAXES: Biden falsely said Palin supported a windfall profits tax in Alaska; she reformed the state tax and revenue system, it’s not a windfall profits tax.

I am going to leave this one simply because I don't care whether you call it a reform or a windfall profits tax. It is clear that Palin made it so that oil companies in Alaska paid more in taxes. In fact, Politifact described it this way:

Palin was sworn in as governor on Dec. 4, 2006. Over the course of 2007, she fought to raise taxes on oil companies. Alaska gets about 85 percent of its state revenue from oil taxes, and as fuel prices skyrocketed, Palin complained the state wasn't getting its share of the windfall. She successfully pushed for a law that raised taxes on oil profits to 25 percent from 22.5, winning passage in the State Legislature in November 2007. The increase amounted to an estimated $1.6-billion annually more for the state.

9. AFGHANISTAN/GEN. MCKIERNAN COMMENTS: Biden said that top military commander in Iraq said the principles of the surge could not be applied to Afghanistan, but the commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Gen. David D. McKiernan said that there were principles of the surge strategy, including working with tribes, that could be applied in Afghanistan.

This one is my absolute favorite! Does the McCain Campaign really want to bring this up given that Palin didn't actually mention General McKiernan but rather some guy named McClellan. Even better than that, Gary Gross called him McClellan in his previous analysis. More importantly than all of that is this from FactCheck.org:

Point Biden. To start, Palin got newly appointed Gen. David D. McKiernan's name wrong when she called him McClellan. And, more important, Gen. McKiernan clearly did say that surge principles would not work in Afghanistan.

10. REGULATION: Biden falsely said McCain weakened regulation — he actually called for more regulation on Fannie and Freddie.

This one too, is hilarious! They once again make the assumption that Biden was speaking strictly of Fannie and Freddie. Wasn't it John McCain who called himself fundamentally a deregulator? Unless McCain provides more context to this quote it remains "fundamentally" true.

11. IRAQ: When Joe Biden lied when he said that John McCain was “dead wrong on Iraq”, because Joe Biden shared the same vote to authorize the war and differed on the surge strategy where they John McCain has been proven right.

This one is just plain stupid. Why? This is an opinion expressed by Joe Biden and can be neither deemed true nor false. McCain and his Gross mouthpiece really are trying to pad this list.

12. TAX INCREASES: Biden said Americans earning less than $250,000 wouldn’t see higher taxes, but the Obama-Biden tax plan would raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 or more.

Hooray, let's play the semantics game. Question for those willing to believe this list: Doesn't this statement put out by McCain then debunk his own claim that Obama wants to raise taxes on middle income Americans? Did anybody even proofread these to make sure you weren't debunking your own claims?

13. BAILOUT: Biden said the economic rescue legislation matches the four principles that Obama laid out, but in reality it doesn’t meet two of the four principles that Obama outlined on Sept. 19, which were that it include an emergency economic stimulus package, and that it be “part of a globally coordinated effort with our partners in the G-20.”

Now we are going to play the quibble game... Sure, I'll give you this one because once again I say, WHO CARES and I also am not willing to put in the research to try debunk it!

14. REAGAN TAX RATES: Biden is wrong in saying that under Obama, Americans won’t pay any more in taxes then they did under Reagan.

I am going to leave this one as well just because I have lost the ambition to continue on with this foolish list.

On this list, there are FIVE places in which I would agree that Biden made some sort of misstep or misstatement. The other NINE are dubious claims with clear spin for the conservative masses who are more than willing to ignore the actual substance of the list and simply cite that Biden lied 14 times.

Comments

3 responses to "My Thoughts On The VP Debate & Fact Checking Gary Gross "Facts"..."

  1. Max Ray On October 4, 2008 at 2:40 AM

    Biden falsely said McCain will raise taxes on people’s health insurance coverage; they get a tax credit to offset any tax hike. Independent fact checkers have confirmed this attack is false.
    He also added and warned that Republican presidential candidate John McCain's $5,000 tax credit to help families buy health coverage "will go straight to the insurance company."

     
  2. Gary Gross On October 4, 2008 at 8:40 AM

    5. OPPOSING CLEAN COAL: Biden says he’s always been for clean coal, but he just told a voter that he is against clean coal and any new coal plants in America and has a record of voting against clean coal and coal in the U.S. Senate.

    Either Biden lied to the woman in the rope line or he lied during the debate. Take your pick.

    Why isn't John McCain willing to do the diplomatic work necessary to deal with Ahmadinejad and others who are our enemies?

    Why make that false assumption? He's certainly supported Ryan Crocker's meeting with lower level diplomats from Iran.

    Barack Obama opposed a bill that DID NOT include a timeline for withdrawal.

    John McCain voted for victory. Sen. Obama didn't. Sen. Obama got one of the biggest foreign policy/national security issues badly wrong.

     
  3. insurance worker On October 23, 2008 at 7:27 AM

    i dont agree with that. You can find good health insurance plans at this site.
    I have checked the site and it is seriously working fine.