Day: April 18, 2011

VIDEO: The Truth About GOP Hero Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

In keeping with our “fact checking” theme for today, Think Progress has an article that’s apropos for today’s topic…

Think Progress  

H/t – Yankee Clipper

A film adaptation of the 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, opened this past Friday. The release of the film has coincided with a resurgence of popularity for Rand on the American Right. The trailer for Atlas Shrugged had its world premier at this year’s CPAC conference, the Tea Party group FreedomWorks has rolled outa massive campaign to promote the film, and the story’s opening line — “Who is John Galt?” — has appeared on numerous signs at Tea Party rallies.

At the same time, some of the right’s leading political and media lights have heaped praise upon Rand. The author of the Republicans’ new budget plan to gut Medicare and Medicaid, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), has said Rand is the reason he entered politics, and requires his staff to read her work. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have both declared themselves devotees of her writing. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has his law clerks watch the film adaptation of Rand’s book The Fountainhead. She’s also received accolades from right-wing pundits Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, John Stossel, and Andrew Napolitano.

During her lifetime, Rand advocated “the virtue of selfishness,” declared altruism to be “evil,” opposed Medicare and all forms of government support for the middle-class and the poor, and condemned Christianity for advocating love and compassion for the less fortunate:

Continue reading here…

More from Yankee Clipper: 

Ayn Rand Received Social Security, Medicare

The Incredibly Banal Secret Obama Tape – Dave Weigel

The big brouhaha over a hot mic during an Obama fundraiser seems quite a bit overblown in my opinion.  Apparently a few political bloggers feel the same.  Here’s Dave Weigel on the issue…

Dave Weigel – Slate

The revelation of Mark Knoller’s leak from this Obama fundraiser seems to be that the president is awake and knows how politics work right now. I’m not even sure if I hear a Kinsley gaffe in here.

I remember at one point in the negotiations, one of Boehner’s staff people pipes up and says, ‘You don’t understand, Mr. President. We’ve lost on health care. We’ve lost on the EPA. We’ve given that up. We’ve got to have something to give to our caucus.’

And I said to them, let me tell you something. I spent a year and a half getting health care passed. I had to take that issue across the country, and I paid significant political costs to get it done. The notion that I’m going to let you guys undo that in a six month spending bill? I said, you want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. But you’re not going to be able to do that by nickle-and-diming me on the budget. You think we’re stupid? And that’s going to — we’re going to see this again. We’ll see it on the debt limit vote. This will be the strategy going forward, trying to do things they can’t do legislatively under the cause of ‘cutting spending.'”

It would be deeply strange if Obama didn’t think this. A bit more interesting is the section on Paul Ryan. This is a closed door fundraiser, not a speech. In his deficit speech, Obama never attacked Ryan by name. Behind closed doors, he does, and derides him for voting for Bush era legislation that wasn’t paid for as Democrats claim the PPACA is.

Fact-checking President Obama’s speech on fiscal policy – PolitiFact

 

PolitiFact

In an April 13, 2011, speech at George Washington University, President Barack Obama laid out his vision for America’s fiscal future and took shots at the alternative Republican plan presented by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Obama threw around a lot of numbers to make his case, and we jumped in to fact-check some of them.

We’ll start with a striking statistic offered by the president about the future burden of interest on the national debt.

“By the end of this decade, the interest we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion,” Obama said.

We found Obama’s number only gets close if you consider a “budget window” at the end of the 10 years ending in 2021.  Using the figures for 2019 or 2020 as “the end of this decade” instead, Obama’s numbers are off by anywhere from 13 percent to 29 percent. Obama’s underlying point is still sound — the United States will have hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on the books — but we think the most obvious numbers fall short of “nearly $1 trillion.” On balance, we rated the statement Half True.      Continue reading…

 
“In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each.”

Barack Obama, Wednesday, April 13th, 2011.

Ruling: Half-True | Details

 
“By the end of this decade, the interest we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion.”

Barack Obama, Wednesday, April 13th, 2011.

Ruling: Half-True | Details

 
“Foreign aid makes up about 1 percent of our entire budget.”

Barack Obama, Wednesday, April 13th, 2011.

Ruling: True | Details

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The Donald has a memory lapse

Today  will be  “Fact-Check Day” on The Fifth Column.   Some articles will come directly from fact-checking sites, while others will simply expose the balatant lies that politician seem to enjoy telling.

The Fact Checker – The Washington Post 

 The truth behind the rhetoric

A common complaint by politicians is that they are misquoted by the media. Donald Trump, the tycoon-and-possible-presidential candidate, is not yet a politician, but he’s come up with a new grievance: No one asked for my side of the story.

We were reading an article about Trump in the New York Observer in which he once again claimed that Obama has not fessed up to the truth about his birth certificate. The article said:

“I’m amazed that the press gives him such a free ride on that,” he said. When told that the Washington Post fact-checked many of his claims on this issue and found them to be inaccurate, Trump held his ground. 

He said the paper should have called him for [his] side of the story. 

The Facts 

Hmm, we thought we did call him. In fact, didn’t we quote him in the column, which looked into his assertion (and also Sarah Palin’s claim) that Obama has spent $2 million covering up questions about his birth certificate?

On Monday, we actually contacted two people who work for Trump: Michael Cohen, a spokesman, and Rhona Graff, vice president and assistant to the president (Trump) of the Trump Organization. We asked both the same basic question: “Donald Trump says that Obama has spent more than $2 millions on legal fees on the birth certificate issue. Where does he get that figure from?”

Cohen never responded. However, Graff sent us an e-mail at 5:06 p.m. which said this:

Hi Glenn: 

Below is Mr. Trump’s response to your question. 

“It is well known in legal circles that this is the kind of time they are spending on the issue. Isn’t it a shame when all he has to do is produce his birth certificate, which he has not done.” 

Thank you. 

Rhona 

That’s the quote that was used in the article. Obviously, if he had wanted to get on the phone, that would have been preferable. But he chose to give us a statement through an assistant. 

 

The Pinnochio Test 

Arguing with Donald Trump about the truth is obviously a fool’s errand. He will say what he wants, even if it is easily proven false. 

 

Four Pinnochios