The one thing that has bothering me most about this election season is the complete dearth of truth coming out. Journalists have apparently decided that their job is creating click bait and they leave the fact checking to “fact check columns.” I really hate to break it to them, but for crap’s sake, journalism is all about fact checking. It shouldn’t be left to a particular column on a website; it is every journalist’s main mission. And yet, we are bombarded with ad after ad that spouts what is largely bullshit. What follows are some of the bullshit coming from the political ads I see over and over and my response. Hey; it’s what I do. I’d mention some coming from Democrats, but they apparently don’t need bullshit.
Republicans keep telling me the following:
That Democrats tried to kill the A-10 program. They apparently protected the A-10 from Obama’s chopping block. And, because they “saved” the A-10, countless lives have been saved all over the world. What a crock.
First of all, the impetus for trying to “kill” the A-10 came from the Air Force, not Democrats. The A-10 is a 40-year-old fighter designed specifically for close air support, which means it provides support for ground troops. The impetus for replacing the A-10 was based on the fact that it has been used since the 1970s, and the Air Force wanted to retire the aircraft in favor of something more modernized. In other words, it’s the same reason you’re not still driving your AMC Pacer in 2016. Besides, the Air Force wasn’t looking at getting rid of the A-10 now; they were intending to modify it until at least 2040. While the Republicans in Congress did restore some A-10 funding, the program has been extended to… can you guess?
In other words, if your local Republican congresscritter is telling you they saved the A-10, they’re full of crap. It’s still a controversial program, if for no other reason than it’s old. Some of the planes are more than 40 years old and need modification, which the “restored” A-10 program plans to do, as well. The only thing they did was guarantee modifications were made to the A-10 (now the A-10C) that make it more modern, which was the plan all along.
That “Obamacare” resulted in huge cuts in Medicare.
This is an old line of crap; a Republican chestnut that is completely nuts. The Affordable Care Act actually improves Medicare, by making all healthcare more efficient and requiring results before payment. They’ve been pushing this nonsense since 2010. The ACA does include future reductions in Medicare spending, but all of the savings comes from hospitals and medical insurers, not cuts to beneficiaries. The $715 billion number comes from a CBO evaluation of the bill before it was passed and that number referred to SAVINGS TO Medicare, not cuts in Medicare services. How many times does this one have to be refuted over many years before someone finally gets a clue? Here are a few: (Source) (Source) (Source) (Source)
That the Iran Deal will result in the “largest sponsor or terror in the world” getting nuclear weapons.
Frankly, I think this is the Republican war mongering rearing its ugly head. President Obama, working with five other countries, was able to avert a potentially very nasty war and disarm the Iranian nuclear program without an invasion or a single shot being fired and it pissed them off. The Iran nuclear deal actually has Iran agree to turn its largest nuclear facilities into research facilities, where they will work closely with Italians. They also agreed to rebuild their largest reactor to a design approved by international experts. They also gave up almost all of their centrifuges and all of those they give up will be the more modern ones. Instead of completely dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, which would have just driven it underground, the Iranians have enough of a program for energy production and the Iranians have also given the IAEA and the UN complete access to all nuclear facilities for constant inspections. Given that some estimates suggested that Iran was 12-18 months away from a nuclear weapon at the time the deal was reached and the deal goes for at least 11 years, there is plenty of time to extend. It also provides Iranians with breathing room they can use to democratize, which they can’t do when they’re being portrayed as part of an “axis of evil.”
Democrats are “sending $55 billion” to Iran
The money that was “sent to Iran” was money that belonged to Iran in the first place. It was part of a court settlement that had little to nothing to do with the agreement. the agreement basically made it possible to send it without violating any sanctions. The money was actually owed to the country for more than 39 years; it had nothing to do with the nuclear deal or the hostages that were released as a result. (Source)
That the country is in poor shape with Obama in charge.
First of all, Obama is in charge of the Executive Branch. Republicans have controlled the legislative and judicial branches for most of the Obama years. Therefore, if the country was in bad shape right now, they would have to at least share the blame. However, while there are problems, the image the GOP is pushing – that the country is an economic hellscape – isn’t the case at all. Under Obama, around 16 million jobs have been created, despite the fact that Republicans in Congress have tried everything to stymie the efforts.
Republicans have demonstrated that they don’t care about the American people one little bit. They promised to create lots of jobs when trusted with Congress and they have created almost none and they have killed most bills designed by Democrats to create them. For example, President Obama greeted them with the American Jobs Act in 2011 and they proceeded to ignore it, even after Democrats broke it up into small pieces, except for one small piece for veterans, which may be the only thing positive Republicans have done for veterans over the last six years. Look at what they did with the highway bill, which creates a lot of jobs. Infrastructure is a huge job creator. However, Republicans insist on turning everything into red meat that they can throw at their “base.” That means nothing gets done.
Yet, despite that, Obama has been able to work around Republicans to make sure jobs are created and to limit the effects of the Republican push to stop everything he and any other Democrat want to do. As a result, we have had the longest streak of positive job creation in history. Wages should be higher for those on the bottom, but look more closely; they are higher in blue states and cities; they’re only lagging in red states. In fact, wages nationwide have been rising for the last few years and job creation in the manufacturing sector has actually been strong. So, we have two lies in one here; on the one hand, our economy is in decent shape and not at all the hellscape Republicans suggest. On the other hands, it’s still weaker than it should be because Republicans keep blocking progress.
When a Republican makes a case in a political ad, always check its veracity. I’m in Arizona right now, which is actually a battleground this year, and the lies are flying around hot and heavy. One thing I have noticed is that Republicans don’t say which party they belong to, but Democrats do. That says a lot… a whole lot