Thursday, October 19, 2006

Refuting the Lies of the Right...

So I was having a discussion with Hondo over on Christian Conservatives regarding his post about why he's going to vote for Repub's and not Dem's using the "scare tactics" that both the Repub's and the AFA are saying will happen if Dem's take back control of the legislature (which they will anyway...) It took some time to refute Hondo's misperceptions about his Grand Old Party, but here is the result of that research... To catch the entire conversation which led up to this post, click here.

Armed with truth, are you? Since you only retouched on six items, I will only recover those six... The rest I'm assuming you agreed with? Hmm...

You said: 1. You say that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. Wrong. Iraq was a training ground for Islamofascist terrorists. Saddam had WMD and was laying the groundwork to working with more terrorist organizations, in order to facilitate terrorist attacks against America. Flat wrong.
I don't know why people still buy this reasoning when not only did the intelligence agencies tell everyone they doctored reports and biased them so that Bush could invade Iraq, and the 9/11 commission as well as other independent research groups have found not only no evidence of a link between Saddam and al-Qaida, but not a single weapon of mass destruction has been found after being in Iraq for well over four years now. (source; source; source.) Was Saddam a son-of-a-bitch? Yes. Are his people better off without him in power? We'll see in the long-term for sure, but in the short term, kind of yes and kind of no. Is it better to have him gone? Yes; but if that is the sole reason, the sole good reason we had for invading, then why haven't we invaded North Korea? Iran? Cuba? China? There are a huge list of countries who kill their own citizens, torture them, violate their lives in most horrible ways... Why don't we invade them? Because we know there are better ways to get rid of unwanted dictators and rogue governments without endangering our soldiers lives and ending up in a quagmire just like this one. Why do you think Bush Sr. and Clinton didn't invade? They knew this would happen! They learned the lessons of Korea and Vietnam! Sadly, Shrubya was asleep apparently (or drunk, or high) when they went over this at Yale...

You said: By going to war against Iraq, we have drawn the forces of Islamofascism from across the Middle East to Iraq where we can fight them away from U.S. soil.
I'm sure the citizens of Iraq appreciate the fact that we fight them in their backyards as opposed to ours. They are dancing in the streets and welcoming us with flowers and open arms, just like Cheney said they would, aren't they? (not.) While it is definitely a good thing that we are fighting them not here, it would have been a much better "war on terror" with smaller, perhaps secret missions to kill them where they were instead of ripping apart the most volatile region of the world! I think even you would have to admit that! Now instead of Saddam simply outsourcing his terrorists from Pakistan and Afghanistan to invade Israel and kill them, we now have hundreds of them together killing our men and women... Hmm, which is better?

You said: We have also deposed a murderous dictator who had publicly declared his intentions to inflict death and destruction against America. I covered this already...

You said: Incidentally, Bush didn't "drag" America into war. The House and the Senate Intelligence Committees had access to the intelligence on WMD, and the White House had access to the reports from the Clinton administration on WMD in Iraq, and all were agreed that attacking Iraq was the right thing to do. Don't try to re-write history. Talk about your re-write! The White House only gave the Senate and Congress what they wanted them to see! A very select pieces of information that Bush had the agencies hand-select to present as a case to invade! Biased information was used to dupe the legislative branch, and that's a fact! (source; source; source; source.)

You said: 2. You still believe all that "tax cuts for the rich" baloney, don't you.
Who did the tax cuts help the most? Fact: Richest 1% of the country. Here are the facts:

You said: ----Almost 7 million new jobs have been created since August 2003. That's more than all of the world's other industrialized countries combined. Our economy has added jobs for 37 consecutive months.
Roughly 3 million jobs have been lost since George W. Bush took office.(source) That's the worst job loss record of any president since Herbert Hoover was in the White House during the Great Depression. (source: International Herald Tribune, "U.S. workers' fears rise as jobs are lost and pay lags," 9/2/03.) More recently,

While two million jobs were created in 2005, this is 3.5 million jobs short of expectations by the President's Council of Economic Advisors, who estimate job growth at 3.1% in a normal year. Jobs grew by only 1.5% in 2005.
"The president's tax-cutting policy is a failure in regard to job creation, and we need to recognize it as such," said Anisha Desai, program director at UFE and one of the report's co-authors. "While there is no evidence that massive tax cuts create jobs, there is considerable evidence that they contribute to economy-choking deficits."

The report reviewed administration claims that "tax cuts create jobs" and found the following:
  1. Tax cuts have no predictable effect on employment, either in job creation or job destruction.
  2. Since 2003, job creation has fallen millions of jobs short of the administration's promises.
  3. The current weakness in job creation during an economic recovery is unprecedented since World War II.
The report highlighted other concerns about jobs and the economy as well. For example, the number of good quality jobs (defined as those paying at least $16 an hour, providing employer-paid health insurance, and providing a pension) has remained flat at 25% of all workers. Significant racial disparities exist: black employment is at 89.6%, compared to 95.2% for whites. And Latino workers average more than $10,000 per year less in earnings than whites, and this gap is increasing. (source.)
And Bush doesn't even use the standard measure that the country has used for years to figure out the unemployment rate! He:

The unemployment rate is based on a survey of households rather the employer survey used to calculate the payroll number. (source.)
From that same source:

Bush ignored another report issued Friday showing that U.S. payrolls grew by just 51,000 jobs in September, down from the revised 188,000-job gain in August.
"We have added 6.6 million new jobs since August of 2003," Bush said.
Hmm. Lie much, Mr. President?

You said: Over the first half of 2006, our economy grew at a strong 4.1% annual rate. Over that same period, employee compensation per hour grew at a 6.3% annual rate adjusted for inflation.
What about 2000 through most of 2005? That's the best figure you could find? I've already shown from sources above that your figure is so way off, it ain't even funny...

You said: Real after-tax income per person has risen by 9% since Jan. 2001.
In 48 of the 50 states, jobs in higher-paying industries have given way to jobs in lower-paying industries since the recession ended in November 2001. Nationwide, industries that are gaining jobs relative to industries that are losing jobs pay 21% less annually. For the 30 states that have lost jobs since the recession purportedly ended, not only have jobs been lost, but in 29 of them the losses have been concentrated in higher paying sectors. And for 19 of the 20 states that have seen some small gain in jobs since the end of the recession, the jobs gained have been disproportionately in lower-paying sectors. (source.) Bush urged Congress to support outsourcing more American jobs abroad including well paid, highly skilled jobs. Bush claimed that the U.S. is not really losing so many manufacturing jobs if you count it as manufacturing "when a fast-food restaurant sells a hamburger." (source.)

Employment increased in 48 states from Aug. 2005--Aug. 2006. The unemployment rate has risen from 4% to 5.7% under President Bush -- a 43% increase. (source; source.) Fewer than 6 million Americans were unemployed at the beginning of George W. Bush's term. By December 2003, almost 8.5 million Americans were looking for work. (source.) And the number of Americans suffering long-term unemployment of 27 weeks or more has risen from 660,000 to 2 million, an increase of 197%. (source.) An additional 433,000 "discouraged workers"--people not counted in the unemployment statistic--are out of work and not looking because they believe they will not find anything. They have "dropped out" of the labor market. (source.) The president's massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich are likely responsible for the nation's "jobless recovery." A study by the nonpartisan group OMB Watch says President Bush's "tax and budget policy are likely to blame" for the economy's failure to create new jobs. Because the Bush tax cuts are skewed so heavily to the rich--who are more likely to save rather than spend the tax cuts they receive--they are not pumping money into the economy. In contrast, tax and stimulus packages directed toward working families--who are more likely to spend what they receive--are more effective at spurring economic activity and creating new jobs. (source.)

You said: Gas prices have fallen 74 cents since August. Again, so? Ooh. 74 whole cents! Hot damn! What about the $1.30 it used to be before he decided to wage war with the world? What about the tax-incentives he continues to back in the budget every year for big oil and gas companies? Gas prices rose steadily ever since he took office, and it wasn't until April 25, 2006 that he finally said, "Hmm, perhaps I'll do something about this. Break our "addiction" to foreign oil. Oh, that sounds good, doesn't it, Exxon-Mobil?" (source.) The fact is, Big Oil wrote Bush's energy policies from the get-go (source; source.) Yeah, sounds like someone who really cares about how much we pay for our gas; fact is, he cares about how much money they throw his way whenever he needs to raise funds (source; source; source.)

You said: The number of black-owned businesses has risen nearly 50% since 2002.
I have some bad news for you:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, black businesses increased from 800,000 in 1997 to about 1.2 million in 2002, but Democrats say Bush plans to cut funding for the Small Business Administration, which helps minority-owned small businesses grow, by $85 million. The budget also provides no resources for the Microloan program, Democrats contend, even though this program is critical to aiding minority communities by supplying small loans to start up newly established and growing small businesses. (source.)
You said: I could go on and on, but clear-thinking people not blinded by ideology will see the point. Because you aren't blinded by ideology, right?

You said: The Bush tax cuts have worked magnificently! Oh, yes you are. My bad.

You said: 3. I'm shocked that you believe in conservative justices. I said I could respect your position--not that I agreed...

You said: I have read your blog, and your views on gay marriage, and I must say that the only way gay marriage will ever become the law of the land is if liberal activist judges impose it via judicial fiat.
Oh, that old line again. Yes, there are activist judges. Some states, though, are in the legislative process of legalizing gay marriage, so... What will your argument be then? "Activist legislators"?

You said: 4. Wrong again, Jason. I do know what the embryonic stem cell research bill said. It would open the door for embryos to be cultivated and harvested for the stem cells. That's immoral. It is also bad policy, seeing as how there has never been one single medical breakthrough in the field of embryonic stem cell research. Federal funding would be the same as money down the toilet.
What did the embryonic stem cell bill say?

To qualify for federal funding under the bill, newer embryos could be used in studies only if they:
  1. Were created for the purposes of fertility treatment.
  2. Were donated by in vitro fertilization clinics with written, informed consent of those being treated.
  3. Were "in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment" and would never be implanted in a woman.
  4. Would otherwise be discarded, as determined by those seeking treatment.
  5. Were not donated by patients induced to do so by financial or other incentives. (source.)

So much for your "harvesting and cultivating" argument. It was only for existing, unwanted, donated embryos. Nothing more.

You said: 5. There is nothing "fair" about the "Fairness Doctrine". The doctrine states that if a radio station airs 3 hours of Limbaugh or Hannity, they must balance that with 3 hours of liberal talk. If the station can't sell any advertising space for that liberal programming, they must air the liberal programming at their own expense and take the loss. The result? Radio stations just choose to air nothing at all. That's the way it works in the real world, and liberals know it. The Fairness Doctrine is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to suppress conservative dialog. I have a novel idea--why not let the market decide what is played on privately owned radio stations? Or would that be way too democratic for your liberal sensibilities?
I am a firm believer in market-driven products and services. Fact of the matter is that the Fairness doctrine would be an infringement upon freedom of speech, and if that were the sole basis of your argument, there would be no issue form me. But this whole "silencing conservative radio" nonsense is a straw-man argument and you know it. I for one was never in favor of it (although it won't stop me from getting in people's faces who cry "Wolf!" when there's a tumbleweed blowing through the herd) and neither has the Supreme Court or the legislators. In actuality, it was around since the sixties (when the Supreme Court upheld the doctrine) but stopped being enforced a long time ago. It was a policy of the FCC, which is always a reflection of the current administration, and no one but left-wing nuts and right-wing nuts even were concerned about it cause everyone knew it was hooey... So to congratulate Bush on "fighting and defeating the Fairness Doctrine" is a misleading (and false) reason to vote republican...

You said: 6. Wrong again, Jason. Bush took office and eliminated the "wall of separation" between the FBI and the CIA (another bright idea from the Clinton regime)
That wall was in place long before Clinton... During his administration, though, the republican controlled Congress codified it into law (not Clinton)... (source; source.)

You said: so that they could share information again. He raised the pay of the military. He leads the military with pride and confidence, and the brave men and women (all of them volunteers) of the U.S. Armed Forces respond with absolute loyalty.
Yeah, he raises their pay while every single freakin' year he cuts Veteran's benefits--every year!!--so that, while they make semi-good money while in service, as soon as they may need some long-term care from serving our country... Good luck, Vets! Sorry we can't afford to take care of you! (source 2003; source 2004; source 2005.)

You said: Yes Jason, you can go back to making fun of Rush. Perhaps you will have more success with that than you had in trying to debate with a conservative armed with the truth.

Truth my ass...


Satanopoulos said...

Unfortunately I must warn you that wrangling with Hondo is like mud wrestling an eel. He's just so convinced that everyone else is deluded and that Rush is actually a reliable news source. Whatever you say will be perverted to fit his world view. But nonetheless it was a great reply.

Dar said...

Well I am certainly clapping. You pulled up great sources and made a great argument.

Satanopoulos said...

Unfortunately I must warn you that wrangling with Hondo is like mud wrestling an eel. He's just so convinced that everyone else is deluded and that Rush is actually a reliable news source. Whatever you say will be perverted to fit his world view. But nonetheless it was a great reply.