What is wrong with these clowns!?!? Sorting Truth From Campaign Fiction
Mitt Romney says he “saw” his father “march” with Martin Luther King Jr. Rudolph W. Giuliani claims that he is one of the “five best-known Americans in the world.” According to John McCain, the Constitution established the United States as a “Christian nation.” Ron Paul believes that a “NAFTA superhighway” is being planned to link Mexico with Canada and undermine U.S. sovereignty.
On the other side of the political divide, Sen. Barack Obama says there are more young black males in prison than in college. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton claims she has a “definitive timetable” for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. John Edwards insists that NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — has cost Americans “millions of jobs.” Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. boasts about his experience negotiating an arms-control treaty with Leonid Brezhnev.
All those claims, made over the past four months as part of the presidential campaign, are demonstrably false.
With just four days until the Iowa caucuses, the art of embellishment and downright fibbing is alive and well in American politics. But the popularity of blogs, YouTube and information databases such as LexisNexis, along with the 24-hour news cycle, has made it easier than ever for the media and rival campaigns to spot the mistakes and exaggerations of presidential candidates.
This post by Dave Segovia, who I’ve mentioned before, VINCENT, THOMAS, and ME has been knocking about in my brain for a few weeks. Much as we worry about the toxins and pollutants and sure as they do us damage, science and medicine end up tasked with correcting the wrongs, they sort of do the job. It’s especially moving, somehow, because Dave himself has had a lot of medical procedures.
A quote: “…when living in Modern America caught up with me, after fifty years accumulation of all of the above, and more, and worse, Science and Medicine bailed me out. Psychotropics, organ transplants, blood thinners, beta-blockers, new surgical breakthroughs, and a zillion more advances have and will be there when our naivete’ and ignorance catch up with us. Just do our best and have quiet faith in MAN.”
Retired General McCaffrey’s comments about Iraq after doing an extensive weeklong visit there, including leading with leadership and common people are heartening, particularly the bit about healing the moral stance of the Department of Defense. I really like the terse, matter-of-fact style. It reminds me a bit of the style in which Dave Ramsey gives financial advice.
General McCaffrey Iraq AAR (Small Wars Journal Blog)
The leadership of Secretary Bob Gates in DOD has produced a dramatic transformation of our national security effort which under the Rumsfeld leadership was characterized by: a failing under-resourced counter-insurgency strategy; illegal DOD orders on the abuse of human rights; disrespect for the media and the Congress and the other departments of government; massive self-denial on wartime intelligence; and an internal civilian-imposed integrity problem in the Armed Forces — that punished candor, de-centralized operations, and commanders initiative.
Admiral Mullen as CJCS and Admiral Fallon as CENTCOM Commander bring hard-nosed realism and integrity of decision-making to an open and collaborative process which re-emerged as Mr. Rumsfeld left office. (Mr. Rumsfeld was an American patriot, of great personal talent, energy, experience, bureaucratic cleverness, and charisma — who operated with personal arrogance, intimidation and disrespect for the military, lack of forthright candor, avoidance of personal responsibility, and fundamental bad judgment.)
Secretary Gates has turned the situation around with little drama in a remarkable display of wisdom, integrity, and effective senior leadership of a very complex and powerful organization. General Petraeus now has the complete latitude and trust in his own Departmental senior civilian leadership to have successfully changed the command climate in the combat force in Iraq. His commanders now are empowered to act in concert with strategic guidance. They can frankly level with the media and external visitors. I heard this from many senior leaders — from three star General to Captain Company commanders.
So the lore in Los Angeles is that people in Los Angeles can’t drive in the rain. It feels so true, everyone says it. Even I say it, and I have lived in enough places to know that things are the same all over.
Anyway, one of my favorite blogs, Militant Angeleno did some research and that research has resulted in the post: Militant Angeleno: Raining, Blaming, Maintaining, Hydroplaning. The upshot, people all over claim their fellow citizens can’t drive. It’s not unique to Los Angeles in the least. I find myself quite surprised.
The Militant will now provide a (by no means comprehensive) list of sites and blogs from around the country, via his Militant research, which declare the drivers of their respective locales (including some known for frequent precipitation) as people who “Can’t drive in the rain.”
Austin, TX (look out, Virginia, you got competition!)
Springfield, VA (Way to go, Virginia!)
I like how this animation screwed with my expectations. Supernifty!