Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

Defending against the spin. So frustrating. [Corrections about candidates]

1) Watch it get thrown.
2) *sigh* Correct it.
I'm trying to sort out the chaff from the messaging wheat about our candidates for the U.S. executive I'm making another list for myself (maybe useful to you?) so that I can be reminded of the current research about each claim. This is a non-comprehensive list and as a watchmen's watchman I should be fact-checked as well. Please correct me as necessary. (And yes, I know...that I'm publishing another political post annoys me as much as it may annoy you. Please accept my apology.)

Correcting stuff about Sarah Palin that isn't true.

  • Palin did NOT cut funding for special needs education in Alaska.
  • Actually, just the opposite - she tripled per-pupil funding.
  • Palin did NOT demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library.
    Though she did inquire about banning, she never, ever banned any books. Ever.
  • Palin was NEVER a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
  • Palin NEVER endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president.
    This is just ridiculous. She wore a pin only when he visited and then took it off. More factually, she headed Steve Forbes' campaign efforts in Alaska.
  • Palin has NOT pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools.
    She's said she's open to it being taught alongside evolution, however, she hasn't actually done anything substantive about it. Hopefully, she'll clarify her position. But it's (currently) incorrect to say she's actually made any changes in Alaskan education regarding creationism.

Correcting stuff about Barack Obama that isn't true.

  • Obama’s health care plan will NOT "force small businesses to cut jobs".
    In fact, the plan exempts small businesses.
  • Obama's health care plan will NOT put "a bureaucrat ... between you and your doctor."
    In fact, those who have insurance now could keep the coverage they have.
  • Obama has NEVER voted for "corporate welfare" for oil companies.
    In fact, the bill Obama voted for raised taxes on oil companies by $300 million over 11 years while providing $5.8 billion in subsidies for renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels.
  • Obama will NOT close markets to trade.
    Though he once said he wanted to "renegotiate" NAFTA, now he says he wants to try to strengthen environmental and labor provisions in it. He's not advocating closing any markets.
  • Obama DID NOT vote to teach sex to kindergarten children.
    Wow, this is disgustingly wrong. Rather, Obama voted for a bill in the Illinois state Senate that would update the sex education curriculum and make it "medically accurate." It was specifically designed to teach young kids how to recognize inappropriate behavior and avoid pedophiles and also demanded that any instruction be "age-appropriate". It was deemed urgently necessary enough to arm kids with knowledge about predators that it adjusted the year of beginning instruction. (Additionally, Obama was neither a co-sponsor nor a sponsor of the bill and it never got past the Senate.)
  • Obama IS OPEN TO DRILLING for oil.
    Specifically, he said he's open to "a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage".
  • Obama will NOT INCREASE TAXES for working, middle-class families.
    Nope. NO. NO. This is wholly incorrect. Despite a McCain ad claiming otherwise, Obama's plan would cut taxes for the vast majority of American households, with middle-income earners benefiting a great deal.

Correcting stuff about John McCain that isn't true.

  • McCain will NOT fail to support loan guarantees for the auto industry.
    Despite what an Obama ad says, McCain is actually in favor of low-cost loans to that industry.
  • McCain did NOT say we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan.
    In 2003, McCain actually said that we "may" muddle through, and he recently also called for more troops there.
  • McCain does NOT define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year.
    He was joking. Seriously. He even said, "but seriously" just after it. C'mon.

Correcting stuff about Joe Biden that isn't true.

  • Biden did NOT get fewer votes as a presidential nominee than Palin as mayor.

[What they said] - McCain has said stuff that's wrong, incorrect, or misleading.

  • McCain FALSELY claimed that his plan will increase use of "wind, tide [and] solar" energy.
    His actual energy plan contains no new money for renewable energy.

[What they said] - Obama has said stuff that's wrong, incorrect, or misleading.

  • Obama's plan currently CANNOT "pay for every dime" of his spending and tax cut proposals "by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens."
    This was quite the whopper. His proposed tax increases on upper-income individuals seems crucial. And his plan, like McCain’s, looks likely to leave the U.S. facing big budget deficits.
  • Obama FALSELY accused McCain of saying "no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investment in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels."
    In fact, in 2002 McCain not only wanted tougher standards than most of the Senate did, but he was lauded by a Democrat.

[What they said] - Biden has said stuff that's wrong, incorrect, or misleading.

  • Biden FALSELY claimed that "murder and violent crime rates went down eight years in a row" as a result of the Biden Crime Bill.
    A peer-reviewed study published in the February 2007 issue of the journal Criminology found that the bill's "spending had little to no effect on crime."

[What they said] - Palin has said stuff that's wrong, incorrect, or misleading.

  • Palin did NOT say "thanks, but no thanks" to the building of the Ketchikan bridge.
    She clearly supported it and didn't stand up to Congressional waste - she accepted the money on behalf of Alaska.
  • Palin FALSELY accused Obama of being more worried about terrorists being read their rights than apprehended.
    This is a whopper. Obama seems as committed to apprehending terrorists as the other candidates. But he's a constitutional scholar and law professor and is passionate about the rights of habeus corpus being respected.


posted at September 10, 2008, 7:51 PM


  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger C.K. said…

    you left out: Obama is NOT Muslim.

  • At 7:37 AM, Blogger sean said…

    Thanks for posting this. It's amazing how low our threshold for accepting 'facts' has become.


  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Kellie P Fitzgerald said…

    Thank you for posting this. I will be forwarding it on to help fight the spin machine.


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