Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oh, How I Love Fact Check

If you're sick of the partisan bullshit and muckraking as I am you should always keep an eye on Fact Check (that's dot ORG not dot COM, as Dick Cheney embarrasingly mistook it for). They site readily slams inaccuracies from Democrats as it does Republicans. Fact Check's statement is that they are "a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

I'm mostly giddy by their disection of last night's State of the Union Address... here's the rundown of what they found Bush omitted or altered:

* He proudly spoke of "writing a new chapter in the story of self-government" in Iraq and Afghanistan and said the number of democracies in the world is growing. He failed to mention that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan yet qualify as democracies according to the very group whose statistics he cited.
* Bush called for Congress to pass a line-item veto, failing to mention that the Supreme Court struck down a line-item veto as unconstitutional in 1998. Bills now in Congress would propose a Constitutional amendment, but none have shown signs of life.
* The President said the economy gained 4.6 million jobs in the past two-and-a-half years, failing to note that it had lost 2.6 million jobs in his first two-and-a-half years in office. The net gain since Bush took office is just a little more than 2 million.
* He talked of cutting spending, but only "non-security discretionary spending." Actually, total federal spending has increased 42 percent since Bush took office.
* He spoke of being "on track" to cut the federal deficit in half by 2009. But the deficit is increasing this year, and according to the Congressional Budget Office it will decline by considerably less than half even if Bush's tax cuts are allowed to lapse.
* Bush spoke of a "goal" of cutting dependence on Middle Eastern oil, failing to mention that US dependence on imported oil and petroleum products increased substantially during his first five years in office, reaching 60 per cent of consumption last year.

The whole piece can be read via their website - I'd offer a direct link to this article, titled "Misstatement of the Union", but I think its important for the die hard right wingers to look at the site and realize they aren't Bush bashers by any means.

I have additional thoughts of what I thought were completely incredulous statements by W last night, but I think the pointers above are enough to digest for now.