Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Where Paternalism Makes the Grade

AP Fact Check on Dem Claims

Fact check says it ain't so:
"DENVER (AP) - The shotgun-style charges Democratic National Convention speakers fired at Republican Sen. John McCain Tuesday night weren't necessarily half-truths. But in some instances, they weren't the whole story either.

Some examples of who said what—and what they left out:


_SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON of NEW YORK: "John McCain wants to privatize Social Security."

THE FACTS: The Republican-sponsored plans McCain has supported over the years would privatize part of Social Security by letting workers invest some of their payroll taxes into private retirement accounts. In the past, McCain has proposed that up to 20 percent of payroll taxes be funneled into private retirement accounts for younger workers. He recently said all solutions for the funding crisis facing Social Security "are on the table."

_CLINTON: "And in 2008, he (McCain) still thinks it's OK when women don't earn equal pay for equal work."

THE FACTS: In April, Senate Republicans killed legislation aimed at removing limits on how long workers can wait before suing their employers for pay discrimination. The bill was designed to address a Supreme Court decision that threw out a discrimination case brought by an Alabama woman. McCain said he opposed the measure because it would lead to more lawsuits, although he was campaigning that day and did not vote.

_PENNSYLVANIA GOV. ED RENDELL: "John McCain has never believed in renewable energy, and he won't make it a part of America's future. For all his talk, here's the truth: John McCain voted against establishing a national renewable energy standard. He voted against tax incentives for renewable energy companies. And for all his talk of drilling, he refused to endorse a bipartisan effort to expand domestic oil production because that bipartisan proposal would end tax breaks for big oil."

_MONTANA GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER: "After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same. At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times against renewable and alternative energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind energy."

THE FACTS: In fact, McCain's energy policy favors tax credits to encourage marketing of wind, hydro and solar power. However, since becoming a candidate for president, McCain has not shown up for eight Senate votes last year and this year to extend those tax credits, which expire at the end of this year. The last such vote was July 30. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama didn't show up for that vote, either, but he has voted for extensions of the renewable energy tax on several other occasions. McCain also has opposed legislation calling for a national renewable energy mandate for utilities, and he did not show up for a vote on such a mandate last year.

_SEN. ROBERT CASEY JR. of PENNSYLVANIA: "John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time. That's not a maverick. That's a sidekick."

_RENDELL: "And guess who voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time? Sen. John McCain."

THE FACTS: McCain voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time from January 20, 2001, to when Congress left Washington on its annual August recess, according to a study by Congressional Quarterly. But McCain wasn't always a staunch Bush backer. In 2005, his support for Bush's position on legislation reached a low of 77 percent; last year, when he launched his latest bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he voted with Bush 95 percent of the time.

_IOWA GOV. CHET CULVER: "Now the oil companies are placing their bets on John McCain, bankrolling his campaign, and gambling with our future."

THE FACTS: McCain has received more than $1.5 million in contributions from oil and gas industry employees and their spouses, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Obama has received about $423,000. But the center's analysis found that Obama has received more than McCain from employees of the oil industry's major companies. Employees (and their spouses) of Exxon, Chevron and BP had given more than $93,000 to Obama as of the end of June; McCain had received $75,000, according to the study.

_RENDELL: Said the fact that top McCain advisers have lobbied for oil and gas companies "explains why he wants to give another $4 billion tax break to oil companies."

THE FACTS: The $4 billion in tax breaks for oil companies is part of McCain's plan to reduce corporate taxes overall and does not represent an additional tax benefit for these companies. The corporate reduction McCain has proposed would apply to all corporations, including oil companies.

_SCHWEITZER: "At a time when America should be working harder than ever to develop new, clean sources, John McCain wants more of the same and has taken more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry. Now he wants to give the oil companies another $4 billion in tax breaks. Four billion in tax breaks for big oil?"

THE FACTS: McCain has collected $1.5 million from that industry. But it's a small slice of the $142 million McCain has raised so far in the campaign, ranking 11th on his donor list. Ahead of the oil and gas industry are lawyers, retirees, banking and securities interests, real estate and insurance. "


Joe Biden has, as one writer puts it, a "creepy" side.


Michael Barone tells us a story about Obama, Chicago politics, and a terrorist.