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January 29th, 2015
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Factcheck: no better than the MSM these days
FactCheck goes easy on terrorists:
Even the description of Ayers as a "terrorist" is a matter of interpretation. Setting off bombs can fairly be described as terrorism even when they are intended to cause only property damage, which is what Ayers has admitted doing in his youth. But for nearly three decades since, Ayers has lived the relatively quiet life of an educator. It would be correct to call him a "former terrorist," and an "unapologetic" one at that. But if McCain means the word "terrorist" to invoke images of 9/11, he's being misleading; Ayers is no Osama bin Laden now, and never was.

So I guess since Osama Bin Laden hasn't launched another direct attack on America we should refer to him as a "former" terrorist?

Tell me, how about all the people convicted of murder? Once they have done their time do they become "former" killers? The fact that Ayers was never prosecuted because of a legal technicality does not make him innocent! Indeed he clearly stated that a return to terrorist activities on his part "should not be discounted".

As for the rest of their "fact" checking, it doesn't matter who served on the board. What matters is what they did. And as people who are really impartial know, simply being a "Republican" does not stop one from supporting liberal or radical ideas.
As I have argued elsewhere on this blog, I do not think that the link made here between the LSC’s and “democracy” is, in fact, accurate. I think that such “councils” look eerily similar to efforts by regimes like those in Nicaragua under the Sandinistas and Venezuela under Chavez to impose control over teachers and their independent unions by an authoritarian regime. Thus, it is not a surprise to me that Bill Ayers has traveled several times in recent years to Venezuela where he has spoken in front of Hugo Chavez and has enthusiastically applauded that regime’s efforts to link education policy to the Chavez “revolution.”

As Ayers stated in a speech there in November 2006 “La educacion es Revolucion!” He applauded “the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez” and he said he “share[d] the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution.”

Continue to stick your head in the ground, FactCheck. There are still people who are willing to do what you allegedly do. And they'll do it right.

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Fact Check blows it again
They're whining about Governor Palin's "20%" claim that Alaska produces about 20% of the domestic energy supply.

Speaking specifically to oil (which is what I'm sure she meant) Fact Check went here:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbblpd_a.htm

then forgot to engage their brain. They only counted onshore production (about 14% of domestic oil production). When you include offshore it's more than 19%.

Oops.

This is my major complaint about the "new" (as opposed to the 2004 edition) Fact Check. They are simply unreliable.

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FactCheck Gets It Wrong
It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while the people at FactCheck drop the ball.

In the case of whether President Bush "cut" funding to the Army Corps of Engineers they've fallen victim to the old Washington ploy of describing an increase in funding that falls short of the moon as "a cut".

For example, if the Corps was funded at $300 million and asked for $500 million the next year and President Bush (and Congress, of course) eventually settle on $400 million the Corps may term that a "cut" of $100 million, as they have done here. As an aside I'll note that Mr. Hull publicly whining about taxpayers not "fully funding" all of his organizations projects is a disgrace. He works for us, not the other way around!

As I posted previously, funding for the Army Corps of Engineers has increased every year that President Bush has submitted a budget. That makes project funding a matter of prioritization within the Corps. Indeed, as the President stated early on that projects that did not meet a certain return on investment would be delayed or canceled.
Reduces the backlog of ongoing construction projects and completes those projects in the budget sooner than possible under current spending trends, primarily by not starting new projects—the budget completes 30 projects in 2003, or 15 percent of the projects in the budget.

Part of the rational was "mission creep":
In recent years, the Congress has authorized and appropriated funds for the Corps to undertake an increasing number of projects that fall outside the scope of its historic missions, such as building sewage treatment plants, revitalizing local waterfronts, and maintaining waterways primarily for local recreation. Whatever the merit of these projects, they should be carried out by others.

It was up to the Corps to demonstrate the value and appropriateness of each ongoing and planned project. I am not surprised they claim that if they were given tens of millions of more taxpayer dollars they could do more "projects". I could do a lot with that money, too! Say...that gives me an idea: OMG, PRESIDENT BUSH HAS SLASHED MY BUDGET BY $20 MILLION! I demand more taxpayer money! *cough*

However, even with more money projects would not be finished because more and more projects were be added without first waiting for existing projects to be completed:
Unfortunately, as the accompanying chart shows, this backlog of ongoing construction projects has increased in recent years, as the Congress has added funds to start more new projects than can be afforded. The 2003 Budget proposes to reverse this trend.

With the result that the Corps was spending enormous amounts of money just to keep projects "on hold" once they had been started, yet not making substantial progress towards their completion. The Corps was becoming paralyzed because of an overload of projects.

As Mr. Hull admits in his oh-so-poor-are-we website:
Closure of the last two gaps should be completed by September 2005. Overall project completion is scheduled for 2015.

In other words, sufficient funding was provided to finish the project this year, as the corps announced. The rest of the project is a long-term project not scheduled for completion until 2015. Obviously throwing more money at it at this stage was not going to get it finished any time soon.

In addition, many of the figures cited are for construction and not flood control. Construction is a far larger scope than dedicated flood control. It is possible to "cut" (again, overall funding increased!) construction funding and not touch actual flood control projects. More than a single "fact sheet" from one person at the Corps is required to determine how Corps projects were being funded over the years. All available evidence points to increased overall funding!

FactCheck cites Mr. Hull (is he speaking for the Army Corps of Engineers in an official capacity?) stating that "several" projects are not being funded as evidence of "funding cuts". As I noted above, President Bush demands that a real (positive) return on investment be demonstrated for projects before they would be funded. If these "several" projects didn't meet that requirement it is no wonder they were not funded in FY2005!

FactCheck cites various publications as demonstrating "cuts" (such as 44%) yet can provide no source documentation to support these allegations. Once again I suspect the claims of "cuts" are simply cases of increases in funding not matching pie in the sky requests for funding. Again, overall Corps funding increased from 2001 through 2005. If (IF) projects were cut in the New Orleans area it was a result of prioritization within the Corps and or the inability of the Corps to demonstrate a meaningful return on investment for those projects! This policy resulted in more projects being completed than under the old procedure since ineffective projects were dropped, freeing up resources for more valuable projects. Thus the ineffective projects had to be "cut"!

As the record shows, overall funding for flood control (total, not just New Orleans) has been around $320 million per year since FY2000, with additional funds provided after emergencies. Overall funding for the entire Corps has increased from $4.1 billion in FY2000 to more then $5 billion in FY2005. Any problems in the system are not due to a lack of funding!
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Factcheck.org: Bush didn't lie about those "sixteen words"
http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=222

Two intelligence invesigations show Bush had plenty of reason to believe what he said in his 2003 State of the Union Address.

I bet Democrats are wishing Al Gore had never taken the initiative in creating the Internet!

The truth is out there!

Update: Apparently that link is dead so here is a newer link:

http://www.factcheck.org/bushs_16_words_on_iraq_uranium.html
The new reports show Bush accurately stated what British intelligence was saying, and that CIA analysts believed the same thing.

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