Obama, Democrats, and the Media: You Can't Handle the 'Truth'

The country's political class frets that Americans don't understand how good this president has been.

Something interesting happened to political journalism on the night of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's speech at the GOP National Convention. After months and even years of grumbling that, as Grist's David Roberts tidily put it this summer, "The left's gone left but the right's gone nuts," mainstream journalists and self-described "fact-checkers" declared that Ryan had crossed over some brand new threshold for un-truthiness, and that they were no longer going to stand idly by and pretend that both major parties were equally prone to telling lies.

"Media turns a fact-check corner," was the way Melinda Henneberger celebrated these developments over at The Washington Post. "As I listened to Paul Ryan, I couldn't remember ever hearing an acceptance speech so rich in untrue un-facts, either: No, the federal government is not 'in charge of health care,' and it isn’t remotely fair to blame the president for 'a downgraded America.'" Hellenberger wasn't alone:

[M]ainstream outlets prominently tagged a number of the points he made as flatly inconsistent with the facts. Of the five best-read pieces on the Post's Web site Thursday, No. 1 was a column headlined, "Paul Ryan fails — the truth," No. 2 was an editorial, "Mr. Ryan's misleading speech," and at No. 5, another column, "Paul Ryan's breathtakingly dishonest speech." Are you sensing a pattern? If not, I recommend David Firestone's "Beyond Factual Dishonesty," in the New York Times, or a look back at clips of CNN's Gloria Borger, who noted in real time that Ryan was wrong on several points. Even FoxNews.com had a post that labeled the oration "dazzling, deceiving and distracting."

Following those links is an interesting exercise. Ryan is universally condemned for mentioning that an auto plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, was shut down during Obama's presidency the year after candidate Obama had vowed that the plant would be there another century. "The plant was closed in December 2008, before Obama was sworn in," Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote. But Kessler and his fellow fact-checkers turned out to have been wrong; the plant did close in 2009.

Also cited as an untrue "fact" worthy of correction was Ryan's assertion that "a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close....It began with a perfect AAA credit rating for the United States. It ends with a downgraded America." What on earth is unfactual about this? The implied blame-emphasis, said Sally Kohn at FoxNews.com: "Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States' credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling."

The fact-checkers counted as a "lie," rather than hypocrisy compounded by non-disclosure, Ryan's assertion that President Obama "did exactly nothing" about the recommendations given to him by a bipartisan debt commission. In fact, President Obama did exactly nothing of substance about the recommendations; it's just that Ryan failed to disclose that he sat on the commission and rejected its findings.

As the Republican National Convention gives way to the Democrats this week, the political press is still aglow with its newfound #presspushback role. Which allows the rest of us a rare opportunity to judge the media by its own new, vigorous standard of calling out political lies in real time. How will they fact-check a president and party who are already in power?

A preliminary answer: By worrying out loud that Americans aren't ready to accept the "facts" of President Obama's success, from the stimulus to Obamacare.

"One theme running through this special Democratic Convention issue," writes Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel in his editor's note of same, "is that Obama has not been all that adept at telling his story as Commander in Chief....He likes to say that facts will win the day, but these days, people brandish their own facts. Obama is frustrated by this."

Time's flattering cover profile of the president, headlined "What Obama Knows Now," is filled with questionable assertions ceding whole chunks of factual policy narrative to Democrats, such as that "virtually all economists" agreed that the stimulus was necessary (tell that to these 200 economists, including a handful of Nobel laureates). "People still need to find out...how his health care reforms will affect them," author Michael Scherer writes.

The quotes in the article underline that the party of facts is trying its best to deal with a facts-averse universe. White House strategist David Plouffe clucks that Obama "is a very rational person, so when you're faced with irrationality that can be a jarring thing." The president, laying out a possible narrative for his defeat, says "I believe that if you do the right thing, then public opinion will eventually follow. But public opinion doesn't always match up precisely with the election cycle, right?"

In an interview with Time, Obama expanded on the theme:

[T]he fundamental difference between Governor Romney and myself, aside from some of our life experiences, I think is really a matter of how do you grow an economy that is strong and healthy over the long term. [...]

It's a hardheaded assessment of what makes our economy grow. And the facts are on my side in this argument. The question is whether, while we're still digging ourselves out of this hole that we found ourselves in, the facts will win the day.

It's a question shared by an impressively large number of journalists and commentators. "The president's Republican critics are dead wrong. The stimulus worked," Michael Grunwald asserted recently in Foreign Policy. "When it comes to the Recovery Act, the facts are on Obama's side." New York Times columnist Paul Krugman this morning went so far as to boil the whole campaign down to a contest over the truth.

"So what is this election about? To be sure, it's about different visions of society — about Medicare versus Vouchercare, about preserving the safety net versus destroying it," Krugman wrote. "But it's also a test of how far politicians can bend the truth. This is surely the first time one of our major parties has run a campaign so completely fraudulent, making claims so at odds with the reality of its policy proposals. But if the Romney/Ryan ticket wins, it won't be the last."

It's a delicate proposition, warning voters that they might be too stupid and/or venal to understand a politician's brilliance. We don't know yet how that strategy will pay off in the voting booth, but if the president and his party get the kid-gloves treatment from the media this week after the RNC festival of overheated fact-checking, then the institution of political journalism may creep into still more unchartered territory: taking sides in the very polarization it usually claims to abhor.

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  • Ted S.||

    Oneth?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Verily.

  • Fairnsquare||

    When people resort to swearing and blatant falsifications, you have to feel for their frustration over not having the truth on their side. Ryan lied about Janseville. Everybody here knows that.

  • Lou Skannen||

    Hahahaha!! You forgot the /sarc tag.

  • Kateliz||

    Ryan did not lie about Janesville. Obama said that he would see that the plant is reopened. The plant never reopened. That's what Ryan said. It is the truth.

  • steveb1956||

    which part of closed in 2009 do you not understand

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Over the weekend members of the press asked Obama surrogates the tough question, "If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would she better off today than four years ago?" So they've done their part for this election.

    I don't think they do it consciously. I think it's an ideology that lends itself to a belief in its own obvious supermacy, that anyone thinking otherwise or any fact that refutes it must be wrong. Regardless, the damage they've done to the "fact checking" brand is as irreversible as the damage they did to their own reputations last presidential election.

  • Barack||

    and that would be all fine and dandy if anyone were to report it.

  • ||

    The media wields the "real" power in this nation. The only check upon this power is for the consumer to fact check and apply sanctions when lied to.

    Unfortunately, the average consumer is too busy, stupid or lazy to really care about facts. They'd much rather accept their world as someone else claims it is, regardless of the agenda of those claimants.

    The media can be more dangerous than government when it decides to pick sides.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The expanding information marketplace has helped.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I am sick to the teeth of the myth that an unbiased media ever existed, or is even possible. The best that ever existed was media that was understood to be biased by all concerned, and in which individual sources had individual biases.

    The Liberal Intellectuals who gradually dominated the media fomented the unbiased media myth to lull the public into a false sense of security. The answer to a nearly uniform bias in the media has always been to get your own bias out there. In other words - as I have been ranting since the middle 1970's - buy some newspapers of your own.

    The Liberal Media is losing its power, election by election, particularly since they stopped even trying to be subtle. They think that common people are dolts, and it shows. It is telling that a few years back the NY Times passed the point where its stock value is pretty much only equal to that of its real estate holdings.

  • Raven Nation||

    Exactly. People need to go and read some of the "unbiased" papers in the 1790s, the 1850s, the 1890s, etc., etc.

    Also screw Arthur Schlesinger, Richard Hofstadter, and the rest of the "consensus" school that foisted their myth on the country.

  • steveb1956||

    yeah, that is why msnbc cnn and the other left leaning outlets are losing viewers like never before. people do pay attention and they vote with their feet.

  • nicole||

    I don't think they do it consciously. I think it's an ideology that lends itself to a belief in its own obvious supermacy, that anyone thinking otherwise or any fact that refutes it must be wrong.

    No, they don't do it consciously.

    As a sometime-fact-checker myself, I am beyond annoyed at this shit. If anyone at the news media cared about the truth, the market for anarchist fact-checkers would be huge. The only people who can call you out for all kinds of shit and never be in the tank for the other guy.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If they're not doing it consciously, they are some of the stupidest, most unprofessional people on the planet. They're supposed to be professional journalists; their personal ideology needs to be kept out of their work. And we're not talking about difficult-to-detect bias here.

  • ||

    most unprofessional people on the planet.

    This.

    I realized this in the early 90s. When I first entered the AF, the aircraft I flew, the B-1, was new and kind of a novelty. Reporters would come to the base and interview the pilots for a story. Word would get around that so and so was going to be on such and such tonight, so of course you'd turn it on to watch.

    The bottom line:

    They have absolutely NO INTEREST in getting the facts straight. No matter how many times you explain something to them they invariably fuck it up. They were horrible to the point that almost half of the shit they would report would be wrong in some fashion or another. Wrong facts and figures, misquoting, purposeful omissions...the works. I suppose they thought that the average Joe wouldn't know the difference anyway (or care), so why take the time to get it right?

    So if they get 50% of the shit wrong in a simple PR piece, what percentage of the overall information being reported is factual when they are trying to scoop their competitors.

    They are all pigs.

  • Brutus||

    I've been the subject of a number of news stories myself, and I find myself in almost total agreement. J-skoolers are either complete idiots or complete liars. Either way, we accept what they tell us at our own peril.

  • RickC||

    I would imagine that anyone who had direct contact with the media has had the same reaction. I've had a couple of similar experiences. Saw it first hand during Desert Shield/Storm as a soldier. Saw it when a program I worked with had some coverage later on . . .didn't even get the quotes correct.

    I do not watch TV news and I take everything I read on both mainstream news sites and alternate media with a grain of salt.

    Twain's take on it just as true today, even more so given the 24/7 news cycle: "“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.”

  • Barack||

    If something is said often enough, does it become the truth?

  • Mr Whipple||

    Does a bear shit in the woods?

  • Killazontherun||

    Nope, the bear is Catholic, the Pope shits in the woods. Get your facts straight!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Here is the FactCheck.org summary of Paul Ryan's acceptance speech: http://factcheck.org/2012/08/ryans-vp-spin/

    If this is the best they can come up with, I think Romney and Ryan will be just fine.

    Also, it's nice to see Reason FINALLY start to give Democrats the high hat. I mean, I know you are all a bunch of liberals, disguised as pot-smoking conservatives. But after the ruthless treatment of my precious GOP last week, I thought you were just going all in for "Obama 2012".

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Faulted Obama for failing to deliver a 2008 campaign promise to keep a Wisconsin plant open. It closed less than a month before Obama took office.

    They keep repeating this even though it is essentially a lie.

    The plant was still producing in spring of '09.

    So the fact checkers tell a blatant false hood and other media outlets regurgitate their lie as proof that Ryan was factually incorrect.

    And whenever anyone points this out, they are met with Oh so now you're doubting the factcheckers, like they're the fucking word of god.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I listened to an interview with the FactCheck.org guy on NPR last week. He's some professor at Penn. He came off as pretty smarmy, real "Delta Bravo".

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Correction: He's not a Prof. at Penn. He's a journalist, Brooks Jackson, who works with the Annenberg Public Policy Center at Penn. Still, "Delta Bravo".

  • Ken Shultz||

    You guys are missing the point.

    Whether Ryan's facts were untrue doesn't really matter.

    What really matters is that people believe Ryan's facts are untrue.

  • Fairnsquare||

    "Ken Shultz|9.3.12 @ 10:15AM|#

    What really matters is that people believe Ryan's facts are untrue"

    They do because they are.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Rubbish.

    Obama promised that government support would keep their plant open for another 100 years.

    The plant closed in June of 2009. It closed after Obama refused to give GM the government support they asked for in March of 2009.

    He promised them support as a candidate. When they needed it to keep their plant open, he refused to give it to them when he became president.

    Obama lied. Broke a promise. Call it what you like, but Ryan was on the money.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I think that Fairnsquare is trying to articulate that closing the GM factory was a fait accompli before Obama took office. The FactCheck.org guy used the same argument, saying that the factory closed in October 2008, and that a skeleton crew stuck around until June 2009 to assist in liquidating the assets. It is a "fact" that either side can claim is correct. Hence, it has become a truth tug of war, used to distract a childlike voting populace.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The fact is it closed while Obama was president, and the initial "fact checkers" were wrong.

    You can make an argument that the date of closing itself was irrelevant to larger issues, but that's a separate argument. A plant with a skeleton crew producing stuff is not closed.

  • Homple||

    "I think that Fairnsquare is trying to articulate that closing the GM factory was a fait accompli before Obama took office."

    Articulate how you will, Obama had been in office some months before the plant that would open for a century was closed. Lefties are great at trying to reinterpret some of their bosh after it having been shown to be such.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This behavior is a symptom of the overall voting populace. Too busy concerning themselves with trees of no consequence rather than the immense fucking forrest those trees sit in. Rather than looking at the economy as a whole, or jobs, or whatever, they choose a small snippet and choose to focus on that snippet alone.

    This is purposeful obfuscation on the part of the media; they know that they can't allow the conversation to be about the economy as a whole because they know that if they do their man is toast.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If I were to point out the forest instead of the trees, here?

    I'd point out that not only was Obama unable to save this plant with government support, I think he's unlikely to be able to save the rest of GM by way of nationalization either.

    I heard GM's profits were down, what, 40% last quarter? Its stock price is down from about $33 a share to $21 and change since it IPO'd again?

    And Obama wants to do more of the same with the rest of the economy?!

    If he doesn't admit the mistakes he's made in the past and instead champions them as victories, why should we think he won't make the same kinds of victories mistakes in the future?

    That's the forest I see.

  • Ken Shultz||

    We don't know yet how that strategy will pay off in the voting booth, but if the president and his party get the kid-gloves treatment from the media this week after the RNC festival of overheated fact-checking, then the institution of political journalism may creep into still more unchartered territory: taking sides in the very polarization it usually claims to abhor.

    When did we start caring about whether the media was biased?

    This seems about a half-step away from Fox News claiming its own thoroughly biased account of events is "fair and balanced".

    It's also about a half step away from pointing at people on the right and claiming they were all unfairly biased by the Koch brothers.

    Yeah, the media's biased. So what?

    So...I guess people need to learn to think for themselves?

    So what?

  • Fairnsquare||

    Geez. GM announced this plant closure on June 8, 2008, during the gwbush administration. Gwbush did nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Yet Somehow, these "fact checkers" say it was Obama's fault, because they they actually closed in '09. Read the new release if you want to become a real fact checker. If the truth does not suit your objectives, then distort or flat-out lie. That's a gwbush/Ryan way. Geez.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/mil.....aily9.html

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yet Somehow, these "fact checkers" say it was Obama's fault, because they they actually closed in '09.

    Reading comprehension fail.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Then Lets help: The decision to close was made by GM in June of 2008. Bush / Ryan response. Nothing. The closure was announced because SUVs were no longer selling due to the high gas prices of the Oil administration. The fact that it took 6 months to close the plant gives Ryan a chance to outright lie about the timing / causes of GM's decision to close a plant in his own dying district. It's a flat out lie to tag the Obama administration with decisions by GM board of directors in June of '08. The media got it right this time.

  • nicole||

    Your reading comprehension fail was that the fact-checkers agree with you.

  • Fairnsquare||

    I'd wonder if Matt W considers himself a fact checker? He writes as if he is the fact checker of the fact checkers. The former are correct. The latter, no. But small potatoes overall. The media did its job, and the perception (true this time) is that Ryan is a liar made its way into the discussion. And that's a fact, as evidenced!

  • Homple||

    So "made its way into the discussion" is leftspeak for "true"?

  • Mumu Bobby||

    Failapoolza.

    Though I give you credit for gonads. It's really quiet nervy arguing that Bush/Ryan are responsible for Obama's wild ass promises. I guess that means Bush is also responsible for Obama failing to turn back the tides and half the deficit. Bush - Bush -Bush. It never gets old with the O-bots.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Your argument and FactCheck.org's are the same. You are in agreement with each other.

    Next time, break the Prozac in half.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's so much confusion tied up in that Gordian comment, I'm not sure where to start...

    You think the price of oil spiked up to $150 a barrel--because the Cheney Administration wanted that to happen?

  • Fairnsquare||

    From the GM Press Release of June, 2008:

    General Motors Corp. will close its Janesville assembly plant that produces SUVs and pickup trucks as the company moves to toward a more fuel-efficient line of cars, chairman and chief executive officer Rick Wagoner announced early Tuesday.

    Speaking at the automaker's annual shareholders' meeting in Delaware today, Wagoner cited a clear consumer shift away from trucks and SUVs because of high gas prices. GM (NYSE: GM) is closing three other plants in North America as a result and shifting much of its production toward cars and hybrid vehicles. The plants to be closed are in Canada, Mexico and Moraine, Ohio.

    Wagoner said the automaker is expanding production of more popular and more fuel-efficient cars. GM will add a third shift in September to the Orion Township, Mich., plant, which builds the hot-selling Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6. Also in September, the company plans to add a third shift at Lordstown, Ohio, plant that builds the Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5.

    And Paul Ryan wants to pin this GM decision on a man who had not even been officially nominated for president? Wow. From here in Wisconsin, people consider Ryan's remarks as enough to pull him from the ballot. Or at least not vote for him. He lost Wisconsin with this lie. And good job on the media for seeing though it!

  • Ken Shultz||

    And Paul Ryan wants to pin this GM decision on a man who had not even been officially nominated for president? Wow.

    Did Obama take on the responsibility for that decision with his statement?

    Here's what Obama said:

    "I believe that if our government is there to support you this plant will be here for another hundred years."

    ----Barack Obama

    That's what Barack Obama said a month before he took office in 2008.

    The plant close in June of 2009.

    June of 2009? Why, that isn't only after Obama took office--that's also after Obama took over control of GM!

    So what happened between 2008 and 2009?

    In December 2008 the Bush administration provided a "bridge loan" to General Motors with the requirement of a revised business plan.[22] It said it needed $4.6 billion in loans within weeks, from the $18 billion it had already requested, and an additional $12 billion in financial support in order to stave off bankruptcy.

    On Feb. 26, 2009, General Motors announced that its cash reserves were down to $14 billion at the end of 2008. G.M. lost $30.9 billion, or $53.32 a share, in 2008 and spent $19.2 billion of its cash reserves. Mr. Wagoner met with President Obama’s auto task force, and the company said that it could not survive much longer without additional government loans.

    On the March 30, 2009 deadline President Barack Obama declined to provide financial aid to General Motors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....Background

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, yeah, Obama broke his promise by denying the government support he had promised to keep that plant open (for another hundred years) on March 30 of 2009. He always talks a big game--but when he has to deal with something in reality? Somehow, the bullshit never works in reality. And that's emblematic of his whole economic policy, isn't it?

    That's why we should throw Obama out on his ass...

    He sells people on pipe dreams--because pipe dreams is all he knows how to do. But the economy doesn't run on pipe dreams.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Not just his economic policy. Closing Guantanamo...

  • Ken Shultz||

    June of 2009? Why, that isn't only after Obama took office--that's also after Obama took over control of GM!

    EDIT!

    That's not after Obama took control of GM.

    But it was after he became president, and he did deny them the financing they needed--when they asked for it--to keep that plant open.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Oh. Mercy. You're way, way off. Now you're talking about the gov't bailout of GM in '09. Of course Obama did that. No question. Go to Detroit and you'll see. Nobody doubts that.

    But to say that the Janesville decision (which is what I thought we were discussing here...) was in any way attributable to Obama is ludicrous and disingenuous. That decision was made long before Obama was even nominated for President. For Ryan to suggest that the June 3, 2008 (GM announcement) or the December 23, 2008 (last vehicle) ‘closing’ (take your pick) was a result of an Obama administration decision is chronologically bizarre. That’s the Ryan lie. Your diatribe above on the overall auto bailout has some factual inconsistencies, but that’s ok as they have no bearing on this discussion: Ryan lied last week about the Janesville Plant closing. That’s the lie, and the media saw it. Obama’s pledge in February of 2008 to keep the plant open was genuine, but he never got the chance. It was closed under Ryan / Bush.

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 1:07PM |#
    "Oh. Mercy. You're way, way off."
    Holy cow, you're an idiot.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No, I'm not talking about the "bailout".

    Obama didn't nationalize GM until later in June 2009--apparently after the plant in question had been closed earlier in June of 2009.

    I was talking about March of 2009, when GM asked Obama for money, and President Obama turned them down.

    It's actually typical Obama! First he promises the moon (out of demagoguery or ignorance), then, after he's gotten what he wants, suddenly no one's supposed to remember what he promised.

    ...in Act 3, Obama does the exact opposite of what he led people to think he promised to do, and accuses anyone who point to his broke promises of mincing his words.

    Yeah, so, all those people who voted for Obama becasue they thought he meant what he said as a candidate about how government support would save their factory for another 100 years? Once they served their purpose, it didn't matter whether he meant what he said or not. Not to Obama or his bleating followers.

    It's funny, too, it's like they don't even notice Obama's bullshit until someone like Paul Ryan mentions it. And then they get so worked up about stuff like this--and completely ignore all the other whoppers he told to civil libertarians.

    For instance, when exactly will he close Guantanamo? or--let me guess--I bet you think he never really made that promise either?!

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 11:10AM |#
    "Then Lets help: The decision to close was made by GM in June of 2008. Bush / Ryan response. Nothing."
    You idiot; they didn't promise to keep it open.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Oh my. Here is what Obama said (hint: it's not a promise of anything you idiot)

    February 2008: At a campaign stop in Janesville, Obama says, ”I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.”

    As Politifact writes, “That’s a statement of belief that, with government help, the Janesville plant could remain open — but not a promise to keep it open.”

    Byt Bush / Ryan did not give him the chance to offer that belief because it closed before he took office. Ryan lied. I'm sorry he's your man and he let you down.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That closed factory you got there...you didn't do that.

    Somebody else made that happen.

  • ||

    Shorter Fairnsquare:

    George Bush and Paul Ryan broke Obama's promises!

  • Killazontherun||

    You're still getting it wrong, little buddy. But keep trying! Hint, it's not material what Bush did or did not do to the truthiness of Ryan's statement. Obama said if his policies were adapted (and oh boy were they ever!) the plant would remain open for a hundred years, and he said this in October of '08, several months before it closed. He said this essentially telling the workers for a mere exchange of their votes he was going to force their employment down GM's throat. However, once he made himself God Emperor of GM through Imperial Decree, he did not deliver. That is the fact Ryan was pointing out.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Oh. Perhaps you need to see this to get the point of the Ryan lie? http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ok-office/
    I don't mean to embarrass you, but facts are facts. The plant made its last car while GWB/Ryan were at the wheel: December 23, 2008. Or perhaps you're thinking Obama should have issued an pre-oath executive order to GM a month before he took office to force them to stay open? How could a non-sitting president have taken the steps to prevent actions taking place before he took office, as Ryan apparently suggests? That's the lie. You can hate anyone, but your lies are so tranparent you must be embarrassed.

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 12:24PM |#
    "Or perhaps you're thinking Obama should have issued an pre-oath executive order to GM a month before he took office to force them to stay open? How could a non-sitting president have taken the steps to prevent actions taking place before he took office, as Ryan apparently suggests?"
    You are a gold-medal ignoramus.
    Obama made the vow. What anyone else did or does is irrelevant; HE made that vow.
    And it was a lie.
    Now is it clear?

  • Fairnsquare||

    This is a vow? Wow!

    February 2008: At a campaign stop in Janesville, Obama says, ”I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.”

    As Politifact writes, “That’s a statement of belief that, with government help, the Janesville plant could remain open — but not a promise to keep it open.”

    Ryan lied last week. To this there is no question.

  • Rod Flash||

    Man, I don't have a dog in this fight (I hate them all), but you are either being intentionally incredibly obtuse or you're just stupid. I can't keep silent in the face of such obvious misuse of logic. Bullet items might help.

    1) Obama went to a plant that was scheduled to close soon and said that if he was elected and his policies were put in place the plant would remain open for 100 years.

    2) The plant stopped making cars, but remained open.

    3) Obama got elected and started putting his policies in place.

    4) The plant closed.

    5) Years later Ryan pointed this out and is being called a liar, even though he told the meaningless truth.

    Again, I couldn't care less about the politicians, and not much more for the plant and it's workers. But it's an easy read if you would just bother to sound out the words.

  • Fairnsquare||

    "2) The plant stopped making cars, but remained open."

    An auto plant that makes autos "stops making cars, but remains open". Huh?? Doing what?

    The plant closure was actually planned by GM for 2010, but the 3rd quarter economy of 2008 (under Bush / Ryan) was so bad, they stopped making cars in December of 2008, before Obama had any say in the matter.

    Ryan lied when he implied the Obama policies had a bearing on the Janesville decision by GM. It's so simple it plum evades some.

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 1:15PM |#
    "Ryan lied..."

    Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, idiot.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The plant produced its last GM vehicle in December 2008, about one month before Obama took office. However, some workers stayed to assemble trucks in a partnership with Isuzu, and the plant halted all production in June 2009, according to the Detroit Free Press.

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/e.....statement/

    It was a GM plant.

    It was still making cars until June of 2009.

    GM asked Obama for help in March of 2009 per my link above. Obama refused to assist GM in March of 2009.

    The plant didn't close until early June of 2009. Obama nationalized GM, as I recall, in late June 2009.

    Obama promised that the plant would stay open with government support. When GM asked Obama for government support, he refused to give it to them. The plant closed shortly thereafter.

    Obama has a habit of promising the moon--and, predictably, not delivering. It's an excellent reason to throw him out on his ass this November. He doesn't know what he's doing, but that's never stopped him from promising before. It won't stop him from making all sorts of outlandish promises between now and November, too.

    Obama's full of shit.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Ken Shultz|9.3.12 @ 2:03PM|#

    Taken verbatium from Mr. Schult'z brilliant mind:

    First this from a news clip:
    The plant produced its last GM vehicle in December 2008, about one month before Obama took office.

    Then later from his brilliant mind:
    It was still making cars until June of 2009.

    Nice. Paul Ryan could not have said it more clearly.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You should read more books or something.

    GM and Isuzu had a partnership. In fact, I think they still have various partnerships...

    http://tinyurl.com/c32xprk

    The plant Ryan and Obama were talking about was manufacturing cars under the GM brand, and, apparently, they were making cars branded as Isuzu, too.

    The plant manufactured its last car under the GM brand in December of 2008.

    The GM owned plant with GM employees was still manufacturing the Isuzu branded cars until June of 2009.

    This isn't exactly unusual. Right now, for instance, there's an awesome car that's being built by a partnership between Scion (a Toyota brand, I believe) and Subaru. They developed it together, and if they're not helping each other manufacture them, they're crazy for not getting rid of all that duplicitous work!

    Anyway, I hope that cleared it up for you. Incidentally, you didn't need to have a brilliant mind like mine to understand what I wrote. High school level reading comprehension would have saved you from...doing what you did.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Holy shit!

    It was all in my quote:

    The plant produced its last GM vehicle in December 2008, about one month before Obama took office. However, some workers stayed to assemble trucks in a partnership with Isuzu, and the plant halted all production in June 2009, according to the Detroit Free Press.

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/e.....statement/

    What part of that is hard to understand?

  • Brutus||

    I was just going to point out that the plant made more than just the Suburbans. It also made trucks, which continued to be assembled into 2009.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz| 9.3.12 @ 2:43PM |#
    "What part of that is hard to understand?"
    Well, we have an Obamabot, therefore an iQ in the single digits, so it really doesn't matter how hard anything is to understand. Dipshit will intentionally 'misunderstand'.

  • Brendan||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 2:22PM |#

    This is pure lefty trolling.

    Read/see/hear only what you want to. Simply pretend facts don't exist if they conflict with the narrative.

    The quote literally says that they kept making Isuzu vehicles until 2009.

    Apparently only GM cars count now as to whether the plant was actually open or not. Nice moving of the goal posts.

    So, to recap-an auto plant still producing automobiles is not really open. Gotta love doublespeak.

  • truthisnotrelative||

    Obama said that with government support the plant could remain open. GM asked the President (elected, sworn and on the payroll) for said support and he declined it. So what was Paul Ryan's lie again?

    If it helps to bring the point of all this home, Obama also promised to heal the earth. The context here is the undeliverable platitudes.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Ryan was "at the wheel" in 08?

    Nice historical revisionism there, buddy. He was part of a minority in house.

  • Oso Politico||

    We have to face up to the facts: We are just too stupid to appreciate our Dear Glorious Leader and his accomplishments...

  • jonarata||

    Ok, so we're supposed to be surprised that the same media who was uniformly, deeply in the tank for then-Senator Present 4 short years ago is now in the mode of branding the GOP as "Filthy Lying Liars Who Tell Filthy Lies"?

  • CPBrown||

    It seems that the NYT other outlets have worked themselves into such apocalyptic hysteria about the "outsized" influence of Fox News and the dreaded SuperPACS that they decided that *they* must be the antidote to their evil influence. Any semblance of balance has been thrown under the bus for the "greater" good, as they see it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    But they were never balanced or fair in the first place!

    If the phony semblance of balance has been thrown under the bus, then that's a step in the right direction.

  • CPBrown||

    I agree that the balance was usually false, but the hateful vitriol in the NYT editorial on Romney's speech seems new. I don't even like Romney, but describing his "treacly tone and strange misty smile" was jarring it's that type of vile ad hominem attack that keeps me away from Fox or MSNBC. Having more Hannity's or Mr. Ed's (?) is not the direction, I'd like to go.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it seems a little unusual, maybe, because they didn't really do that during the Bush Administration.

    That was one of the major failures of the Democratic Party during the Bush Administration and the War on Terror...

    The reason a no name without any experience, really, won the nomination over the establishment candidate (Hillary Clinton) was because Obama was the only candidate in the field that was legitimately against the Iraq War.

    The Democrats rubber stamped everything the Bush Administration did during the height of the War on Terror. And the left side of the media took their cues from the Democratic leadership.

    So, this open bias seems new, but actually, this is how the New York Times (and lefty media outlets) should have treated the Bush Administration way back when--but didn't.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, this is my favorite link--Evar!

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/w.....iraq_x.htm

    That's right.

    6 months after we invaded Iraq, almost 70% of the American people still believed that Saddam Hussein was personally complicit in 9/11.

    There were a lot of reasons for that misconception.

    One of those reasons was NOT because the New York Times treated the Bush Administration's claims so critically.

    I'll take openly biased reporting over false objectivity--any day, every day.

  • ||

    In all fairness, 50% of people in some polls believe 9/11 was an inside job. Higher numbers than that believe we didn't land on the moon. Similar numbers question the official explanation of the Kennedy assassination. Most people think the share of the budget spent on foreign aid is 100x higher than it actually is. Etc, etc, etc. People being willfully ignorant and misinformed isn't always the fault of the media. And whatever the NYT did to aid in that perception they more than made up for during the following 5 years, during which space was devoted in virtually every issue to excoriating Bush for "lying us into war" and excusing Democrats for their complicity in authorizing it and continuing to fund it. I'd hardly say the NYT was in the tank for the Bush administration.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It wasn't just because the media didn't do its job.

    The anthrax attack really freaked people out. And there was some willful misguidance of public perceptions perpetrated by the Bush Administration.

    They showed us photographs of mobile weapons labs. They told us Hussein was trying to get yellow cake in Niger. They told us that Saddam Hussein was harboring Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq.

    The scrutiny of that information didn't come from anywhere in the mainstream media. And there weren't really any Democrats questioning the information we were being fed.

    No one among the Democrat leadership questioned torture policy. The Patriot Act passed the House 357 to 66, and the Patriot Act passed the Senate 98-1.

    Sure, the Democrats were loyal, but where was the opposition? There wasn't any!

    There wasn't even much opposition from the so called "liberal media". Like I said, they seem to take their cues from the Democrat leadership. That's why there hasn't been much from liberal media outlets about Obama continuing the same warrantless wiretapping, etc. that was perpetrated by the Bush Administration.

    The liberal media outlets may charge that Bush did it, too! But they didn't question Bush on these issues much more than they're questioning Obama, now.

    So, when we see them being biased in favor of Obama, it's almost a relief.

    Maybe things are just getting back to normal.

  • Mark Anderson||

    Gosh, simply another fudge. The plant shut down it's main function in 2008. It kept some people working on trucks until 2009. Why not telling the whole truth instead of repeating propaganda. Both sides are correct on this issue, but if you look at it objectively, which I guess is the purpose of people at this site, the Democrats are more correct than the Republicans. Look at what Ryan said on August 16, "That plant was shut down in 2009. I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he'll keep that plant open," Ryan said, according to the Janesville Gazette. "One more broken promise." That is taken from CNN. Of course that was said earlier than his convention speech, but he's just to fast a man to fact check.

  • Sevo||

    "Look at what Ryan said on August 16, "That plant was shut down in 2009. I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he'll keep that plant open," Ryan said, according to the Janesville Gazette. "

    IOWs, Ryan is exactly correct. Obama vowed to keep it open and didn't.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Well, Geez. Maybe because the plant produced it's last vehicle on December 23, 2008, before Persident Obama even took office. Had the plant been kept open by Bush/Ryan long enought to give Obama a chance to keep it open, of course he would have. But he never got the chance. And that's the lie. By the time he was sworn in, it was already over. Ryan lied, pure, simple. See the closing ceremonial photo here for the doubters: http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ok-office/

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 12:03PM |#
    "Well, Geez. Maybe because the plant produced it's last vehicle on December 23, 2008, before Persident Obama even took office."

    And that has to do with the liar-in-chiefs lie exactly how?
    I'm having a hard time believing you're really this dense.

  • Killazontherun||

    I believe it. Obama still has voters after one of the worst job performances in the history of the office and the only other team that has a shot of removing him agrees to roughly 95% of his spending agenda.

    You are really looking at someone who believes Obama had the best of intentions when he made that speech but it just slipped from his grasp to save that plant by a mere month from his inauguration. You are really dealing with someone who can twist their minds to that degree of willful and abysmal ignorance.

    If you haven't already stockpiled, take the existence of Fairnsquare as a warning sign that you should have started a long time ago.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Sevo|9.3.12 @ 12:10PM|#

    And that has to do with the liar-in-chiefs lie exactly how?

    Here's why: Had the plant been kept open by Bush/Ryan long enought to give Obama a chance to keep it open, of course he would have. But he never got the chance. And that's the lie. By the time he was sworn in, it was already over. Ryan lied, pure, simple. (You missed the photo didn't you)

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 12:38PM |#
    Obama lied.
    And you're entirely too stooooopid to understand the English language.
    Go away, ignoramus.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Settled. Ryan lied. The plant closed on December 23, 2008. The media got it right, even if you and Welch don't get it. Thank's for your attempt to re-writing history because it shines a light on you in a way that actually helps the undecided see Ryan and his supporters in their true colors.

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 1:19PM |#
    "Settled. Ryan lied."
    It takes someone with your lack of brain cells to support the liar-in-chief; glad to see you admit it.

  • WhereYou'reWrong||

    So, let me get this straight... Ryan somehow forced Obama to grandstand in front of an already closed plant and say it could remain open for 100 years? How did Obama miss the fact it was closed... did they hide the news from him? Truck in some fake workers and keep him from talking to, well, anybody about it? How did Ryan get Obama to make such a bullshit statement against his will? Sabotage the teleprompter? Or is it just possible that when he stood in front of that factory Obama was just saying whatever he thought would get him votes, knowing the factory was toast anyway?

  • Brutus||

    Had the plant been kept open by Bush/Ryan long enought to give Obama a chance to keep it open, of course he would have.

    Then thank Gaia they didn't. GM is sucking up far too much capital as it is. Janesville was marked for extinction by the market. Keeping it open for political purposes - regardless of party - is insane.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You keep using "Bush/Ryan" as if Ryan had any power at all beside being in a minority party in the house where one individual has much less power than an individual in the other house.

    Stop being a revisionist douche.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Well gee, gosh o' golly, geez, fella.

    Hey, maybe the real fact is that you shouldn't believe any of the shit that candidates say?

  • Ken Shultz||

    It seems to me that Obama was being disingenuous when he made his statement.

    I don't think Obama was explicitly promising to keep the plant open--but I think Obama's statement was calculated so that the people who depended on the plant would interpret it that way.

    ...and I think anybody who spouts calculated bullshit in a situation like that, shouldn't cry about having their bullshit called out by a politician who represents constituents from that district.

    Especially when you consider that's essentially Ryan's take on both the economy--and why the Obama Administration isn't up to the task.

    Obama goes around giving speeches preaching hope--but it's all smoke and mirrors. Just like his statements about that GM plant. That's what Ryan was saying, and he's absolutely 100% correct on that about Obama.

    You watch, too. If GM continues on its present course (and there's no reason to think it won't), there's going to be a lot more plants closing and/or another huge infusion of taxpayer cash into the company. And that'll happen in spite of the Obama Administration crowing about how they already saved GM, too.

    Which will, once again, demonstrate that Obama is a disingenuous, ineffective president, who goes around making all sorts of ridiculous promises. Despite all the the hot air, however, Obama actually has no idea what makes the economy grow.

    None.

  • Killazontherun||

    You're right about that. Without another bailout, GM is dead. Their overseas sells in China are all that sustains them at this point, and the ghost economy of China is due for a massive correction.

  • jonarata||

    "It seems to me that Obama was being disingenuous when he made his statement.

    I don't think Obama was explicitly promising to keep the plant open--but I think Obama's statement was calculated so that the people who depended on the plant would interpret it that way.

    ...and I think anybody who spouts calculated bullshit in a situation like that, shouldn't cry about having their bullshit called out by a politician who represents constituents from that district."

    Bravo. Spot-on. Precisely how I read it as well.

    Then Senator-Present was doing his hopey-changey bit knowing (he was, after all, a member of the Senate MAJORITY at the time, remember) there was no change this plant was staying open - but he certainly wanted to leave all those registered voters that He, The Lightworker, would keep that plant open "for another 100 years".

    Ryan called him on precisely this BS and now President ThinSkin and his media nursemaids are all prissy about it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It seems to me that Obama was being disingenuous when he made his statement.

    I don't think Obama was explicitly promising to keep the plant open--but I think Obama's statement was calculated so that the people who depended on the plant would interpret it that way.

    ...and I think anybody who spouts calculated bullshit in a situation like that, shouldn't cry about having their bullshit called out by a politician who represents constituents from that district.

    Bingo.

    You don't get to engage in wishy-washy rhetoric, then complain that it isn't being interpreted correctly. Say what you mean, or shut the fuck up.

  • ||

    WHY IS REASON ONLY HAMMERING ROMNEY? ARE THEY SHILLING FOR OBAMA SO THEY CAN BE INVITED TO PARTIES IN WHICH A CERTAIN TYPE OF MIXED DRINK WILL BE SERVED? WHY DON'T THEY EVER PICK ON ... oh.

  • Matt Welch||

    I am totally in favor of "a certain type of mixed drink," FTR.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Like moonshine mixed with black cherries?

    Shit is amazing.

  • TheBombDiggity||

    The stupid thing to me is that everyone's arguing over dates of closure/decisions/whatever.

    Anyone with a third grade level of language comprehension heard that part of the speech and realized the point was that the economy hasn't recovered. His point was obviously, "Obama says he'll improve the economy, it hasn't improved, it's as weak as it was 4 years ago." The anecdote, regardless of when the plant actually closed, just demonstrates that the economy hasn't gotten better.

    Instead of arguing about economic policy, we're debating dates and fact-checkers. Mission accomplished I guess.

  • Fairnsquare||

    As weak as it was 4 years ago? Really? Let’s guess: you fact-checked that one with Paul Ryan?
    Nationally, we've added 3.8 million jobs since February of 2010. That’s more jobs than GW Bush created in 8 years. But the right wing media won’t talk about that.

    And my retirement portfolio which was in the dumps when Bush left office, is up over 40% in the first few Obama years. I have a job, and I have a very nice retirement (not by any government handout like Paul Ryan gets, mind you – my own hard work as a small businessman).

    Of course, if you don’t have a job…. You may feel left out. I get that.
    But don’t let Paul Ryan’s lies about Janesville throw the message off. Mission accomplished -- Agreed.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Nationally, we've added 3.8 million jobs since February of 2010. That’s more jobs than GW Bush created in 8 years. But the right wing media won’t talk about that.

    I love it when Obamabots pull out this "fact." Here's the current labor participation rate:

    http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000/

    You'll note that this is the lowest it's been in 30 years, and it's NOT getting better. THAT'S the reason the "right-wing media" won't talk about it--because this so-called "job growth" can't keep up with the growth of the actual labor force. This was what Obama's "stimulus" was actually supposed to stimulate, but this is what happens when you misinterpret a recession as being caused by a lack of liquidity rather than systemic debt.

    And my retirement portfolio which was in the dumps when Bush left office, is up over 40% in the first few Obama years. I have a job, and I have a very nice retirement (not by any government handout like Paul Ryan gets, mind you – my own hard work as a small businessman).

    Your "retirement portfolio" is currently based on a stock market bubble created by zero percent interest rates and multiple rounds of quantitative easing--and we all know what eventually happens to bubbles. Don't say you weren't warned when it pops.

  • TheBombDiggity||

    I was mainly just talking about how adjusted median household income has fallen by like $5,000. Figured that was a good proxy measure for if people feel better off than 4 years ago.

    Glad to hear you're doing alright, but I get the feeling many people don't share your enthusiasm. Although I guess a professional PartyBot (not the fun kind) is always programmed for optimism with their side.

  • Sevo||

    Fairnsquare| 9.3.12 @ 2:17PM |#
    "Nationally, we've added 3.8 million jobs since February of 2010."
    That's a lie, dipshit.

  • Brutus||

    Obama said we'd be at 5.6% unemployment right now. The only reason we're not bumping up against nearly twice that figure is that so many of the unemployed have either completely given up looking for work or finagled a way to go on "disability."

    Obama is a catastrophe.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Instead of arguing about economic policy, we're debating dates and fact-checkers. Mission accomplished I guess.

    This is the point right here. To distract voters from issues of real import by engaging in dog and pony politics. It's fucked up, and the media, politicians, and dumbfucks who buy in should be fucking embarrassed.

  • T o n y||

    I go on vacation for a couple days and you guys return to full GOP fellating mode. I'm watching you, Ken Schultz.

    Hey Ken what does make the economy grow? Tax cuts and deregulation of the financial markets? Other magical Republican freedom dust that never seems to actually work?

  • ||

    Yeah dipshit. Just take a look at the DOW between 1982-2000. Deregulation and tax cuts.

    But don't let reality interfere with your beliefs.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There are a lot of things that make economies grow.

    Free trade makes economies grow. Obama held the South Korean Free Trade Agreement up becasue it wasn't okay with the UAW.

    Yeah, free trade makes economies grow. Holding American trade policy hostage for the UAW doesn't make economies grow.

    Investment makes economies grow. Doing things to discourage investment? doesn't make economies grow. The way Obama's running things, the capital gains tax is set to go from 15% to 25%, and that actively discourages investment.

    http://tinyurl.com/cft6u2g

    Yeah, investment makes economies grow. Actively discouraging investment doesn't make economies grow.

    Heaping regulation on lending doesn't make economies grow either. Actually, in a time when the economy is struggling to regain its footing after a lending drought, using regulation to make it even harder for people to borrow the money they need?

    That doesn't make economies grow.

    High income taxes don't make the economy grow. Income taxes make it more expensive to hire unemployed people and pay them their take home pay.

    All the regulation ObamaCare has put on employers hasn't helped the economy grow either. Extending all sort of ObamaCare related penalties onto companies with more than 50 employees?

    Makes small businesses more reluctant to hire unemployed people. Making small businesses more reluctant to hire unemployed people does not make the economy grow.

    I could go on.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Hey Ken what does make the economy grow? Tax cuts and deregulation of the financial markets? Other magical Republican freedom dust that never seems to actually work?

    Government revenue as a percentage of GDP is the same as it was in 1960--when the tax rate was a lot higher, entitlements were a lot less, and regulation was a lot stricter. Clearly you don't have a fucking clue as to what makes the economy grow yourself, moron.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Most people on the left don't care about facts or logic.

    They just care about aesthetics.

    Anything that makes Obama look good is true.

    Anything that makes Obama look bad is false.

    When we try to assault their aesthetic sensibilities with facts and logic, we've brought a knife to a gun fight.

    This isn't something I've become good at yet, but it's something I'm practicing on... The trick is to keep the aesthetics in view. Remember that where our aesthetics are driven by facts, their facts are driven by aesthetics.

    If facts that make Obama look bad are false, in their minds, then maybe we need to stop trying to assault their facts and start working on exposing Obama's ugliness.

    He's an evil man. He's a liar.

    He uses warrantless wiretapping. He kept Guantanamo open despite promising to close it. He uses taxes from hard-working middle class people to keep his overpaid cronies in the UAW overpaid. He's an evil man.

    Just make like you're talking to a Moonie. Maybe arguing with them about scripture isn't the way to go. Maybe getting them to see the Reverend Moon as he really is, maybe that's the answer. Once they stop seeing him as this messiah figure, then they'll start seeing facts in their own terms again. Instead of judging facts as true or not relative to whether they're flattering to Obama.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That's all fine and dandy, but the bailouts aren't going to convince anyone that Obama is a despicable leader. The rest simply induces liberals to put their fingers in their ears and go "LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA", or, even more annoying, yelling something to the effect of, "yeah, well, McCain would have been worse/Romney will be worse."

    There is no point at all in talking to any partisan about politics. There is nothing to be gained but a fucking headache from all of the stupid.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe targeting progressives is bad, but we can't let progressive aesthetic arguments go unchallenged either.

    And if we're going to counter the progressives' aesthetic arguments, then we need to counter them in aesthetic terms.

    He uses warrantless wiretapping. He kept Guantanamo open despite promising to close it. He uses taxes from hard-working middle class people to keep his overpaid cronies in the UAW overpaid.

    Those can be aesthetic arguments.

    I think this is part of what Virginia Postrel used to write about how aesthetic considerations are more important than we realize. We need to focus the public's attention on the progressive's ugly side. Let them see Obama's warts.

    He's a mean bastard with a crocodile smile.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 9.3.12 @ 1:51PM |#
    "I go on vacation for a couple days and you guys return to full GOP fellating mode. I'm watching you, Ken Schultz."
    Shithead, it's a shame you didn't fall off a cliff.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I know that this discussion is about the truthiness of a particular statement, but I seem to be missing something.

    If Obama did nothing to help that plant stay open, that's a GOOD thing. It's not his job, nor the job of any president, to make sure that part of a horribly run company infected to the core with unions intent on bleeding it dry, or any subsidiary of said company, is somehow "saved."

    Why are some trying to provide cover for Ryan who is lambasting Obama for doing nothing to save the plant, when nothing is exactly what ought to have been done? Fuck that plant. If you have shitty business practices or the market shifts such that demand for product X declines, you SHOULD close.

  • Fairnsquare||

    Best thing on this post so far (except all of mine). Well said. While Ryan's lie is the subject, this is what matters most. Thank you!

  • ||

    Look at those gears shift. Even though this actually contradicts the entire premise of your arguments up to this point (you may or may not actually be far too stupid to even realize this), you're willing to agree with it because it sounds vaguely like he dislikes the same guy you do.

  • ern||

    He's trying really hard to change the topic from facts to policy, since he can't win on facts. I might be happy, in the end, that the right thing was done (the plant closed, as the market dictated) but Obama promised to do the *wrong* thing. And he'll promise to do the wrong thing again. And maybe he'll actually do what he says, but probably not. And that was the point Ryan was making: all Obama's promises are empty. Don't believe them. Yet somehow we're supposed to be Obama cheerleaders because he didn't do the stupid thing he promised to do? What kind of sense does that make?

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Obama did nothing to help that plant stay open, that's a GOOD thing.

    If we can get progressives to admit that Obama wanted to save that plant but couldn't? Then we can get them to start thinking about how government intervention in the economy is futile.

    If we can get swing voters to see that Obama can't keep all the promises he makes--even if he wants to? Then we can get them to start thinking about how voting for this conman just doesn't pay off in the real world.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If we can get progressives to admit that Obama wanted to save that plant but couldn't? Then we can get them to start thinking about how government intervention in the economy is futile.

    No, "we" can't.

    To progressives the answer is never "well, I guess government intervention isn't the best approach for fucking with the economy"; it's always "the reason government intervention didn't work is because they didn't intervene enough/ were it not for deregulation X would never have happened to begin with."

    See DB from above: the reason the plant failed is because Bush never did anything to try and save GM, which is patently false.

    Talking to partisans is a waste of time.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Very well.

    Maybe I shouldn't have said progressives.

    There are a lot of swing voters out there, though, that are falling for Obama's progressive crap. And I don't think we should let even the armchair progressives go unchallenged.

    Fact is that government interference in the economy is futile. Fact is that when Obama nationalized two-thirds of the American auto industry, it didn't solve anything.

    If this factory is what people are talking about at the moment, then we might as well use what people are talking about to make our point.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz| 9.3.12 @ 7:30PM |#
    ..."Fact is that when Obama nationalized two-thirds of the American auto industry, it didn't solve anything."...

    Ha, and ha!
    It solved the UAW benefits payments issue for some period of time. At our expense.

  • ||

    Top. Men.

  • Matt Welch||

    I criticized the Ryan comment in real time on Twitter on precisely on those grounds. It was a cheapjack comment, IMO, reinforcing a notion of presidential omnipotence over business.

    My purpose in this column is not to defend Ryan, or to say journalists shouldn't conduct fact-checks, but rather to point out that the term "fact" is being used in interestingly dissimilar ways by the press when applied on Republicans and Democrats, which I think is a key thing to watch this week in Charlotte.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Whoooosh!!! That was the sound of your reasoning going over the head of Fairnsquare et al.

  • johnl||

    I think you misunderstood Ryan's point. Which is his fault, but still. Ryan was saying that BHO ran on a platform of free ponies for everyone, but people don't have free ponies. It's always hard to run against the free pony platform, and he deserves credit for trying.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I didn't mean that you, Matt, are the one perpetrator here. But look at the thread. It's full of libertarians trying to provide cover for Ryan rather than stating the obvious: that doing nothing was always the correct route no matter what Obama said.

    Calling Obama a liar is fine. But I'd imagine that there are plenty of other ways that we can call him a liar without resorting to BS like this.

    Hammer away on Guantanamo.

  • Sevo||

    mad libertarian guy| 9.3.12 @ 5:28PM |#
    ..."But look at the thread. It's full of libertarians trying to provide cover for Ryan rather than stating the obvious: that doing nothing was always the correct route no matter what Obama said."...

    Gonna disagree.
    I have no interest in 'providing cover' for the GOP VP candidate. I have a *lot* of interest in calling bullshit when it is obvious.
    Yes, the government should get out of the way, but that's not the issue in this thread. The issue here is that Ryan called Obama on his bullshit and lefties are trying to invent an alternative reality.
    They NEED to get called on that; I'm tired of listening to lies, including Ryan's had he lied. Ignoramuses like fairnsquare need to be called on that stuff every time they make claims.

  • johnl||

    So he never should have said that he could keep it open. Ryan's not blasting BHO for not keeping it open, but for saying that he would.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The failure to correct a problem is not a failure to progressives; failure to "do something" is, even if that something is nothing but a hollow gesture, or hastens the original problem.

    They don't see Obama making a promise he couldn't fulfill as a bad thing. It's not making the promise that is considered bad, even if the promise is for ponies that don't exist.

    Look at Solyndra. Many progressives would argue Solyndra a success even though it's an abject failure because he "tried" to do something they agree with. Ditto the stimulus that came nowhere near to meeting its target goals. Rather than seeing it as a failure, it was a huge success; the only thing keeping America from total financial collapse. To progressives, the only failure is the failure to "do something."

  • Jason S.||

    Test

  • Sevo||

    Jason S.| 9.3.12 @ 4:23PM |#
    "Test"

    F. With a smile.

  • Jason S.||

    I tried to reply to Fairnsquare earlier in the thread, but the comment won't register. I guess I'll comment down here because this is very important and these are important words to read:

    Ryan made the mistake of saying that Obama "promised" that the plant would survive for a 100 years.

    Obama merely suggested that the plant needed re-tooling so that it would be capable of manufacturing a more modern, fuel efficient model -- and if the gov't was going to help the auto industry, then Obama said he would keep the plant alive.

    In June 2009, GM considered three sites to locate a small car: its Orion plant in Michigan; Janesville, Wis.; and a Spring Hill, Tenn., plant slated to close in November. GM picked Orion and later reopened Spring Hill.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/art.....z252BtMQO1 .

    Obama was fronting.

    Welch is correct here (which is very surprising -- maybe a first).

    This is all irrelevant anyway. What matters is that the gov't should be in the car business; it's a shame that Obama didn't do more to help the struggling rust belt communities.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What matters is that the gov't should be in the car business[.]

    The fuck outta here with that. The government has no business dipping its hand in ANY business, whether to "help" them or not.

    If a business needs "help", it's because its either run poorly, or there's no market for whatever it is they're trying to sell. Neither case is an argument for stealing the money from others who have dick to do with said company and giving to said company as a means of "helping" it. This is straight-up cronyism.

  • Jason S.||

    Let's remember what Clint Eastwood said in the famous Chrysler Super Bowl commercial: "This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Ya, it's halftime in America, and our second half is about to begin."

    We (the taxpayers) are beginning to see the positive results. Two words: Chevy Volt.

    And as another famous Hollywood actor once said, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Ronald Reagan uttered those words when he met with Lee Iacoca to offer Chrysler a helping hand. It was a wise investment then, and it's a wise investment now.

  • johnl||

    Chevy Volt sums it up well.

  • ||

    I lol'd. I thought he was just being sardonic at first. But I think he actually though "Chevy Volt" carried some positive connotation to someone.

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure Jason is stupid enough that registering was a trial.
    S/he mis-quotes, makes wild assertions, lies and is every bit as self-righteous as shithead, minus the long history.

  • Sevo||

    Jason S.| 9.3.12 @ 7:25PM |#
    ..."It was a wise investment then, and it's a wise investment now."

    Bullshit.
    If it was a "wise investment", it wouldn't need the support of the government.

  • ||

    Not only are you an abject retard, you can't even get the context of quotes right. But you're a leftist tool so your disingenuousness is not surprising.

    Oh and there's a word for the government controlling the means of production. What's that word again?

  • ||

    "FORWARD"

  • Sevo||

    "Poverty"

  • radar||

    A few points, you lying shitbag....first off, that wasn't the source of the Reagan quote. Reagan spoke that line in 1986, 7 years after the Chrysler bailout. Which doesn't actually matter anyway, because Reagan wasn't president when Lee Iacocca went to Washington to panhandle. Fact check this one all you want, but I do believe Jimmy Carter was in the White House in 1979.

  • Sevo||

    Jason S.| 9.3.12 @ 4:31PM |#
    "Ryan made the mistake of saying that Obama "promised" that the plant would survive for a 100 years."
    Uh, only for straw graspers.

  • ||

    I think George Stephanopoulos said it best back in 1996:

    The President has kept all the promises he intended to keep.

  • ||

    And the facts are on my side in this argument.

    Even if it is me who says so.

  • ern||

    This isn't difficult: Ryan's point wasn't to blame Obama for the plant closing in the first place, but to point out that he failed to keep his promise to "keep the plant open for 100 years." The plant finally closed in 2009, during Obama's administration. So far, there's nothing that's incorrect here.

    Calling it a "lie" seems to rely on not actually listening to what Ryan was saying. And it's obvious why liberals are doing that: it draws attention away from the fact that Obama broke his promise regarding that plant. I don't much care--I think GM should have gone through bankruptcy, as it's pretty obvious the company can't compete anymore. Pouring more money down that drain isn't appealing to me. But the point remains: Obama made a promise he didn't keep. Point Ryan.

  • SusanM||

    "Obama made a promise he didn't keep"

    Amazing. Usually politicians are so good with their promises.

  • Dave B||

    From the article:

    "The implied blame-emphasis, said Sally Kohn at FoxNews.com: "Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States' credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.""

    While Welch points out that Ryan's statement on the SP downgrade was factual, he allows this lie (from an Op-ed piece) to go unchallenged.

    If you read the actual SP report on why they downgraded the U.S., you'll find that they don't blame either party for the downgrade and that the downgrade didn't happen because of the threat not to raise the debt ceiling.

    Instead, the downgrade happened because SP was losing confidence that the U.S. govt. could deal with the rising debt problem. True, the battle over the debt ceiling was mentioned in the report, but in the context that it (the debt ceiling battle) was evidence of why the govt. wouldn't deal with the debt problem.

    If anything, the SP has a (slightly) higher priority on containing Medicare and entitlement spending (calling it "key" to "long-term fiscal sustainability.") than it does on the raising of revenue.

    You can read the full report here: http://www.politico.com/static.....final.html

  • triclops||

    Either Obama intentionally lied about keeping the plant open, or he made a bullshit promise he could never keep.

    Those are the only two choices.

    If you know a plant is closing, and you say, "vote for me and my policies will keep this plant around 100 years", then the plant closes, you either intentionally lied or wrote a check you could never cash.

    Obama is all about his mouth writing checks his ass can't cash. That is the story of Gitmo, medical marijuana, winning in afghanistan, fixing the economy, fixing education, saving the auto industry, bringing the cost of health care down, etc.
    he makes promises he simply cannot keep because his understanding of how government works is so insanely unrealistic.

  • Jason S.||

    No need to use foul language, radar. Yes, you're absolutely right that the context of the quote was wrong. I was lazy. Thank you for the fact-check correction.

    It was the peanut farmer from Georgia and great lover of liberty, Jimmy Carter, who was president in 1979. His administration can take credit for giving Chrysler the chance to design the elegant K car.

    It was also the Carter administration's groundwork that made deregulation of transportation, banking and telecommunications less thorny for Reagan.

    Wasn't it Carter who ended the prohibition of home brewing of wine and beer as well? That was probably a big mistake. Reagan's "Just Say No" to alcohol and drugs education program made more sense. Which brings us back to Reagan's famous quote: "What are the nine most terrific words in the English language?"...

  • Dave B||

    "Which brings us back to Reagan's famous quote: "What are the nine most terrific words in the English language?"..."

    No, not the nine most terrific, the nine most terrifying...

  • Something Pithy||

    I am so sorry that you were dropped on your head, repeatedly, as a small child.

  • Gmason||

    Watching the RNC convention live I heard the accusation against Paul Ryan over the Janesville plant closure and I (along with a million other people apparently, as it was trending) Googled it.
    Within 2 minutes I was able to find that it did indeed close in 2009, and that while it had been slated for closure, Obama had stood before the people of Janesville, basically promising that it would be open for another 100 years.
    " I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years."

    Full Transcript:
    http://www.cfr.org/us-election.....sin/p15492

    Now do politicians break promises? Sure. But what Ryan said was 100% factually accurate. Of course, I expected the media to have to back track, and set right their mistake. But the next day they were repeating their lie. And the next. And the next.
    As jaded as I am about the LSM, I actually can't believe what I'm seeing with the Media repeating verifiable lies over and over.
    They obviously know the truth, it's simply that they wish to portray Ryan as a liar.

    For all of you individual shills who keep repeating this crap, there is no excuse for your ignorance in the age of the internet.

  • ucky||

    "But the next day they were repeating their lie. And the next. And the next."

    the media are the most dangerous part of this. in large part, they are now paid shills of liberal politicians/administrations. and they lie/distort/repeat with impunity. and their old-ass hack radical journalism professors tell them that it's just fine. welcome to 21st century America....

  • Jason S.||

    Yeah, you're right, Dave B. My bad.

    But it seems absurd that Reagan would say that. "What are the nine most terrifying words in the English language? I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Say what?

    He was an ambitious person who strove to help the people of the state of California as Governor, and to help his country-folk as President of the United States.

    I suspect the idea of this turn-of-phrase came to him while having conversations with the reflection in the mirror when he was shaving his face -- a sort of existential realization of real terrifying fear and trembling.

    After all, as Governor of the Golden State, he went against his campaign promises of cutting gov't and pushed some of the biggest tax increases in the state's history -- and the people of California were grateful for the new tax revenues. Indeed, as he said, he was from the government and he was there to help, even if it went against the core of his being and his belief in limited government.

    If only California government wasn't so dysfunctional because of the dreadful Prop 13 of 1978 -- the bogus "People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation". It will be a day of relief when the last Republican leaves California for Texas, and Prop 13 is amended or eliminated.

    President Obama has talked about renaming the "Buffet Rule" to the "Reagan Rule", I think? If only the Obama administration would raise taxes like the great Ronald Reagan. Sigh.

  • Gmason||

    The Obots have been demoralized...

    Some of you may be familiar with the videos of Yuri Bezmenov from the 80's, discussing the methods of demoralization and crisis use by the Soviet system (and basically any statist system.)

    This video is really long, but it is well worth listening to the entire thing while you're doing something else.
    It is simply amazing in the context of what is going on in our country today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  • Gmason||

    The Obots have been demoralized...

    Some of you may be familiar with the videos of Yuri Bezmenov from the 80's, discussing the methods of demoralization and crisis use by the Soviet system (and basically any statist system.)

    This video is really long, but it is well worth listening to the entire thing while you're doing something else.
    It is simply amazing in the context of what is going on in our country today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

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  • arhooley||

    I don't care how dead Osama bin Laden is. American military are begin killed in Afghanistan as we speak, the TSA is riding my ass harder than ever, there are big-ass stone blocks in front of banks and other public buildings so terrorists can't drive a truck in, I get my purse rifled when I enter Disneyland, and God-only knows who's coming up from the Mexican border. Who says we're safer just because Sheikh Figurehead is dead?

  • ucky||

    "The country's political class frets that Americans don't understand how good this president has been."

    lmao. the country's "political class" can go walk off a cliff. the arrogance of politicians and the left-leaning media. we're not smart enough to figure out how great obama is; he's that far above us. sounds like state owned media flacks propping up a dictator. which is exactly what it is. hey matt, you hack, go crawl under your rock....

  • ||

    dhfghfghfghf

  • ||

    I don't think this is getting through

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