Tag Archives: Politifact

THAT WOMEN’S MARCH

The day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a march took place on the National Mall called the Women’s March on Washington. Initially, it was referred to as the “Million Women March,” but that was changed.

My initial reaction was to question what these women were marching for or against. Was it just that they hate Donald Trump and were traumatized by his unexpected victory over their beloved, Hillary Clinton? Did they have some valid “beefs” with the new administration or were they generally unhappy with the progress women have made for over half of a generation or were they scared that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned?

According to one of the organizers, Tomika Mallory, the effort was not anti-Trump. Instead, it was a continuation of a struggle women have been dealing with for a very long time.

Per npr.org, the march got its start as a cross-country collaboration among seven women in the aftermath of election day and gained traction online, becoming a network of 50-plus events in multiple countries.

Organizers Hope Women’s March on Washing Inspires, Evolves

Still not sure about the purpose of the women’s march, I sought out information from the far-left website, VOX. In an article entitled, “To understand the Women’s March on Washington, you need to understand intersectional feminism.” Well, hold it right there. I don’t know what intersectional feminism is Reading further down into the article, I determined that “intersectional feminism” is the idea that many women are members of other marginalized groups, which affects their experiences.

Brittany Cooper, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University explained, “And those parts—race, gender, sexuality, and religion, and ability—are not incidental or auxiliary. They matter politically.” Lehigh University’s Monica Miller defined it in an unpublished 2014 interview with Vox: “An intersectional feminist approach understands that categories of identity and difference cannot be separated and doesn’t abandon one category of analysis such as gender, or sexuality in favor of analyzing others such as race, and class.”

Apparently, this concept of intersectionality is not a new one. Kimberle Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia is credited with coining the term intersectionality in a 1989 paper entitled, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics.”

After wading through the Vox article, I still didn’t have a clue as to what this march was all about. But it did make me wonder why I’ve spent so much of my time trying to be the best that I could in the fields where I have worked. Could I have not done just as well writing BS articles and contemplating the concept of intersectionality? Silly me.

Washington, you need to understand intersectional feminism.

After the above, and almost two weeks, I’m still not sure what this march was about. The women participating have indicated that it was about women’s right in which they were being denied. I heard complaints of lack of access to basic women’s health care, violence against women, reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, etc.

As few as fifty-five or sixty years ago, a woman could not get credit or purchase a house. Furthermore, a woman graduating or leaving school was destined to live with her parents if she had not found herself a man and didn’t have plans to marry. The most common occupations for women back then were secretary, school teacher, or nurse. If you did accept a job in a town other than the one in which you grew up, you were lucky to be able to rent a room. While in those days, there were certainly women doctors, lawyers, and engineers, they were few and far between.

Fast-forward to today, and none of the above holds true. Women are buying houses, getting credit, entering fields of their choice. The sky’s the limit.

Could things be better for today’s woman? Of course, they can. Perfection will not be achieved until Jesus returns and sets up his 1000-year kingdom here on earth.

Now, I’m sure that there are places where women doing the same job as men are getting paid less. That may be an unwritten company policy or there may be reasons a certain woman is getting paid less than a certain man. I’ve written on this before and in my writings indicated that discrimination is hard to prove and each case of alleged inequity should be examined separately. But if a woman finds herself in that position, I believe it should be up to her to do what’s best. Leave the company and go someplace else to work. And I do acknowledge that this may be easier said than done.

We’re human beings. We have brains and a sense of reason. Unlike animals, we can, and at times must refrain from giving into certain urges or behavior. In other words, we have the means to take responsibility for ourselves, and we should, if possible, do so.

Many women are concerned with a Donald Trump presidency that Roe v. Wade will be overturned and it will therefore, be up to the states to decide on abortion restrictions. At this time, no one can say whether or not that will happen.

Some women seemed to be unhappy with the fact that it is their bodies chose to carry a child and give birth to that child. Thus, they want society to pay for their birth control, even though most birth control methods cost less than $15.00 per month. With the above, some of these women participating in the marches on January 21, feel anger because it’s necessary to purchase certain feminine products for hygiene purposes; whereas, men don’t have to purchase such things.

In her rant during the march in Washington, D.C., actress, Ashley Judd indicated that pads and tampons are still taxed when Viagra and Rogaine are not. According to Politifact, that is only half true. When it comes to sales taxes on purchases, states typically set the rules. Seven states currently exempt tampons, menstrual cups, and pads from taxation. Five states have no sales tax at all. So, as of January 22, 2017, thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia tax feminine hygiene products. Because it is a prescription drug, Viagra, an erectile dysfunction medicine, isn’t taxed in any state except Illinois. Rogaine, a product for hair loss, is exempt from taxes in eight states because it is an over-the -counter treatment  and doesn’t require a prescription.

Are pads and tampons taxed but Viagra and Rogaine not?

How much money are we talking about? Is it even worth it? If you think it is, then petition your state representative for review.

The women’s march in Washington and the sister marches held around the country, including my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, were nothing but a bunch of spoiled whiney babies throwing temper tantrums that their candidate was not elected president. And to add fuel to the fire, many of the hats worn were knitted by hand and had cat ears on each side. These were more commonly called “pussy hats.” Some of the women were also wearing costumes made to look like female genitals. Vulgar signs were displayed and foul language such as the F-word were often shouted.

According to The Black Sphere, following the march, tens of thousands chose to leave their signs outside various DC landmarks, including the White House and the Trump International Hotel.

TrashFromMarch

Women’s March Trash: literally piles of trash left on the streets.

Can you get much classier? Even if I did have a major grievance about something, I would not allow these marching women, whether they were part of the Washington march or other sister marches around the nation, or even advocates of the marches, represent me on anything. In fact, I fear they have hurt women’s causes all over the nation. Would you hire someone who was a part of an advocate of these marches? I certainly would not.

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DID HILLARY SAY SHE WOULD RAISE TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS?

Was this a gaff, a misspeak, a technical malfunction? What difference does it make?

HillaryTrump

Speaking at a campaign rally, Tuesday, August 2, in Omaha, Nebraska, Hillary Clinton stated the following: “Trump wants to cut taxes for the super-rich,” Clinton told the jeering crowd. “Well we’re not going there, my friends. I’m telling you right now, we’re going to write fairer rules for the middle class and we are going to raise taxes on the middle class!”

I was watching TV when I first saw this video and it sure sounded like she said she would raise taxes on the middle class. Bill Clinton did it, Obama did it, so why shouldn’t I think that Hillary, another Democrat, if elected president, would do it also?

My first thoughts were that she did, indeed, misspeak. Furthermore, I thought that either the campaign, or perhaps Hillary herself would explain things. Were her notes incorrect, was the teleprompter incorrect? But we heard nothing. I later watched the video several times to see if I could hear anything different, but it sounded the same to me, like she would raise taxes on the middle class.

Of course, Republican nominee, Donald Trump, picked up the ball and ran with it, and that’s shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Apparently the Clinton campaign was just as surprised about this as anyone, according to Politifact. Campaign spokesman, Josh Schwerin told Politifact that Clinton said the opposite. Schwerin also pointed to numerous reports who agreed and forwarded Pollitifact a transcript of the speech, which reads, “We aren’t going to raise taxes on the middle class.”

Because Politifact considered it a classic case of she-heard, he-heard, they asked experts to arbitrate. The experts agreed with the Clinton camp and offered some technical evidence to prove it. Alan Yu, a linguistics professor at the University of Chicago who specializes in phonology, ran the audo through a computer program which analyzes phonetics. According to Yu, the analysis of the sound waves, indicated was saying “aren’t.” Another professor, this time from MIT, ran the audio through the same program and came to the same results. OH PU-LEAZE! Is it necessary to do all of this?

A reasonable, prudent person would have “walked it back,” would have been upfront with it immediately, so that there was no confusion. Again, I have watched the video trying to hear the word, “aren’t,” as opposed to the word, “are.” I can only hear the word, “are.”

Donald Trump was given a “pants on fire” rating by Politifact. Because lots of folks heard “are,” and even if you’re one of those who claim that they heard “aren’t,” it was not clear, and if you are one of those who says, “Oh yes, it was clear as a bell that she said, “aren’t,” you’re lying. “Aren’t may have been said by her, but it wasn’t clearly heard by everyone. Donald Trump did not just decide to tell a “bold-faced” lie about Hillary, he made his statements as a result of the video.

Now, let’s imagine if Donald Trump had said something that was controversial and not abundantly clear in a speech. Of course, the mainstream media would be all over it, playing the video non-stop. Even if Mr. Trump admitted to misspeaking or to a technical glitch, liberal voters and the liberal media would never it go, saying it was a Freudian slip. It would then haunt him forever.

The MSM didn’t seem to care that Obama uttered the phrase, “all 57 states,” on the campaign trail in 2008. Even first graders know that this is wrong; well, maybe not if they were educated in some of our public school systems.

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OCCUPY DEMOCRATS, A LYING CORRUPT ORGANIZATION – PART TWO

According to politifact.com, Occupy Democrats is an advocacy group that was created to counterbalance the Tea Party and to give President Obama and other progressive Democrats a Congress that will work with them to grow the economy, create jobs, promote fairness, fight inequality, and get money out of politics. Occupy Democrats also has a Facebook page, and most of my liberal Facebook friends are fans of the page. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

Of course, I often see posts where my liberal FB friends have shared memes from the Occupy Democrats Facebook page, and those memes are almost always wrong about everything. Here is another example, and there will be several more to come over the next few days.

According to politifact.com, during the last four presidencies, deficits disappeared under one Democrat (Bill Clinton), went up under two Republicans (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush) and traveled both up and down under one Democrat (Barak Obama). It’s actually a complicated story, but Occupy Democrats boiled it down into one graphic with five short lines.

  • Bush Sr. handed Clinton a $269 billion budget deficit.
  • Clinton handed Bush, Jr. a $127.3 billion surplus.
  • Bush Jr. Handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit.
  • But tell me again which is the party of fiscal responsibility?

Politifact asked the group’s founder and editor-in-chief, Omar Rivero to explain his numbers, and he offered a small correction. Rivero said that the number for the first President Bush should be a deficit of $255 billion or $14 billion less than stated. “A tiny error, really,” Rivero said. “We stand firmly by our meme and its implication that Democrats are better stewards of the debt.”

For this particular instance, Politifact focused on the claim that Bush, Jr. handed Obama a $1.4 billion deficit and Obama reduced Bush, Jr.’s deficit to just $492 billion.

Rivero said he picked the first year of a new president’s first term and relied on data from the White House Office of Management and Budget. Politifact used figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which runs an interactive database for this figure for the Federal Reserve, but the two were largely the same. Then they color coded the four presidencies and marked the years Rivero picked in red.

Politico indicated that in terms of reducing the deficit, Obama did a little better than the meme said. However, the federal fiscal year begins in October. A new president takes office in January and for the most part, typically operates under the budget he inherited. Thus, it’s reasonable to use the years that Rivero picked. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

2009: Not your typical year:

The great recession hit hard in 2008 and grew worse in 2009. In that period, the unemployment rate doubled from about 5% to 10%. With Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House, Washington passed a stimulus package that cost nearly $190 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That included over $100 billion in new spending and a somewhat smaller amount in tax cuts, about $79 billion in fiscal year 2009.

George W. Bush was not in office when those measures passed. So a more accurate number for the deficit he passed on might be closer to $1.2 trillion.

But Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group concerned by rising deficits, told PunditFact that the budget numbers don’t tell you much. It’s very difficult to untangle responsibility during those years.

In fiscal year 2009, you didn’t just have the stimulus, according to Ellis. Many of the fiscal decisions at the end of the Bush presidency were don’t in consultation with the president-elect, such as the Detroit auto bailout. Even with TARP, both campaigns were consulted.

Ellis is wary of what he calls snapshot comparisons because he doesn’t think they are fair to either president stepping down or the one taking over. They ignore too much context. Ellis noted that before deficits plummeted under Obama, they remained quite high. The Occupy Democrats post brushed past that fiscal reality.

The debt has increased more under President Obama so far than it did in the entirety of President Bush’s eight years, according to Ellis (and we all know that). Mr. Ellis also indicates that he doesn’t think that’s an accurate measure either, but it tells a different tale. Ellis feels that since Congress is really responsible for the budget, it’s always a little strange to blame the president for it.

Ellis noted that about two-thirds of all spending is mandatory, in the form of programs such as Social Security and Medicare. That said, according to the CBO, policy changes under George W. Bush, including tax cuts, the Iraq War, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and agricultural subsidies, greatly increased the deficits.

While Occupy Democrats said that George W. Bush handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit and Obama reduced Bush’s deficit to just $492 billion, the post picked certain years to back that up, and for those years, its numbers were accurate.

However, many factors complicate this simple-Simon picture. Bush did push policies that drove up the deficits, the federal response to the great recession was to some extent shared by Bush and Obama. While deficits have fallen under Obama, the claims brushes over that deficits remained above the trillion dollar mark for several years after Bush left office. Thus, Politifact rates this as Half True.

Note: The above information was provided by politifact.com.

Politifact, above, indicates that under President Bill Clinton, the deficit was reversed and turned into a surplus. This is true, but it took Speaker Newt Gingrich and the House Republicans, who were in the majority, to push through measures to allow this.

According to Ryan Dwyer, in an article in the Washington Times, in February 2010; while liberals, including President Barak Obama, love to say that President George W. Bush squandered the Clinton era budget surpluses and piled up deficits with expensive wars and tax cuts for the rich, the truth is that President Bush’s deficits were the product of spending, not tax cuts.

Mr. Dwyer quotes Stephen Moore’s (Wall Street Journal) book, The End of Prosperity,” which indicates that Mr. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts failed to revive an economy still staggering from the bursting of the dot-com bubble. Mr. Bush’s strategy had been to adopt a demand-side, Keynesian stimulus, hoping that putting a few extra dollars in Americans’ pockets would jump-start the economy through increased consumption. This approach faltered, not just because Americans opted to save their rebates, but because it neglected the importance of business investment to overall growth. The economy lagged and revenues stagnated.

In 2003, Mr. Bush cut the dividend and capital gains rates to 15 percent each and the economy responded. In two years, stocks rose 20 percent. In three years, $15 trillion of new wealth was created. The U.S. economy added 8 million new jobs from mid-2003 to early 2007, and the median household increased its wealth by $20,000 in real terms.

Dwyer further goes on to indicate that the real jolt for tax-cutting opponents was that the 03 Bush tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts. From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American History. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts. Furthermore, the “rich” paid an even higher percentage of the total tax burden than they had at any time in the previous 40 years.

Unfortunately, much of the increase in revenue resulting from the Bush tax cuts was offset by spending, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Medicare prescription drug plan.

9/11 happened. What were we supposed to do? Bend over and say, “Thank you, may I have another?” Also, the Clinton administration called for regime change in Iraq and the Iraq war had supports from both Democrats and Republicans. See: Can Democrats be that Forgetful? Plus the Democrats were pushing the Medicare prescription drug plan.

President George W. Bush lowered taxes and revenue to the federal government increased while individual citizens prospered. For some of the spending, we had no choice, and Democrats were pushing for a Medicare prescription drug plan.

Taking into consideration, all of the above, I would rate this claim by Occupy Democrats as much too complex to draw any sort of conclusion. But remember, Occupy Democrats lies, tells half-truths, and takes things out of context. The above is no exception.

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OCCUPY DEMOCRATS, A LYING CORRUPT GROUP – PART ONE

According to politifact.com, Occupy Democrats is an advocacy group that was created to counterbalance the Tea Party and to give President Obama and other progressive Democrats a Congress that will work with them to grow the economy, create jobs, promote fairness, fight inequality, and get money out of politics. Occupy Democrats also has a Facebook page, and most of my liberal Facebook friends are fans of the page. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

Of course, I often see posts where my liberal FB friends have shared memes from the Occupy Democrats Facebook page, and those memes are almost always wrong about everything. Here is an example, and there will be several more to come over the next few days.

Occupy_Dems_Trump

If Donald Trump had just put his father’s money in a mutual fund, he’d have $8 billion. Occupy Democrats posted an image on its FB page in December 2015. The image was a smiling Donald Trump with the caption reading, “Bloomberg puts Trump’s current net worth at $2.9 billion. If Trump had just put his father’s money in a mutual fund that tracked the S&P 500 and spent his career finger-painting, he’d have $8 billion. The source of the post is Deborah Friedell with the London Review of Books. According to Politifact, Occupy Democrats did a fine job of quoting Friedell, but Friedell did a less than stellar job of quoting the source for her claim. Friedell’s words come from her review of a new biography of Donald Trump, Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success by Michael D’Antonio. If you read the National Journal story, it doesn’t directly tie whatever money Trump got from his father to an eventual $8 billion today. Here’s the key paragraph from a September 2015 article headlined, “The 2 Easy Way Donald Trump Could have been even Richer: Doing Nothing.”

“Had the celebrity businessman and Republican presidential candidate invested his eventual share of his father’s real-estate company into a mutual fund of S&P 500 stocks in 1974, it would be worth nearly $3 billion today, thanks to the market’s performance over the past four decades. If he’d invested the $200 million that Forbes magazine determined he was worth in 1982 into that index fund, it would have brown to more than $8 billion today.”

Politifact goes on to indicate that there’s a bit of informed guesswork behind these numbers because outsiders can only know so much about Trump’s finances. The National Journal writer, S.V. Date, figured Trump started with $20 million in 1974. That’s the year he became president of his father’s real estate company. By one estimate, the firm was worth about $200 million and divided among Donald and his four siblings, each would have received $40 million.

But it’s not as though the company was liquidated that year. Trump’s father lived until 1999, so whatever happened is more complicated than trump receiving a cash inheritance in 2974 and deciding what he would do with it. We’re left with a question of how much money Trump received from his father, and, at what point, those assets morphed from being his father’s to being his.

In 1982, after running his father’s firm for eight years, Forbes magazine estimated Trump’s worth at $200 million. Since he was in charge of the company, those dollars would be more his than his father’s. The Journal article skirted around this uncertainty with careful phrasing. The author talked about Trump investing his eventual share of his father’s real estate company. An eventual share is not cash in hand. If the $200 million didn’t come from Trump’s father, then you can’t say that the father’s money could have been worth $8 million today.

The best summary of the National Journal article is that it presents a hypothetical investment scenario using numbers that have some basis in the value of the Trump holdings, but aren’t necessarily what Trump got directly from his father.

Occupy Democrats shared an image that said if Trump had taken the money he got form his father and simply put in in a fund that tracked the S&P 500, he’d have $8 billion today. While it’s true that Trump got a leg up from his father on the order of many tens of millions of dollars, this specific claim suffers from a key flaw.

According to politifact, the only way to hit the $8 billion mark is to start with $200 million in 1982. Plus it’s wrong to say that was Trump’s father’s money. While the father’s business put Trump on the path to have $200 million in 1982, Trump himself had been running the company for eight years.

Thus, they rated the claim by Occupy Democrats false.

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