Thursday, October 9, 2008

Presidential Debate BS Detector

[Election 2008] There are alot of good bullshit detector sites popping up through the various news media that are worth checking out. Especially since it seems that election time is really when you learn the least about a candidate after sorting through their bullshit.

CNN has a great overall campaign site here, the Annenberg center out of the University of Pennsylvania has one very clued into campaign ads (being the beacons of insight that they are) and NPR does good post debate fact checking like this one from the snoozer debate in Nashville.

I would also like to throw two of my own yellow flags into this whole presidential shit throwing fracas. One regarding Obama and the 2005 energy vote and McCain's beloved troop surge strategy in Iraq.

Did Obama support the 2005 Bush Cheney energy bill loaded with tax breaks for Oil and Gas robber barons? Hell yes he did! Was it, as Biden and others have said because it also gave critical support for alternative energies...yes, but let's qualify that. You'll notice Obama and Biden don't get too specific on what kind of "alternative" energy that is. That's because while there were provisions for solar and wind a major component was that refiners be required to produce $7.5 billion gallons of ethanol. And for Obama representing a major corn producing state like Illinois, this little mandate amounted to some delicious pork barrel for the constituents back home. This analysis is from 2007 of voting records between Hillary Clinton and Edwards and Clinton and Obama, go to the second page for info on the 2005 energy vote.

Did the troop surge strategy work in Iraq? Yes...among other factors. The authors of the Economist magazine here point out that Iraq has really started making progress this past summer and credit is due to the surge, but not just that. One factor they point out that you don't often hear is that the reason there is less sectarian violence in Iraq is because the rivalling ethnic factions are actually running out of people to kill. Essentially their ethnic cleansing has gone so unchecked that they've actually succeeded in clearing whole neighborhoods of rival factions, killing them or forcing them into exile.

Anyways stuff to chew on as we prepare to enter another debate of pointed fingers, tall-tales and fuzzy numbers and statistics. (Eric S. Peterson)

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