Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, October 28, 2016

“Obama is a Muslim,” it said. “That is a FACT.”

As best I can recall — my computer ate the email — that was how the key line went in a reader missive that had me doing a double take last week. It was not the outlandish assertion that struck me but, rather, the emphatic claim of its veracity. We’re talking Shift-Lock and all-caps so there would be no mistaking: “Obama is a Muslim. That is a FACT.”

Actually, it is not a fact, but let that slide. We’re not here to renew the tired debate over Barack Obama’s religion. No, we’re only here to lament that so many of us seem to know “facts” that aren’t and that one party — guess which — has cynically nurtured, used and manipulated this ignorance for political gain.

Consider a recent trio of studies testing the effectiveness of fact-checking journalism. They were conducted for the nonpartisan American Press Institute, and their findings actually offer good news for those of us who fret over the deterioration of critical thinking and the resultant incoherence of political debate.

Researchers found, for instance that, although still relatively rare, fact-checking journalism has been growing fast and saw a 300 percent rise between 2008 and 2012. Also: Most Americans (better than 8 in 10) have a favorable view of political fact checking. Best of all, exposure to fact checking tends to increase respondents’ knowledge, according to the research.

But like stinkweed in a bouquet of roses, the studies also produced one jarringly discordant finding: Republicans are significantly less likely to view fact checkers favorably. Among those with lower levels of political knowledge, the difference between Republican and Democratic voters is fairly small — 29 percent of Republicans have a favorable view, versus 36 percent of Democrats. Surprisingly, among those with higher levels of knowledge, the gap is vast: 34 percent of Republicans against 59 percent of Democrats.

The traditional rejoinder of the GOP faithful whenever you bring up such disparities in perception is that they mistrust “mainstream media” because it is biased against them. Putting aside the dubious validity of the claim, it’s irrelevant here. Fact-checking journalism is nonpartisan. One would be hard pressed, for example, to paint PolitiFact as a shill for the donkey party, given that it regularly dings Democrats and gave President Obama (“If you like your health plan, you can keep it”) its uncoveted Lie Of the Year award for 2013.

That being the case, one can’t help but be disheartened by this gap. What’s not to like about journalism that sorts truth from falsehood? What’s partisan about fact?

Nothing — you’d think. Except that for Republicans, something obviously is.

Perhaps we ought not be surprised., given the pattern of party politics in recent years. On topics as varied as climate change, health care, terrorism, and the president’s birthplace, GOP leaders and media figures have obfuscated and prevaricated with masterly panache, sowing confusion in the midst of absolute clarity, pretending controversy where there is none, and finding, always, a ready audience of the fearful and easily gulled.

As political strategy, it has been undeniably effective, mobilizing voters, and energizing campaigns. As a vehicle for leadership and change, it has been something else altogether. When you throw away a regard for fact, you throw away the ability to have effective discourse. Which is why American political debates tend to be high in volume and low in content. And why consensus becomes impossible.

The API statistics documenting the lack of GOP enthusiasm for fact checkers, ought to tell you something. Who could have a problem with a fact checker? He or she is your best friend if what you’re saying is true.

You would only feel differently if what you’re saying is not.

(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL, 33132. Readers may contact him via email at [email protected]). (

Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

  • The lucky one

    Wasn’t it Reagan that said something like “Facts are stupid things”. Unfortunately Dems have caught on to how easily lied to and misled the American public has become. They are scarcely better than the GOP.

    • TZToronto

      This comment is similar to the “they’re all the same” type of comment we see so often. Well, they’re not all the same, and the Democrats are nothing like Republicans in their eagerness to invent “facts” to suit their purposes. If anything, Democrsts are lagging far behind Republicans in defining issues (or non-issues) to energize their base, even though Democrats tend to have facts on their side.

      • The lucky one

        No, I don’t think they are all the same. When I try to think of politicians on the national level that do try to serve the republic and all of its citizens the only ones I can think of are Dems, but they are a precious few. Obama is as much a liar as any president before him although granted he didn’t lie us in to the quagmire of Iraq as did his predecessor. His persecution of whistleblowers shows he is more than willing to defend lies and prevent transparency. Does anyone really think HC will be a significant improvement? BTW I’m not recommending anyone in the clown car of GOP hopefuls. Vote Green.

        • CrankyToo

          Who’s the Green Party candidate?

          • Sand_Cat

            Last time it was Jill Stein; does anyone even remember, or were they even aware at the time? She was no doubt an good person, but I don’t know if she – or anyone else, for that matter – was hard nosed and ruthless enough to turn things around, and she likely would have had a Congress as bad as, or worse than, the one Obama got.

        • Sand_Cat

          Hillary will be an unimaginably HUGE improvement over any GOP candidate running against her, and we all must make sure she wins over them. I’m not really a fan until I look at Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and all the other criminally-insane GOP “hopefuls.”
          I voted for the Green Party candidate in 2012 for some of the same reasons you cite – though I’m not sure any Democrat can come close to challenging W or the current GOP candidates for the lying title, and his “lies” have not generally had casualty counts attached – and it clearly made no difference. I don’t know what we can do, but voting Green is pretty hard to stomach if it elects the GOP. Ralph Nader [in]famously said it was good W won, because it would “wake people up.” Here we are over 14 years later, and it seems to me a VERY large portion of the electorate are still yawning and closing their eyes, if not sound asleep.
          Eventually, everyone might come to their senses, but would there be anything left worth saving by that time?

          • charleo1

            You nailed it! It’s not that Hillary is such a catch. Or will likely be this transitional leader that stands up for women, and the working folks, and closes the wealth gap. Or, drastically changes Obama’s foreign, domestic, tax or military policies. It’s the Gawd awful choices being offered up by the off the rails, Right, that will elect Hillary Clinton warts and all.

          • angelsinca

            The non-presidential stature of Walker, Rubio or Cruz doesn’t make Hillary any more qualified. If the nation can do better, it shouldn’t resign itself so easily, or so early.

        • TZToronto

          I have voted green on occasion, but not in an election as important as the 2016 will be. It’s absolutely necessary to keep a Republican out of the White House. We need someone who isn’t a rubber stamp for the right-wing whackos in Congress. HC may not be the best choice, but at least we can depend on her to think before she acts. I do agree that President Obama has done some things I don’t like, but he’s way better than either McCain or McRomney.

        • idamag

          Have you ever made a statement that you thought was true and found out later it was in error? Think hard on it. Would you like to be forever branded a liar for that mistake? There is no comparison of the present leader with the war criminal who lied us into a war for dickie boy. While he was vice president, Halliburton held his assets in abeyance until he was able to claim them Didn’t you find it odd that Halliburton subsidiaries got no-bid contracts to go into Iraq?

          • The lucky one

            I don’t think you read my post. Please identify my “errors”, not just my difference of opinion. Nothing I’ve ever said could be construed as favorable to Bush-Cheney. They are a despicable pair and their rule was a debacle we are still paying for and will for some time. But Obama, the drone warrior, also has much innocent blood on his hands although it was not his lies that got us in to Iraq. His treatment of Manning, Snowden and others show he is very much part of the military-industrial cabal Ike warned us about. His lies, obfuscation and bullying regarding TPP show he is as much in the pocket of the 1% as any president we have ever had. Are the repubs worse? Maybe but I don’t see HC as essentially different. We may well get the worst of Bush’s and Obama’s traits with her. I’ll vote for Sanders if he gets on the ballot and survives until the election or anyone other than the more of the same we’ll see with Clinton or whoever tumbles out of the clown car the GOP is promoting.

          • idamag

            You made some good points. I, too, do not like the drones. What most of the ideologues are doing, is to brand Obama with anything. Before he was even elected they were branding him and using lies. I don’t listen to Cable news and their inane programming bores me. When these low readers say he lied, they are referring to his saying they could keep their present insurance. He believed that. I still have my insurance. Those people are liars. I do not believe you are one of them. I think you have valid arguments. Until we get money out of politics and make limits on how long they can campaign, we will have have what we have. Politicians are held in such low esteem, they will need a twelve step program probably called, politicans anonymous. .

      • Inventing facts like “Hands up, don’t shoot”?

        • Sand_Cat

          More like WMDs in Iraq.

        • johninPCFL

          “It has reached a point where you can’t keep the atrocities straight without a scorecard. Besides Gray, we’ve got Eric Harris, an unarmed black man shot in Tulsa who cried that he was losing his breath, to which a cop responded “F*ck your breath.” We’ve got Levar Jones, a black man shot by a state trooper in South Carolina while complying with the trooper’s commands. We’ve got Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Eric Garner. We’ve got video of a black man named Walter Scott, wanted for a traffic violation and back child support, running from a police officer and being shot to death. We’ve got video of a white man named Michael Wilcox, wanted for murder, running toward a police officer, threatening him, daring him to shoot, refusing to remove his hands from his pockets, yet somehow not being shot.”

          When do you just stop and admit you’ve been lying to yourself?

          • idamag

            Don’t forget the young man using a cell phone while holding a toy gun in Walmart. Of course, these racists are going to blame the victim.

    • Theodora30

      Ron Suskind reported that a top Republican operative told him that guys like him (Suskind) lives in a reality based world but that they (Republicans) create their own reality. That quote is attributed to Karl Rove. That says a lot. Clearly there are leaders on the right that deliberately lie and distort but there are also a lot of true believers. I bet many guys like Paul Ryan really believes tax cuts pay for themselves.) Far too many on the right have a bad case of Dunning-Kruger – a condition in which ignorant people wildly overestimate their intellectual superiority and are convinced the are absolutely right. Why this is not discussed more is beyond me. (Same for the concept of the Overton Window which guys like Rove have so successfully shifted to the far right with the help of our compliant media).–Kruger_effect

      As for fact checkers I am all for it if they do not attribute the same level of criticism to trivial issues as they do to important ones or treat genuine misstatements not intended to deceive with lies. Has anyone seen a fact checker call out a Republican for claiming that tax cuts pay for themselves? That lie has been around since Reagan yet Prominent Reoublicans still imply or explicitly claim they do. Then they care about debt going up. That lie has cost us billions yet it is allowed to stand.

      • The lucky one

        It’s an interesting comment by Rove and strangely enough I believe it was an honest statement. Suskind should have replied that there is a term for people who “create their own reality”, psychotic.

        • Sand_Cat

          Actually, I don’t think it was Rove – don’t think he’s foolish enough to expose the GOP “thought” process that clearly – but rather one of the other aides to the president. Doesn’t matter who, really, as it seems to me he/she captured the GOP’s whole philosophy and put it out in the public domain: not that it seems to have done much good. I wonder how many Republicans are even aware of it.

  • Dominick Vila

    What is partisan about fact? The fact, that we all interpret history, and the contributing factors to the events that define it, differently.
    I had an interesting discussion with another blogger in this forum, on another thread, regarding eleven terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s presidencies. When I provided a list of terrorist attacks that included places, dates, and the number of people killed, my interlocutor responded with a list of “significant events” that cited eight attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities during President Obama’s tenure. His list included protests in the vicinity of U.S. embassies or consulates, one involving protesters entering the grounds of the embassy before being pushed back by police, a passerby firing a shot at an embassy, and our embassy in Damascus suffering some damage during a Syrian rebel attack against the neighborhood where it is located. Obviously, his list also included Benghazi, the only terrorist attack during President Obama’s tenure that is similar to those in W’s days. For him, citing ridiculous events that characterize the dangers our diplomats have faced throughout the world for many decades, and comparing those incidents with acts of terrorism involving Al Qaeda fighters entering U.S. diplomatic facilities, killing people, or blowing themselves up inside our embassies or consulates, is perfectly logical. With that in mind, I think it is fair to say that while many Americans could be persuaded by the evidence of facts, there are many who remain entrenched in their ideological beliefs and whose minds cannot be changed, not because they don’t have the capacity to understand facts, but because they are so consumed by hatred and intolerance that they are willing to make the most bizarre assertions to support their cause and their agenda.

    • angelsinca

      It’s good to know that hate and intolerance toward conservatives are actually more than bizarre assertions that support liberal cause and agenda.

    • idamag

      Attacks on U.S. Embassies have been the result of our giving aid to Israel. There were 18 attacks during Reagan’s administration. We came together, as a nation, in outrage then. Now there is a push to destroy one party and take over the other one.

  • itsfun

    I have reached the point where I don’t believe any politician is trying
    to serve the public. I now believe they are only interested in filling
    their pockets and doing exactly what the party leaders tell them to do.
    Our elected officials don’t have any say in what happens in our
    country, only the party leaders do. If a elected official doesn’t
    follow orders, they are taken off from any and all committees they are
    on. They are not given party money to run for re-election and so on.
    It seems that all politicians lie to us, although I believe Obama has
    taken that to a new all time high. We need a way to fact check and lie
    check every candidate at every speech and debate. If they were all
    connected to a lie detector, just imagine the dials going off the scale
    when they start to talk. If we had a good way to follow the money trails, and make them public, this may help. How many millionaires do we have in Congress that weren’t rich when they were elected? I bet it would be interesting to discover how they got rich after being in national office. Fire all incumbents in the next election. In fact lets elect independent candidates. At least they won’t have to kiss the hind ends of party leaders.

    • Sand_Cat

      I think George W Bush easily bested Obama and probably any five others you could pick put together; other than that, good post.

      • Mark Leavitt

        I agree. But this post also exemplifies the posts concerning people’s beliefs relative to their preconceived ideas. “It seems that all politicians lie to us, although I believe Obama has taken that to a new all time high.”? Really? How anyone can believe that after the string of lies set forth by GWB and many of his administration cohorts that convinced this country to invade Iraq astounds me!

        • Kemosahbee

          Exactly – BO is far from my ideal president but itsfun has clearly drank the right wing talking points koolaid. AND for the record while I’d agree that to a large degree both parties are bought and paid for I’ll take the party that at least attempts to live in the world of facts any day and hope that more good people getting involved in the process will push the pols toward more responsible decisions.

          • Independent1

            BO is far from my ideal president…

            So accomplishing more in 6 years than any other president since 1900 except maybe Teddy Roosevelt and FDR is enough even though the GOP has mounted a deliberate 24/7 campaign to prevent anything positive from accomplishing??

            Who is your ideal president?? One who waves a magic want in the face of 24/7 obstructionism and magically things happen??

            Bucking the GOP and going ahead with the auto bailout and stimulus which not only kept America from falling into the 2nd GOP created world-wide depression, but also is the only reason America is even prospering today – wasn’t a significant accomplishment??

            Think for a moment. Had Obama not done that, saved the auto industry and applied a stimulus, the vast advancements we’ve seen the past 5 years in oil and gas exploration would likely have never happened. Back in the beginning of 2009 oil had fallen below $30/barrel, the auto industry was on the ropes, 800,000 jobs were going down the tubes/mo and there’s was virtually no hope of private investment in anything – certainly not oil.

            It was only the resurrection of the auto industry, the saving of 1.5 million jobs, government’s investment in alternative energies and in restarting the economy that encouraged oil companies to start putting money into oil exploration in North Dakota and other places that kick started our economy.

            And what previous president do you know of that fully kept like Obama 225 of 500 promises he made while campaigning for president, and almost fully keeping another 125 of those promises – stopped only from fully going through with those and not being able to follow up on the last 100 or so because of the party of NO.

            And really, how can you or any of the other posters on this blog make the comments you do about Obama, when in reality, because of the 24/7 GOP war against him, Obama hasn’t been able to be anywhere near the president I’m sure he wanted to be, when he ran for the job.

            You like so many others on this blog, really have no appreciation of the what it’s meant to have a political party actually gather together and pledge to do everything in its power to make a president fail!! I’m sorry, l think you’re all just such fakes that it boggles my mind!!!!!!!

          • Kemosahbee

            Obama being ‘far from my ideal’ doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take him in a heartbeat over anyone the other side has to offer. And in fairness to him he most assuredly is doing the best he thinks he can given the circumstances. He deserves kudos for sure. I haven’t attributed nearly as much to him as you allege I have – you’ve taken creative license with my comment for sure – borderline straw man material.

            As far as where he’s disappointed I’ll start with his tone deafness as applied to the GOP’s motives and goals from day 1. You can’t make nice-nice with those who from day 1 have as their highest purpose thwarting you at every turn. On the one hand that certainly made his job more difficult, on the other he wasted much time spinning his wheels in his fantasy notion that somehow they’d decide to work with him. Naiveté extraordinaire.

            “Ideally” – notice ideally – he should have pushed much harder for single payer and while given the climate he may have only been able to go so far he certainly caved to big pharma with price negotiation. Not exactly a flaming liberal there and one of his most egregious campaign promise backpedals.

            You give WAY to much credit to him for affecting crude price. POTUS get way too much blame and way too much credit for the fluctuation of crude which largely fluctuates independent of any POTUS actions and instead responds to global events and fluctuations in supply and demand. Your notion that 1) A Republican POTUS wouldn’t have been forced to do the same thing as BO did re the auto industry and 2) our energy development/exploration hinged on same is naive to put it mildly.
            R’s had a grand ole time ripping BO for the auto bailout but only because they could afford to and it suited their notion of preventing him from being in any way successful. Had an R POTUS been at the helm they would’ve done the same thing in a heartbeat and you wouldn’t have heard a peep from congressional R’s. AND the idea that energy production and exploration ISN”T a global phenomenon and as such driven by global considerations is head in the sand material.

            Bottom line he is not my ideal POTUS – maybe ‘far’ was a bit much, especially considering what he’s dealing with in congress. But I did say ‘Ideal’. Obama never pretended to be a progressive – he’s been moderate for the get go. He spoke of how he needed help from the people to rise up and force the hand of congress – My ‘Ideal’ would shake the foundations of the western world as we know it by grabbing the hearts and minds of the people and saying ‘here we go, come along and together we’ll change this world’. Never was gonna be Obama. Not his fault, it’s not who he is – nor is he my ideal.

          • Independent1

            What’s disappointing to me, is that there are numerous posters even on this blog who make assessments of Obama based on flawed expectations and logic – such as yourself.

            I never said Obama influenced the price of oil – what I said was, had Obama not followed through with the auto bailout, and INSISTED on the stimulus – America and world, would not be seeing the oil boom today, nor would there have now been 60 plus months of positive jobs growth.



            And as Ben Bernanke even said, the 2008/2009 recession was THE CLOSEST THE WORLD HAS EVER COME TO TOTAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE IN THE WORLD’S HISTORY!!!

            So the GOP can rant about the auto bailout and stimulus all they want – the fact is, had OBAMA NOT INSISTED ON GOING THROUGH WITH THEM, there’s the possibility that the world would still be struggling IN A DEPRESSION!!! AND CHINA BY ITSELF WAS NOT GOING TO STIMULATE THE WORLD!!!

            And anyone who thinks that America could have moved to a single payer healthcare system in 2010 IS NOT USING THEIR HEAD and thinking!!!

            Suggesting that at a time when America was running a 1.4t defict, with tax revenues down by almost 1/2 a trillion/year, with hundreds of companies just having gone belly up, and close to 14 million people out of work – that somehow America could now tell maybe another million people and thousands of companies involved in the health care insurance business that they now were going to be out of work because America was going suddenly assume single payer insurance – IS THE PURE IDIOCY!!!!!!

            Do you realize that America’s current single payer insurance program, Medicare, currently costs us taxpayers about 600 Billion/yr??? And that’s to provide health care to about 15% of our population. And people like you are even suggesting that when America is running 1.4T deficits, is in the midst of the greatest recession in its history, that it’s not only going to throw another million people out of work, further reducing tax revenues, while at the same time adding maybe 2 trillion in additional annual costs to our country??? Give me a break!!

            And by the way, Obama DID NOT CAVE on single payer. The Republicans in the Senate were not going to vote on any new insurance program, so whatever program was enacted had to be enacted had to be “FiLLIBUSTER PROOF’. Well, there was an independent (Lieberman) in the Senate and Democrat (Ben Nelson), who outright refused the idea of single payer. Obama didn’t ‘cave’, Reid and Pelosi informed him THEY DID NOT HAVE THE VOTES FOR SINGLE PAYER – PROBABLY BECAUSE THERE WERE TOO MANY LEGISLATORS WITH COMMON SENSE!!!!!!! IT WAS NOT THE TIME TO MOVE AMERICA TO SINGLE PAYER!!!

            That’s what riles me up. People like you, who make judgments on people based on your own pet misguided notions about what could and couldn’t have been done. Paying no attention whatsover to the immense amount of progress that’s been made despite 24/7 obstructionism from the GOP. People who have their heads so far in the sand that they can’t see the light of day!!!

          • Kemosahbee

            you don’t read very well – I said he caved on price negotiation with big pharma, not single payer. And I gave him credit for the auto bailout that any POTUS would’ve done – even with the groaning from the right wing (if you need a clue on that front see the dynamics of Bush/Obama/Tarp/and wailing wingnuts. Lemme connect those dots for ya – if Bush had a third term, which of course he couldn’t, OR McCain had won in 08 we STILL would’ve had the auto bailout.)

          • Independent1

            More hogwash. GOP senators were adamantly against the bailout, as was Mitt Romney, and had McCain been elected the bailout would not have gone forward.

            See this:

            WASHINGTON — Emergency aid for the nation’s imperiled auto industry was thrown into jeopardy Wednesday, opposed by Republicans who were revolting against a hard-fought deal between Democrats and the Bush White House to speed $14 billion to ailing carmakers.

            The House was on track to vote on the bailout Wednesday night, and Democrats held out hope that it could be enacted by week’s end. But a growing number of GOP senators declared they would not go along.

            The White House, though not formally endorsing an agreement with congressional Democrats, dispatched administration officials to Capitol Hill to make a case for the rescue package. During a contentious, closed-door luncheon with Senate Republicans, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten got an earful of criticism from the rank-and-file, some of whom have already announced plans to block the measure.

            “They got a good dose,” said opponent Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as he emerged from the session.

            Even auto state Republicans who have pushed hard for a bailout said the measure needed work. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said he wanted to see changes. And Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, said the bill didn’t have the necessary Republican votes to pass Congress.


          • Kemosahbee

            All fine and good – when your party doesn’t occupy the WH. There’s a different perspective and thus ‘kind’ of pressure that comes along with that responsibility – The SAME pressure that had Bush involved and at odds with his own party. You can fool yourself all you want – if an R was in the WH the bailout still would’ve happen – possibly under slightly different terms (note Kit Bond’s statement that the bill needed work) – it only ‘needed work’ in the eyes of R’s because the D’s were in control and thus had more say in it’s writing. Fool yourself all you want – the industry would’ve been bailed out – maybe under slightly different terms, but it would’ve happened. That being said of course BO deserves credit for fighting the good fight – even if it was largely political theater.

            Now – back to the original point for a sec. You seem to have me confused either with someone who is against BO or more over as you note someone is for him but ‘unreasonable’ about expectations/accomplishments for his tenure. Indeed as I noted my use of ‘far’ in ‘far from my ideal’ may have been a bit over the top – I’ll give you that. But as I outlined ‘my ideal’ he isn’t that – and neither you nor anyone else has horse in the race of what my ideal is – that doesn’t mean I don’t think he hasn’t done well, especially in the face of ‘the crazy’ that was against him for the sake of being against him even to the detriment of the country from day one.
            W/o getting into details the biggest way BO and the D’s in general are lacking, and thus not my ‘ideal’. is that when push comes to shove time and again when there’s an issue that has public support they show their lack of backbone – in that respect that could be more like R’s – at least a bit – courage to stand for their principles. Forget about the ‘votes’ you have and stand for a principle every now and then – they’d get more respect.

          • Independent1

            The GOP actually killed the bailout on December 11 (Republican senators claimed letting GM and Chrysler go bankrupt would be better even though there was no private capital available to help GM and Chrysler reorganize. Had Obama not bailed them out, Romney and Singer would have bought out both companies – and reorganized them in China just like they did with the small auto parts maker Delphi where they destroyed 25,000 jobs in America and shipped Delphi to China) :

            CNN) — Senate Democrats and the White House failed to find 60 votes to end debate on a $14 billion auto bailout bill and bring it to a vote Thursday night, killing the measure for the year.

            The 52-35 vote followed the collapse of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans seeking a compromise.

            “We have worked and worked and we can spend all night tonight, tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, and we’re not going to get to the finish line,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor before the vote. “That’s just the way it is. There’s too much difference between the two sides.”

            Reid acknowledged the bill would not survive the procedural vote.

            Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the sticking point was the United Auto Workers’ refusal to set a “date certain” to put employees at U.S. auto manufacturers at “parity pay” with U.S. employees at foreign automakers in the United States.

            Currently, analysts estimate the union workers at U.S. automakers make about $3 to $4 per hour more than the non-union U.S. employees of foreign automakers like Toyota and Honda, according to the Center for Automotive Research.

          • idamag

            Even though I see your logic and you are addressing issues, which is smart argument; Obama had to compromise on the health care issue or nothing would have been passed. What we have is not perfect, but if you have something to work with, you can make it better when we get legislators who are not bought and paid for by big corporations.

          • plc97477

            I think some people are upset that Obama is not a god and can not do magic. Yes I would have to admit it would have been nice if he had been able to do everything we wanted him to but the way our government works he couldn’t work magic.

          • Independent1

            Absolutely!! And what makes what has been accomplished under Obama, which is far more than Reagan ever did in 8 years, even more amazing: is that in the last 6 plus years (actually the last 20 years), the Democrats have only had veto proof control of the Senate for about 3-5 short months in the last 1/2 of 2009; such that aside from those 3-5 months, Emperor Mitch has managed to use his fake filibuster more than 425 times in the GOP’s efforts to prevent Obama from doing anything that would be viewed as beneficial to him or the Democrats.

          • Independent1

            And with respect to my comment about “paying no attention to the enormous amount of progress that has been done over the past 6 years.” Here’s just a very short list of about 10 out of 40 plus accomplishments that the less than ‘Ideal’ president has managed to accomplish thus far:

            -Obama has presided over the longest stretch of positive
            jobs growth in U.S. history (60 months & counting).

            -The stock market has virtually tripled during Obama’s 6
            years in office to heights never reached before making retirement much easier for millions of retirees such as myself.

            -America’s energy sector is now the largest producer of
            energy on the planet for the 1st time in history; creating an
            alternative energy sector that will soon make fossil fuels needed only for backup energy.

            -More troublesome illegal aliens have been rounded up and
            deported in the past 6 years than under any other president (or combination of presidents) .

            -The auto industry that Obama bailed out is achieving profits the past 2 years it hadn’t seen since the 1990s. And a 1.5
            million people are working today who wouldn’t be had the industry gone bankrupt.

            -Deficit spending has come down further and faster over the
            past 6 years than at any other time in our history: from 1.4T to under 450B in 5 budgets.

            -Unemployment has come down further and faster over the past 6 years than at any other time in our history: from 10.1% to under 5.8%. A year plus faster than it came down under Reagan.

            -The Obama administration has brought more crooks to justice trying to defraud our government in the Defense and Health Care sectors; recovering Billions of dollars – more than any combination of previous presidents.

            -Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Package incentivized the private
            sector to create numerous alternative energy companies in the solar, wind, hydro, tidal and plasma fields such that the alternative energy sector is poised to greatly reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels in the near future.

            -America’s new health care legislation, ACA, has already
            been responsible for keeping at least 75,000 Americans from dying prematurely, and for creating thousands of new jobs while saving hospitals more than $6 billion and saving taxpayers in states across America millions to billions depending on their populations.

            -By cutting the banks out of the student loan process, Obama has allowed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions
            more HS students to get loans for college than under any previous president.

          • idamag

            The president previous to Obama is a convicted war criminal. He, dick cheney, and rumsfeld were all tried, in absentia, in two countries and convicted. If they come to those countries, they will be arrested. Both countries, Malaysia and Norway, are neutral countries.

          • angelsinca

            Unfortunately for your argument, accomplishment doesn’t make a good president. The ability to lead and unite does. How united is America under Obama, really?

          • Independent1

            You mean, unite people who showed that they hated him no matter what he did BEFORE HE EVEN SAT ONE DAY IN THE OVAL OFFICE??? A political party that came out and said it would be their number 1 priority to destroy him when he was first elected??? A party that is filled with racists and hate mongers that have said NO to everything he’s suggested even when it’s been things they’ve pressed for for years???

            You outright bigot and hypocrite!! Get your head out of your rear end!!!

          • angelsinca

            I’m a little fuzzy on how Obama’s ability to lead and unite is entirely in the hands of the GOP. Maybe a better excuse is forthcoming. Maybe not. Though it is clear you still don’t understand that ‘bigot’ and ‘hypocrite’ have deeper, more meaningful purpose than your misuse of them.

          • Independent1

            Fuzzy?? Really?? You can’t see how it would be virtually impossible for someone to lead people who have actually colluded (planned) how they can go about destroying you and our country?? People who have deliberately said it was going to be their number 1 priority to see that you fail which in turn means make our country fail?? Just one example of HOW YOU, like virtually every conservative today are outright BIGOTS!!! – narrow minded, intolerant idiots who refuse to believe reality because of their tunnelvision???

            And your total disregard for the fact that you decide to ignore the fact that the GOP is actually working to harm the lives of t he people who even vote for them into office – refuse to extend unemployment benefits, refuse to extend Medicaid benefits, refuse to vote to raise the min wage, while at the same time PRETENDING to care about other people with this fake comments on how you’re supposedly affronted when being accused of being a bigot and a hypocrite, proves you’re living a BIG LIE and in fact ARE AN OUTRIGHT HYPOCRITE!!!!!!

          • angelsinca

            So a few republicans (that are supposedly ingrained incompetents) are pulling Obama’s strings and preventing him from leading? Got it. Next stupid excuse, please.

          • Independent1

            That’s the most idiotic, nonsense comment I think I’ve ever read in all the time I’ve been posting on the NM – I’m not even going to bother actually responding to your total absurdity!!!!!!

          • angelsinca

            I like you i1, even with your persistent overuse of CAPS and “!!!!!”. You remind me that, for every RWNJ, there is an equally unconvincing LWNJ.

          • idamag

            I wouldn’t even respond to that ideologue proving that the t party Republicans are the hate group and the liars we know them to be.

          • plc97477

            Fuzzy doesn’t really describe your stupidity completely. I am sure you can come up with a better word. Well, maybe you can’t.

          • idamag

            There are a lot of things angel does not understand.

          • idamag

            The tea party is to Obama, what the fascists were to Otto Von Bismark. If they are trying to destroy democracy, are they going to unite with the other party? Remember Mitch McConnell saying, the day of the inauguration, “The Republicans’ number one goal is to make Obama a one-term president.” Sounds like they were willing to work together doesn’t it?

          • dpaano

            I totally agree….the things that President Obama could have done had he not been blocked at every turn would have made the U.S. a much better, safer, and greater country! I think the ones that decided to keep him as a one-term president should all be charged with treason and thrown out of government!!

          • Independent1

            I agree completely!! Politicians should not be able to get away with obstructing or enacting legislation that is deliberately detrimental to the nation, and even their own constituents; as the GOP has time and time again over the past 6 years. Nor should a president and vice president get away with deliberately lying our country into an unnecessary war. There should be a lot of Republicans in jail these days.

          • idamag

            The amazing thing about Obama accomplishing anything is that he had to do it all alone. I can tell you the things I disagreed with. I didn’t like amnesty because it was tried before and didn’t work. I am against TPP. But those are areas where I disagree. I don’t resort to ugly name calling and blanket disagreement. I remember a nephew who was losing his house during the war criminal’s administration. When Obama got in, the housing market jumped and he started making money again. However, he is an unlearned t-partier and doesn’t see that.

          • dpaano

            If we could just outlaw lobbyists and corporate money in the PACS, we might have a better chance at electing politicians that aren’t being paid by these idiots!

        • Sand_Cat

          Yes, but itsfun and I have been at odds for some time, and I thought the reasonableness should be lauded, even with the partisan shot at the president. I think what I said pretty much agrees with your position on his predecessor.

  • harviele

    The only facts people want to hear are those which validate their preconceived ideas. If a fact opposes their preconceived ideas then it has to be partisan and not a fact at all. Any two people can hear the same speech and hear entirely different things. The reason is that they are listening with their preconceptions fully in place. Since they have perception that the President is a liar, anything he says, even the truth, has to be a lie. The truth depends on who is speaking it. What happened at any event depends on the spin, point of reference, used by the person describing it. Republican politicians often make outlandish statements and then quickly back away from them. This is done intentionally so the statement is out there even if it is a dumb one. There are always many people reading and willing to believe anything that meets their preconceived notions.

    • dpaano

      This is pretty much what the article said in the last paragraph….if the facts are on YOUR side, you believe them; if they are against you….then they are partisan and you don’t believe them. Unfortunately, that’s so true with much of the GOP base….they’ve been brainwashed into believing EVERYTHING they are told and they are basically afraid to actually view the facts because it would go against what they are being told.

      • idamag

        Those ideologues only read that which agrees with their per-conceived notions. If charles manson agrees with him he will become one of them.

  • John S.

    Perhaps the best way to view the create-their-own-reality people — people who believe the GOP’s fabulists and prevaricators — is as described by Philip Caputo’s character in his novel Acts of Faith, “Phyllis Rappaport.” “Phyllis” is identified as an “American TV correspondent” and “chief of CNN’s Nairobi bureau.”

    In a conversation with another female character in the novel, “Phyllis” describes belief in the following manner:

    ‘Belief is a virus, and once it gets into you, its first order of business is to preserve itself, and the way it preserves itself is to keep you from having any doubts, and the way it keeps you from doubting is to blind you to the way things really are. Evidence contrary to the belief can be staring you straight in the face, and you won’t see it. __________ True believers just don’t see things the way they are, because if they
    did, they wouldn’t be true believers anymore.’

    “Phyllis Rapport,”
    Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo

    • KDJ54

      I would say “amen” but I’m no longer a believer, so a hearty “hear, hear”!

      • idamag

        Since “amen” means so be it, to ahead and use it.

    • idamag

      I like that.

  • pmbalele

    I can see all people on this demonstration are sick in their brains. Their churches and parents had brain-washed them that any colored person is inferior to them. These are dummies. President Obama has accomplished what he promised this Great Nation. I had never been proud of people in this Country until people elected and re-elected Obama as President. In fact Obama has accomplished all what he promised us. Jobs security, freedom, safety from terrorists here and abroad above all respect for each other regardless of race, gender and other legally prohibited behavior. But we still have some TPs and Repubs who cannot come to grips-people are created equal. What makes a difference is exposure after birth. I believe you saw President’s poll numbers today. Obama is polling 60% in favor and 40% not in favor. I believe the 40% are racists and bigots in TP and Repub parties. People are you see in the picture. Most of these are school drop-out comfortable living in this Country. That is why they vote for Walker their fellow school-dropout who wants to get rid of universities and replace those 2 years-college as he is. These people on demonstration should get over it. It’s too late to reverse the clock to 50s and 60s when racial minorities were nothing, but slaves.

    • dpaano

      Even IF President Obama WAS a Muslim….what the heck difference does that mean? No one seemed to mind that Kennedy was Catholic…and being a Muslim does NOT make you a terrorist. It’s just one of many religions we have here in the United States.

      • idamag

        Muslim is another dragon.

  • Carolyn1520

    The right relies on fears and feeling to guide them. Fox meets their needs with what pushes their emotional buttons. They know what they believe and facts are an uncomfortable obstacle.

    • dpaano

      Yep….as I keep saying, the GOP uses lies and scare tactics to keep it’s base informed (or uninformed). Unfortunately, it seems to work and that’s the problem.

    • idamag

      Hitler played on fears and hate. He fabricated that which to fear. This is an excerpt from my book, ” The Dragon Slayer. This happened way back when, in the middle ages, also known as the dark ages. When night fell, people were afraid of what was out there. They also avoided the dark forests. So, a few knights were sipping tea and came up with a plan. Give them gold and they would save the land. From what? Aha, let’s call them dragons. They would make them fierce and dangerous. They donned their armor, took the gold, and rode away. The people said, ‘How brave they are!’ They came back with tales of their feats. Of how they slew the fire-breathing dragons. How they kept the people safe. And that, my children, is how they soak the gullible. Invent an enemy. Save the people from the illusion and laugh about their ignorance.

      • Carolyn1520

        Yep, sounds just like the GOP platform.

  • Greggy44

    That’s why the Republicans are busy creating their own “facts” because reality has a well-know liberal bias.

  • harviele

    Bill Clinton lied: “I did not have sex with that woman.” No U.S. soldiers got killed because of his lie. George W. lied: “Weapons of mass destruction.” over 4 thousand U.S. soldiers killed because of his lie and hundreds of thousands of civilians slaughtered. Obama lied: “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.” Millions gained health insurance, no U.S. soldiers or other civilians killed because of his lie. Hmmmmm.

  • idamag

    I see that trend. A person who attends the same institution that I attend, puts hateful home made stuff all over his pickup truck. He was telling me about the latest he was working on against Hiliary – he pronounced it hi ary.I told him I thought he was crazy. Then he said Obama was trying to make this country (He pronounces it cunry) one party. Whose actions try to make this a one-party country? Hmmmm. I then said, “I don’t like you so don’t talk to me.” This study points out something I have noticed – Republicans are unashamed liars and full of hate. I am non-partisan, but I see similarities in fascists and Republicans. Facts? What are those to those less than smart diptins?

  • Stephan Alan Sonn

    In Koch-world facts are just assertions of opinion. Part of no think conditioning.

  • ExRadioGuy15

    I’ll remind people that I’ve been saying/writing this for several years. Others have also said/written about this with the true statement: “facts have a Liberal bias” (because they do). Right-Wingers are into Authoritarian/Fascist/oppressive governmental systems and the truth and facts are anathemas, if not fatal, to such regimes. Only those who spew Fascist propaganda, retreat into cognitive dissonance, claim false equivalency or employ projection (the worst form of hypocrisy and a psychiatric ploy) reject the truth and facts.

    GOP Progressives and Moderates, the VOTING majority of the GOP, need to realize that their party’s politicians are Fascists and that they, the “Progs” and “Mods” of the GOP, have been subjected to Fascist GOP propaganda all their lives (since 1920, in fact). It’s time for the GOP Progressives and Moderates to launch the second Republican Progressive and Moderate Revolution.

  • idamag

    I don’t want to profile any group, but the tparty has proved over and over that truth is not who they are.