Best fact check ever — fact-checking Clint Eastwood

Ned Rice has taken it upon himself to fact-check Clint Eastwood’s RNC presentation.  This may well be the best and most honest fact-check every done.  Here’s just a sample, but you will be denying yourself one of life’s great pleasures if you don’t read the whole thing:

“You’re getting as bad as Biden. Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party.”

Joe Biden is not the intellect of the Democratic party, he is the Vice President of the United States.

“Kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

Joe Biden is clearly more than just a grin with a body behind it. He also has hair plugs.

[snip]

“You are an — an ecological man.”

President Obama’s credentials as an “ecological man” are a matter of opinion. Critics note that since 2008 ocean levels have continued to rise and the Earth has yet to begin healing itself.

[snip]

“We own this country.”

Even a cursory audit of the federal government’s books would suggest that China owns this country.

If you haven’t yet seen Eastwood’s shtick, you should.  Here:

My first take on it was “wow, this is kind of embarrassing.”  My second take was, “wow, this is kind of brilliant.”

Eastwood represents an elderly demographic (he’s 82).  That demographic theoretically consists of people the Obama Camp is claiming should hate Romney/Ryan.  But these same people like Eastwood . . . and he likes Romney/Ryan.  Also, when the talking heads attack Eastwood’s stuttering delivery, they’re generally attacking old folks who have slowed down, but definitely haven’t gotten stupid.

Eastwood is also one of the rare people who has the stature to poke fun at Obama.  I especially liked the “don’t tell me to shut up,” although I don’t know how well that will play ultimately.  As I point out periodically, Obama is not a nice man.  The media tells us he is, but he isn’t.  Now Eastwood also said he’s not nice.  The question is whether people believe Eastwood or the media.

The whole thing was pleasantly unscripted.  That was a little bizarre, but it was a refreshing change from the plasticity that characterizes conventions — especially, per the media, Republican conventions, which the media claims are made up entirely of racist Stepford men and women.

This will also get tons of play as people tune in to see Eastwood either be brilliant or make a fool of himself.  As to the latter, those people might come away having learned something that exists outside of their sterile little bubble.

The New York Times presents a fantasy history aimed at destroying Mitt Romney

A liberal friend sent me the editorial that the New York Times published practically within seconds of Mitt ending his speech, and asked me to try to defend Mitt from the editorial’s charges.  Nothing easier, says I.  Here’s a nice little Fisking of the New York Times’ alternate reality:

Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.”

The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.

There are three good ways to dispose of this argument.  The first is to point out that Republicans were fighting a rear-guard action for the first two years of Obama’s term.  Obama owned Congress.  He had both Houses entirely under his party’s domination.  There was little to nothing that the Republicans could do to halt the Progressive political avalanche.

The second, which the New York Times conveniently forgets, is that, in 2010, the American people, at every opportunity, resoundingly rejected everything the Democrat sweep had tried to achieve.  They elected a Congress that was manifestly intended to be a bulwark against Obama’s policies.  Those Republicans who won after promising to oppose unleashed Progressivism would have been betraying their constituents had they done anything other than put on the brakes.

As I type those last words, I could hear the New York Times editors say “But the Republicans didn’t even try.  They just whined and fought, making it more difficult for Obama to corral his majority.”  And that leads to the third way of disposing of the argument that Republicans destroyed Obama’s “can’t we all get along?” moments.  The fact is that Obama had no “can’t we all get along” moments.  He went the other way:  “I won.”  Those are Obama’s words, and they weren’t uttered on the night of his victory party, when they would have been quite appropriate.  Instead, Obama refused even to consider Republican input:

After listening to a critique of the nearly nine hundred billion dollars stimulus package from Republican Congressional leaders, along with some helpful suggestions on how to fix it, President Barack Obama had a two word answer.

“I won,” President Obama said, indicating why the Republicans were not going to have any significant input into the bill. President Barack Obama was echoing sentiments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had explained by the House Democratic leadership version of the stimulus bill was going to pass with or without Republicans.

That wasn’t the last time Barack Obama ignored people.  Aside from assigning others to do his dirty work, Obama swiftly acquired a reputation on both sides of the political aisle for being aloof.  He not only ignored Republicans, he wasn’t such a big fan of his own Democrats either:

Democrats in Congress say they have grown frustrated with President Obama’s lack of leadership in their ongoing battle with Republicans over spending cuts.

[snip]

During the 14-month fight over Obama’s national health-care law – the most brutal political battle since the impeachment of Bill Clinton – the president opted not to fully engage until the final three weeks.

If the president declined to take the lead when it came to a multi-trillion-dollar law that will forever be associated with his name, why would Democrats assume that he would be so quick to saddle up for some penny ante squabbling over funding the government for six months?

But in Congress, Democrats, both moderate and liberal, continue to wonder aloud why Obama is not doing more to resolve the current impasse on spending. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said it the most tartly, when he charged last week that Obama had “failed to lead,” but we have heard similar refrains from many of his colleagues.

Barack Obama has proven repeatedly to be a “my way or the highway” kind of guy.  From practically his first month in office, when Republicans approached him in good faith, he explicitly rejected any attempts to compromise — a peculiar inflexibility that began to make sense when one sees that Obama eventually refused even to work with his own party.

Now, back to the New York Times:

Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.

I’ll let the preceding paragraph pass.  It’s certainly mean-spirited, and it’s stupid insofar as it expects a convention to be anything more than a shiny-faced political party roll-out, but it’s too insubstantial to merit serious comment.

It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.

That last sentence I quoted explains why I don’t like Condi.  It’s so easy to name multiple areas in which Obama has failed in foreign policy.  She wants to be Mrs. Nice Gal, however, and invariably ends up yielding to the bad actors.  She’s a lovely and principled woman, and a great pianist, but she really doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to deal with direct challenges.  And boy, are there are lot of direct challenges to the claim that Obama has been successful at foreign policy:

Iran almost has a nuclear bomb, and Israel is almost certainly on the verge of launching a preempting attack, one that will destabilize the Middle East for who knows how long.  And that’s just the political view.  The human aspect is that there will be an enormous number of people, both Iranian and Israeli, dying.

Speaking of Israel, the Israeli/Palestinian situation has deteriorated more under Obama than it has under any president I can remember.  Under Bush and Condi, at least the two sides were talking.  Obama’s and Hillary’s ham-handed approach, by giving the most recalcitrant and blood-thirsty side enormous leeway, put all talks to an end.

Obama sat on his hands during Iran’s Green Revolution.  What could have destroyed the Shia fundamentalist government, one that has been in a state of declared war with the U.S. since 1979, ended up strengthening it, as the regime was able to identify and destroy its opposition, both in government halls and on the street.

Obama went the other way with the Arab Spring, fomenting the uprising against governments that were nominally friendly to us, and doing so when there was no democratic alternative.  The result has been that Egypt is entirely controlled by the Muslim extremists, while other Arab countries, ranging from Libya (where we gave air support to Islamic fundamentalists) to Tunisia (which has fallen to the fundamentalists) have fallen outside of America’s sway.

In Central and Eastern Europe, Obama snatched a defensive system away from our allies, and has assured Putin, who is no friend to America or democracy generally, that Obama will have more “flexibility” to give Putin what he wants in the next four years.

Pakistan has become increasingly hostile, in large part due to the fact that Obama has used more and more drones (of dubious legality).  I hold no brief for Pakistan, but Obama’s acts fall in an ugly shady area that treats our nominal allies as active enemies.

Afghanistan?  Allied deaths are increasing as the withdrawal deadline draws near.  This is not the type of rising fatalities that inevitably come with a surge tactic, since that is an approach that sees us deliberately engaging in more aggressive battles to destroy our enemy.  Instead, our enemies are harrying our retreat, with deadly consequences for the young men (and some young women) who have put their lives on the line for a callous and ungrateful Commander-in-Chief.

All of the above foreign policy failures are just off the top of my head.  I’m sure I could come up with more if I thought out it.

For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively.

This is a hoot.  Barring speeding up the Iraq withdrawal (with terrible consequences for freedom loving Iraqis) and announcing an imminent Afghanistan withdrawal (with terrible consequences for American and Allied troops and for the Afghanis), Obama’s robust foreign policy has been either somewhat farcical or has been even more bloodthirsty than the Bush policy that the New York Times denounced so vociferously for eight years.

The farcical part was the bin Laden killing.  Yes, it’s great that bin Laden was killed.  I doubt that was a strategic victory, but it was a moral victory.  But from moment that bullet hit bin Laden’s head, Obama destroyed much of the target value by instantly announcing his triumph (destroying the utility of information seized at the bin Laden compound) and by putting his own SEALS at serious risk (with the result that too many have died).  We’ve also learned that Obama was barely able to issue the order, because he was afraid it might make him look bad if the 0peration failed.  (That is, national security concerns were not what guided his decision-making).

As for the rest, Obama broke his promise to close Gitmo, started a new war in Libya, and has a personal kill list in Pakistan.  Bush was excoriated for the first item on that list, and would have been re-pilloried for the second and third.  Indeed, that last one — the kill list — also suggests a president who has gone far beyond his limited expertise (law lecturer, community organizer, etc.), and gotten into the spirit of killing people.  I guess the New York Times subscribes to the theory that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy.

Mitt Romney has proven over his career that he is tough.  That matters because the mere fact that he is tough is itself a deterrent.  Obama is the weak underbelly of foreign policy, which means that bad actors feel free to act badly.  They build nuclear reactors, take over American-friendly governments, demand flexibility, etc.  In this, though, the Times is consistent.  One of the things that drove me away from the Left is its inability to understand that the most dangerous position to be in is one of weakness — or perceived weakness.  If you’re strong, or look strong, you’re more likely to be left alone.

And incidentally, when it comes to the economic costs of a military build-up, wasn’t it the New York Times’ own Paul Krugman who assured us that a military build-up is the best way to revitalize the economy?  He yearned for an alien attack from outer space, but I think it’s enough to look at the Leftists and Islamists around us, none of whom wish America well.

Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria.

Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money.

Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war?

Condi was a weak Secretary of State — but not for the reasons the Times claims.  She did nothing wrong in believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, because those weapons either did exist (and are in Syria now) or because it was reasonable to believe in the nuclear Potemkin Village Hussein had built up around himself.  She’s also right, as I said in my above comment, that America is most safe, not when it’s going around bombing Libya, sending drones into Pakistan, and kowtowing to dictators, but when it is economically strong, with a strong defensive military.  Where she failed was in her inability to understand that the Palestinians do not want a peaceful two-state solution.  They want Jewish genocide, followed by total regional domination.  I can’t forgive her for her weakness in that area, even though I know it was weakness without malice.

She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling.

In this case, extortion is a two-way street.  The New York Times seems to have forgotten that the Congressional Democrats have refused to submit any budgets.  It’s also forgotten that the budgets Obama submitted were so ludicrous even the Democrats refused to vote for them.  Obama is holding the entire economy hostage by insisting on a tax-and-spend approach that has seen Greece and Spain in flames, that promises to destroy the rest of Europe, and that hasn’t been so great for the United States either.  The Republicans were naive enough to believe that Obama wouldn’t destroy the whole economy, but they were wrong.

Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world.

See my foreign policy paragraph above.

The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently.

Talk about boot-strapping:  The New York Times claims that, when it comes to supporting Israel, “Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama” has has done so.  It has no basis for this statement other than its own fevered assurances. Obama’s affinity has been completely pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.  He took such a harsh line with Israel that he made demands more extreme than even the Palestinians were making (think:  1967 border).

And what does the Times mean when it says that Obama “outsourced his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements”?  We know that Obama outsources most of his work (got to get in that golf), but the fact is that, when it came to settlements, he seemed to take a very personal role in trying to reverse decades of American and Israeli policy, and to humiliate Netanyahu to boot.  Obama ended up with egg on his face.  So if the New York Times meant by that statement that “Obama ended up with egg on his face when it came to dealing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” I guess the statement is correct.  Otherwise, it makes no sense, and its throwaway quality at the end of the editorial shows that the editors know that it makes no sense.

Okay, that was easy.  If you have any fish packed tightly in a barrel, just hand me a gun.  I’m ready.

The Democrats’ focus on reproductive rights is ill-timed

You all have probably noticed what I’ve noticed:  while the Democrat party gets support from young voters, it doesn’t have many young politicians.  (And maybe the young voters would like to think about that one for a while.)  Obama, at 51, is one of the youngest of the Democrat leaders.  This may help explain why the upcoming Democrat convention has such a pathetic line-up.  There are no young lions exciting the crowd.  There are only ragged old Lefties — which may explain the Democrats’ decision to use the Akin kerfuffle to make their DNC about reproductive rights.

The Democrats are dragging out one woman after another to demand that the government pay for her, and everyone else’s, birth control, abortions and Gawd knows whatever other stuff they can put under the heading of reproductive rights.  This tactic differs mightily from the RNC approach, which repeated 1992’s successful (for Clinton) mantra:  “It’s the economy, stupid!”

The Republicans are the ones on the correct path.  Reproductive rights are a luxury for flush times.  During poor times, someone who hasn’t worked for two years (and might have been too depressed to have sexual relations in that same time), isn’t going to get excited about seeing government money poured into birth control pills and free sterilization.  It’s simply not a winning point outside the base.

 

Watcher’s Council winners to start September

Here they are:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

The Watcher’s Council has a lot of weasels in its sights this week

The political slow season is ending and the Watcher’s Council is keeping a close eye on escalating events around the world.  I’ve included this week’s submissions, below, and I suggest that you pair reading these posts with reading the newest Watcher’s Council forum, in which Council members discuss whether our political system has become completely dysfunctional:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Ryan’s intelligent speech

I liked this speech:

I’ve also enjoyed the frenzied reaction amongst my liberal Facebook friends, who swear that Ryan lied every time he opened his mouth. The biggest alleged lie was about the GM plan in Janesville, but facts show that the only ones who are lying about this are the desperate Dems.

My favorite lines:

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.

It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

[snip]

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

[snip]

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

[snip]

President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record. But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

[snip]

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honourable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

[snip]

The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

James Taranto nails what makes Paul Ryan special, and explains what a strong message Romney sent to America when he selected Ryan as his running mate.  Ryan isn’t just about budgets, he’s about fundamental freedoms.  Removing the debt burden from American people is only one part of it:

Whatever the outcome of this year’s election, Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Alter thinks Paul Ryan will be president one day. Alter told us so at a late-afternoon reception at a downtown Tampa hotel sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. He also said that Ryan isn’t really a “deficit hawk” but a “small-government conservative.” To Alter, that was a criticism. To us, it is a recommendation. That disagreement is a synecdoche for the Obama-era political and ideological divide.

“What’s the difference?” asked another journalist, a British one, when we recounted the conversation later, after Ryan’s convention speech. After all, Ryan did say: “In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time.” He is concerned about the debt, and he has plenty of reason to be.

But a mere deficit hawk wouldn’t have said this: “None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers, a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.” A deficit hawk is averse, above all, to debt; a small-government conservative, to coercion. A deficit hawk doesn’t mind big government, as long as it’s paid for with high taxes.

As Taranto explains, deficit hawks are Democrat enablers, allowing them to expand government constantly as long as they find the money to pay for it.

Axelrod lied, but Ryan didn’t

Yesterday, I did a post in which I said that, while the HuffPo was crowing about an alleged Paul Ryan, I caught David Axelrod red-handed in a repeatedly disproved lie.  I had my doubts about whether Ryan had lied — it’s not his style — but that’s not where I was going with my post, so I didn’t address that subject.  Had I followed through, I would have discovered that HuffPo wasn’t the only outlet claiming that Ryan lied.  As it happens (no big surprise here), Ryan did not lie.

Obama, the un-likable — a continuing series

Given that the media is working overtime to portray Obama as Mr. Nice Guy and Romney as Mr. Heartless, Capitalist Bully, a friend suggested that I start a running post tracking the times when Obama is a jerk. I’ll start with some past history of jerkiness, and then just keep updating and reposting this as I go along.  Incidentally, what I notice about these as I compile them as that, for the most part, they are not studied insults.  Instead, they flow effortlessly from the man, as if meanness is his default setting.

1. Obama sends families of downed SEALS a form letter signed by an electric pen.

2.  A snide Obama telling his then-opponent Hillary that she’s likeable enough:

3. Obama gives his political opponents the finger:

4. Obama, without benefit of many facts, says police behaved stupidly:

5.  Obama talks about finding someone’s “ass to kick” (and calls media opponents “talking heads”):

David Axelrod lies again

HuffPo asserts that Paul Ryan lied in his speech.  I haven’t listened to the speech, nor have I read the HuffPo piece.  I just found the HuffPo claim amusing because a few minutes before reading that headline, I had just read David Axelrod’s email begging me, yet again, to donate $3 to the Obama/Biden campaign (emphasis mine):

Judging from the number of times they’ve said it this week, you would think repealing Obamacare on Day One is the most urgent goal of the Republican Party and number one reason to elect Mitt Romney.

I’d like to know what’s noble about making it harder for people to get health care.

President Obama refused to give up on this legislation because he knew it was about real people — people like his own mother who, in her final days, battled cancer and mounting bills, or my daughter Lauren, whose intractable epilepsy, at just seven months old, nearly bankrupted our family and burdened her with a pre-existing condition that threatened her future coverage.

Today, there are millions of families like ours who won’t have to suffer through needless heartache over situations beyond their control.

If the President loses, Republicans are guaranteeing those protections will be gone with him.

You can make sure that doesn’t happen. Donate $3 or more before this Friday’s critical FEC deadline.

When the Supreme Court affirmed the Affordable Care Act, I was moved to tears. This week, the Republicans are moving a lot of people to act as well — to make sure they can’t take their destructive platform to the White House.

The next time you hear someone at the Republican convention attack Obamacare, remember what they’re actually trying to take away.

The highlighted language states two things:  (1) that Obama’s mother died of cancer; and (2) that she had mounting bills because her insurance company wouldn’t pay for her care.  The first statement is true, in that Dunham did indeed die of cancer.  The second, however, is a blatant lie.  Dunham did indeed struggle with an insurance company, but that struggle had nothing to do with her medical bills, which her insurer paid (emphasis mine):

“I will never forget my own mother, as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment. And by the way, this was because the insurance company was arguing that somehow she should have known that she had cancer, when she took her new job, even though it hadn’t been diagnosed yet,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., on Aug. 11, 2009.

But a biography of Obama’s mother and additional reporting by the New York Times have shown that a key point of that anecdote is incorrect. Obama’s mother was fighting not for treatment but for payments from a disability insurance policy.

A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother by journalist Janny Scott documents the life of Obama’s mother, S. Ann Dunham, an anthropologist who also worked on the issues of development aid and microcredit in Indonesia.

The book documents Dunham’s final illness — uterine and ovarian cancer — in some detail. Dunham’s illness became acute when she was working in Indonesia in 1994, and she was diagnosed in Hawaii early the next year.

Scott interviewed Dunham’s doctor, family and friends for the book and had access to Dunham’s correspondence and personal papers. According to Scott’s account, Dunham’s health insurance covered her treatment.

But Dunham also filed a claim for disability insurance. It was the disability insurance company that refused to pay because they said her cancer was a pre-existing condition, according to the book.

Some facts lend themselves to differing interpretations. The facts about Obama’s mother and her medical coverage for cancer do not. Obama lied. Axelrod perpetuates that lie.

I feel needed

My family needed me today. All of them. Every last one of them. I feel very needed. Separating need from want, while I wanted to read stuff on the internet and write things, and needed to take care of them. And I did.

Tonight, I think I want chocolate ice cream. However, since I’d like to eat a more healthy diet, I will remind myself that I don’t need chocolate ice cream, and I’ll take my substitute feed, which is frozen peas (cold, a little crunchy, and mildly sweet).