Fact-checking the fact checkers

It turns out that, contrary to what Democrats are saying–to the point of accusing the Republican ticket of lying–Sarah Palin DID kill the Bridge to Nowhere. Here is the whole story.

Yes, she once supported it. But so what, if she was willing to change her mind? Yes, she used the money for something else, but these were federal highway funds that all states get and are dependent on. Yes, she built a bridge to Wasilla, Alaska’s fifth largest city, but so what? It isn’t wrong to build bridges that go somewhere, that are needed. But did she kill the Bridge to Nowhere? Yes, she did.

Furthermore, contrary to Democratic charges that the Republicans are “lying,” Barack Obama DID push a bill mandating comprehensive sex education for kindergartners. It wasn’t just to teach children to report sexual abuse. The bill mandated specifically that kindergarten children be taught about AIDS.

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  • fw

    This article says…

    “In announcing her decision, Palin said, “It’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island We need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened.”

    In her RNC address she says “We told them thanks but no thanks on the bridge to nowhere”.

    Her comment at the RNC was then, at best, a huge misrepresentation of her role and what happened.

    Rather it DOES look like she championed the bridge, and when she realized it was a losing battle, she accepted that that was a political reality. This is a loooooong way from “I told them thanks but no thanks” or am I being dense? Help me out here Dr Vieth.

    Ok. now sex education

    the bill “MANDATED COMPREHENSIVE sex education for kindergarteners. ” I read the full text. where is it exactly that the bills text supports this charge of “mandated (=mandatory)” and “comprehensive(= sex ed from A-Z)” for kindergarteners exactly.

    Help me out here Dr Vieth.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    If you follow the link, on pg.2 there is this segment of the new bill:
    ‘Each class or course in comprehensive sex education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.’
    Hope that helps, fw.

  • eric

    She killed the project. She changed her mind! That is so un-Bush. We should sing her praises from the hill tops.

    No not really. The project is dead, but she, ok her state, still took the federal funds. It is a change of mind that cost her nothing.

  • Nemo

    McCain never accused Obama of “mandating” it. Rather, the language of the ad is: “Legislation to teach comprehensive sex-education to kindergarteners.” The language of the bill verifies that charge.

    The bill changes the grade in which sex-education is taught, lowering it from sixth grad tot kindergarten. Here is the actual relevant text (underlined language is added to existing statute, crossed out language is deleted, bold is my emphasis). The second excerpt, in particular, appears to add “sexual abstinence and prevention of unintended pregnancy, prevention and control of disease, including age appropriate instruction in grades K through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS” to the “basis for curricula” that “shall [be] include[ed]…in all elementary and secondary schools in this State.”

    Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K 6 through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS.

    (a) The program established under this Act shall include, but not be limited to, the following major educational areas as a basis for curricula in all elementary and secondary schools in this State: human ecology and health, human growth and development, the emotional, psychological, physiological, hygienic and social responsibilities of family life, including sexual abstinence and prevention of unintended pregnancy until marriage, prevention and control of disease, including age appropriate instruction in grades K 6 through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS, public and environmental health, consumer health, safety education and disaster survival, mental health and illness, personal health habits, alcohol, drug use, and abuse including the medical and legal ramifications of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, abuse during pregnancy, sexual abstinence until marriage, tobacco, nutrition, and dental health.

    (a) If any school district provides courses of instruction designed to promote wholesome and comprehensive understanding of the emotional, psychological, physiological, hygienic and social responsibility aspects of family life, then such courses of instruction shall include the teaching of prevention of unintended pregnancy and all options related to unintended pregnancy, as the alternatives to abortion, appropriate to the various grade levels; and whenever such courses of instruction are provided in any of grades K 6 through 12, then such courses also shall include age appropriate instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS. However, no pupil shall be required to take or participate in any family life class or course on HIV AIDS instruction if his parent or guardian submits written objection thereto, and refusal to take or participate in such course or program shall not be reason for suspension or expulsion of such pupil.

  • Nemo

    Ok, that didn’t work the first time.

    Italicized language is added to existing statute, crossed out language is deleted, bold is my emphasis, and I’m leaving out the last quote to keep this shorter.

    Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K 6 through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS.

    (a) The program established under this Act shall include, but not be limited to, the following major educational areas as a basis for curricula in all elementary and secondary schools in this State: human ecology and health, human growth and development, the emotional, psychological, physiological, hygienic and social responsibilities of family life, including sexual abstinence and prevention of unintended pregnancy until marriage, prevention and control of disease, including age appropriate instruction in grades K 6 through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS, public and environmental health, consumer health, safety education and disaster survival, mental health and illness, personal health habits, alcohol, drug use, and abuse including the medical and legal ramifications of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, abuse during pregnancy, sexual abstinence until marriage, tobacco, nutrition, and dental health.

  • fw

    #2 Susan, I am reading the same document, I think…. and I am not seeing what you are… help me out here. I am not seeing anything that looks like a requirement to teach kindergarteners anything that is “age-inappropriate”. In fact the EXACT OPPOSITE seems to be clearly ordered by the bill is it not here by the words “must be age and developmentally appropriate”.

    The Mc Cain ad, which is what this is all about does seem to be a lie. Saying something like “…teaching kindergarteners about sex before teaching them to read….”:

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=3&GA=93&DocTypeId=SB&DocNum=99&GAID=3&LegID=734&SpecSess=&Session

    page 2 in full says….

    -2- LRB093 05269 NHT 05359 b

    “Medically accurate” means verified or supported by
    research conducted in compliance with scientific methods, published in peer-review journals, where appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant field.

    All sex education courses that discuss sexual activity or behavior intercourse shall satisfy the following criteria:

    (1) Factual information presented in course
    material and instruction shall be medically accurate and objective.
    (2) All (1) course material and instruction shall be age and developmentally appropriate.
    (3) Course material and instruction shall include a discussion of sexual abstinence as a method to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
    (4) Course material and instruction shall present the latest medically factual information regarding both the possible side effects and health benefits of all forms of contraception, including the success and failure rates for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
    (5) Course material and instruction shall include a
    discussion of the possible consequences of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

    And the comments I made on the bridge to nowhere Susan?

    Now. I have to issue an apology. I said that in spanish language ads, Mc Cain has been lying about Obama´´s record on immigration reform and proposals.

    He was. Shamelessly. And now it turns out that Obama is reciprocating. shamelessly. I hope Obama stops! I am emailing his campaign daily to gain that effect.

  • fw

    #5 Nemo

    So “age appropriate” means? You are saying that this bill requires all these things to be included in a sex ed course for kindergarteners in Illinois?

    “sexual abstinence and prevention of unintended pregnancy until marriage,
    prevention and control of disease,
    the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS,
    public and environmental health,
    consumer health,
    safety education and disaster survival,
    mental health and illness,
    personal health habits,
    alcohol, drug use, and abuse including the medical and LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, abuse during pregnancy,
    sexual abstinence until marriage,
    tobacco,
    nutrition, and
    dental health.

    Silliness. Does anyone here REALLY believe that kindergarteners in Ill are being taught these things? Does anyone believe that Obama wanted ALL these things to be taught in kindergarten to his kids before they would be taught to read?

    Did the bill pass by the way?

    This argument is silly. the McCain ad was unnecessary. There are bigger fish to fry. this is a distraction and not worthy of the level of discourse that MCCain AND Obama should be held to is what I say.

  • fw

    #5 Nemo

    I am not an educator or a parent, but I would not know how to even BEGIN to explain any of these concepts to a kindergartener. Starting with explaining what in the heck the word “sex ” means….

    so what are we REALLY talkin about here folks?

    silliness. A big waste of time. McCain put out this ad for what substantive purpose?

    To sound an alarm bell that Obama wants your kids to be taught how to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and legal ramifications in kindergarten? Tell me. Are you sincerely worried now that this is happening?

    It does seem painfully obvious that “age and developmentally appropriate” that appears in many places in this bill actually does mean something that would allow someone to vote for this bill without the implications that the words “mandatory COMPREHENSIVE sex education ” evoke in McCain´s ad.

    Conclusion: The McCain/Palin ad is a vicious and slanderous mischaracterization.

    The ad was alarmest and dishonest. It does not properly or accurately characterize the public policy position of Sen Obama.

  • fw

    Does the word “sleazy” resonate here or what?

  • Anon

    A town of 8,000 people counts as a small city in Alaska. I sure would be offended if it were called ‘nowhere’ and I lived there. What Sarah Palin says she did is to start the process of looking for alternatives for the federal 395 million dollar bridge. She said that Alaska could build it if it were needed. Is that incorrect?

    Now for some fact correction on the false defense from the Obama camp showing exactly what Obama did push and was proud of.

    http://amyproctor.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/14/obama-did-vote-to-teach-sex-ed-and-much-more-to-kindergartne.html

  • Anon

    A homosexualist charging ‘sleezy’ Now there’s a glass house.

    Rejecting God, rejecting glorifying God, rejecting thanking God, rejecting any obedience to God, and then debating what is appropriate for children that they never want to have de natura, when they themselves have chosen to be as contrary to what is appropriate as is possible in the area of sexuality.

    Yep, sleezy sure fits.

  • Anon

    Another citation on the truth of McCain’s ad against Obama’s sleaze and lies:

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/obama-voted-for-sex-ed-for-kindergartners

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Sorry, fw.
    The link I referred to was the second one in Veith’s post, from National Review’s Byron York who examined and published the relevant parts of the bill. The quote I extracted came from page 2 of York’s article online.
    So, yes, it would have *required* teaching thusly, and I quote from the proposed bill:
    ‘…comprehensive sex education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.’
    If that is what you, as a self-described non-parent, think can be handled in an age-appropriate way, this parent (and grandparent of a kindergartener) must heartily disagree.
    As for how to instruct children as young as 5 about sex: the best way is in answer to their questions. Which they will ask, hopefully of their parents. When they ask, you answer carefully, generally going only so far as to satisfy the immediate question. Details mean less than truth (meaning, you don’t have to tell them everything–the attention turns just as quickly to an ant crawling on the ground or to the commercial jingle on TV.)
    I can’t imagine an age-appropriate way to teach 5 year olds about HIV unless they’re facing it for themselves, which tragically occurs.
    Even then, I’d rather teach my child myself, and not rely on a curriculum that might include info or points of view I find objectionable. Which is the real rub of sex-ed. It’s one of those well-intended things that has more obvious risk than benefit.
    Generally, I think parents presume that it’s a best practice not to initiate discussions or teaching sessions about sex, same as you don’t try to force an understanding of higher math or deep theology. That’s why children sing Jesus Loves Me, as opposed to Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee. The former song carries true and sufficient theology into their little ears.
    Answer the question asked. Period.
    Anyone who relies on the state to instruct children about sex (without using their own behavior as a teaching model, I might add) is rejecting the most basic responsibility of parenthood.
    And anyone who thinks it’s either easy-as-pie or just too difficult–well, that’s parenting. It’s rarely either road. Which is why parenting should be given far more forethought and respect than it’s given–nothing more basic to our human experience, yet nothing more challenging.

  • Nemo

    Frank,

    As with most legislation, this appears to be rather muddled (I’m seeking the truth the same as you are), so lets see if we can’t together work on this one. I’ll drop my “justification of McCain” if you’ll drop your “the ad was sleazy” line, and let’s just look at the text.

    As a foundation, let’s establish the following: 1) The old law governed sex-education starting sixth grade and 2) the new law amended sixth grade and replaced it with kindergarten.

    Here is the explanation of the bill from factcheck:

    It would have lowered the age at which students would begin what the bill termed “comprehensive sex education” to include kindergarten. But it mandated the instruction be “age-appropriate” for kindergarteners when addressing topics such as sexually transmitted diseases.

    I would not know how to even BEGIN to explain any of these concepts to a kindergartener. Starting with explaining what in the heck the word “sex ” means….

    I wouldn’t either. In my opinion, “age appropriate” for kindergarteners would mean nothing. However, the statute implies otherwise. If “age appropriate” means nothing, than there was no reason to include lowering the age to kindergarten. The statute at a minimum requires that “basis for curricula in all elementary and secondary schools in this State” “shall include, but not be limited to…age appropriate instruction in grades K through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.”

    Again, the key phrase is “age appropriate.” I have never denied that qualifier. I don’t know how that could be done in an age appropriate way, and neither do you. Again, we are in agreement. But the authors of the bill clearly intended something to be taught to kindergarteners, otherwise it would not have stuck out sixth grade and replaced it with kindergarten. I agree the idea is silly, but calling it silly does not change the text of the bill.

    Did the bill pass by the way?

    According to factcheck, it never left the Senate.

    Annon @ 10 & 12, the links are helpful, but your comment @ 11 should not have been posted. Not only is it uncharitable, but it detracts from your overall message.

  • fw

    ALL

    There is a bigger issue here that really has been nagging at me.

    Has MY candidate lied (let´s call a spade a spade and agree here that distortions, deliberate inaccuracies, exagerations and mischaracterizations are all lies. dishonesty.) and so been dishonorable in some of his ads? Yes. He has.

    I forgive him. And I forgive McCain and Palin as well. I really do!

    The temptations for them looks exactly like one that I personally and frequently face: “go ahead, EVERYONE does it”

    But I will make no excuses for his bad behavior.

    I will not justify my side by calling out the other side. “My candidate is bad but YOUR candidate is even worse or just as bad!”

    I will not go to relative morality as in “it wasn´t THAT bad. Wrong is wrong.

    Since when is it wrong those seeing the highest office to the very highest standards? Tell me.

    Yet it seems to “stick in the craw” of all of you, including to my surprise the good Dr Vieth to simply observe that Mc Cain and Palin have lied or been dishonorable in their actions during this campaign just as Obama has, in fact, also been.

    Ok. Call them on it. Get over it. Forgive them. Acknowledge that there IS something that needs forgiving.

    Your candidates have committed dishonorable and dishonest acts in what they have said and placed as ads. Get over it.

    Ok. For arguments sake, let´s say that at least the republican candidates have so far NEVER lied or done anything dishonerable during this campaign. not ONE fudge, or deliberate distortion to smear the other side. nada. Examples in fact for your children of how to talk about someone you disagree with!

    What if they did lie or be dishonorable? what would that mean? could you vote for them? would it reflect on their character? are they not allowed to be sinful and forgiven? what if they do not express repentance or remorse or a retraction? This hypothetical seems to be so very problematic for all of you, including Dr Vieth, that the very idea is unthinkable for your candidates.

    Wouldn´t it be refreshing for a candidate to talk about a “better level of political discourse” and that “we can all do better” in terms of avoiding these kinds of dishonorable tactics?

    Would it also not be awesome for that SAME candidate to say this not as a “me vs. them” statement, but actually admit that he also has been a part of the problem and is not perfect and will continue to make such errors?

    And still continue to call for a more civil discourse?

    This IS why I will vote for Obama. This is exactly what he has been saying. His actions often, sadly, fall short of the ideals he himself calls for. This looks alot like… well… me! as blogger here well know!

    So I was mean spirited to appear not to forgive McCain for committing adultery because years have passed and he has repented. Overlay this on the current and continuing sins that each of our candidates are committing almost on a daily basis. Please do this. It is the christian thing to do.

    It doesnt make it right, and it IS a factor to consider as to character in an election.

    So what are we called to do? Carl here says we have a duty to call out public sin. Ok.

    Our taking a moral stand on abortion looks mightly hollow when we conveniently ignore ongoing sinful behavior that is so very glaring.

    I refuse to do this.

    Especially not for MY candidate. I will encourage him to do better. I will INSIST that he do better if he wants my vote. What he does I consider a reflection on the personal moral standard I strive to hold to every day!

    How about y’all?

  • Nemo

    Susan,

    One small correction. Your quotation from the bill is not quite accurate, as you leave out some key words. You quoted it as “…comprehensive sex education in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.” When actually the bill reads “Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12…”

    Your quotation, by omitting “each class or course in” and “offered” makes the comprehensive part sound mandatory in kindergarten. That does not appear to be the case. The classes are allowed in kindergarten, and if offered, must comply with all the requirements, but “comprehensive” classes for kindergarteners are not mandatory.

    However, what does appear mandatory is “instruction in grades K through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.”

    Ahh, the beauty of legislative analysis.

  • fw

    #14 Nemo

    Ok. the issue here is the McCain ad and what it´s intent was.

    the fact that we could probably hairsplit and debate for a long while about what the bill does and does not mean… we agree that the legislation is “muddled” meaning that it is not at all obvious and indisputable that the point of it is to inject a radical sexual agenda for kindergarteners into the Illinois school system. I won´t hazzard a guess why someone thought it was important to change 6th grade to kindergarten. Bureaucrats like uniformity. dunno. Even the author of the article Vieth points us all to felt it was important to call the authors of the bill (Obama was not one of those…) to find out what in the heck their intent was. So maybe even for him it was not all that clear?

    The ads intent was to have people believe that Obama is in favor of “mandadory COMPREHENSIVE sex education for kindergarteners even before they are taught to read”.

    The intent was to scare people by having them think that Obama has some very very radical sexual agenda that is mandatory and COMPREHENSIVE and involves kindergarteners. Agreed that this is the clear intent of the ad?

    I think it is a stretch to use this bill as evidence for THIS highly emotionally charged accusation against Senator Obama.

    Anything that puts sex and kindergarteners in the same sentence provokes a powerful imagery and emotional evocation that can only be comprehended in the context of the word “sleazy”. Disagree with this? If not give me ONE example of where you personally would put sex and kindergarteners in the same context and not have it sound sleazy?

    Therefore an accusation such as this is very powerful and if inaccurate, is in fact also sleazy. Sorry.

    This is more than an attack on a policy stand. This is a character attack. or assassination maybe…

    Now. Give me just ONE example of an attack on Palin that attacks her character as vicously?

    This ad was dishonorable and dishonest. Yes it was sleazy.

    Why can´t we just call a spade a spade and move on? There is no justification for this ad. Happy to discuss where Obama has lied about McCain in his ads as well. I am way cool with that brother Nemo.

  • fw

    #16 … and yeah this bill does put kindergarteners and sex ed in the same context. and I am not calling it a sleazy bill.

    You know however that I am talking about the context of political ads and one candidate talking about another….

  • fw

    “But did she kill the Bridge to Nowhere? Yes, she did.”

    No she did not. Dr Vieth: your article says as much.

    what happened is that it was already “killed” and she accepted that political reality and moved on.

    This doesn´t look even remotely like “I said thanks but no thanks to the bridge to nowhere.”

    Palin lied in her RNC address.

    Get over it.

    Ok , she “exagerated” “misrepresented” if that feels better and exagerations and misrepresentations are not the same as lying or dishonesty in our post-modern lingo.

    My candidate has also lied and placed dishonorable ads about his opponents during this campaign.

    That fact should NOT make give you comfort or make you feel better.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I love how you dial it back, fw, when you get it.
    And then call for a truce.
    So now for a denial from you of this Spanish language ad Obama’s compaign (i.e., Obama himself) is running, that distorts the very meaning of what Rush Limbaugh said.
    Or, by the very nature of his usual rhetoric and general tone, not to mention of his political bent, was Limbaugh also asking for it?
    Who is going to take back the race card? Who is going to call for an end to that play? Will you INSIST he do better, and to rely on more civil discourse, in any language, to any constituency?
    If a Time reporter, btw, can wonder aloud if it isn’t racism for McCain to focus on Franklin Raines’ shenanigans (even as she avoids wondering about his shenanigans), can it not be construed that it’s a form of racism for Obama to rely on the ignorance of Spanish-speaking people to be influenced by this lying ad?
    Yes, we can!
    But that would be wrong…

  • Nemo

    Ok. the issue here is the McCain ad and what it´s intent was.

    I thought it was to determine whether McCain’s charge was true, which would mean that we should look at the bill and what it would do.

    Are you now switching tactics and arguing that it doesn’t matter if the charge was true, it is for some reason not relevant/not applicable/not sportsmanlike to bring it up (or that if it is not appropriate to bring up that somehow reflects on its veracity)? Because that is another argument altogether.

    I won´t hazzard a guess why someone thought it was important to change 6th grade to kindergarten.>/i>

    Yet you have no qualms about conducting a psychoanalysis of the McCain campaign. Are you concerned with the text of the bill at all?

    Anything that puts sex and kindergarteners in the same sentence provokes a powerful imagery and emotional evocation that can only be comprehended in the context of the word “sleazy”. Disagree with this?

    Nope, and apparently neither does McCain. Which probably is why his campaign thought that they should shed the light on a bill, supported by their Opponent, that does put sex and kindergarteners in the same sentence—multiple times.

    #16 … and yeah this bill does put kindergarteners and sex ed in the same context. and I am not calling it a sleazy bill.

    Same context, same sentence even. Yet that is not sleazy? Please re-read your above comment defining what is sleazy.

    You know however that I am talking about the context of political ads and one candidate talking about another….

    I do now. I’ll have to remember now, that what is sleazy in a campaign ad is not in legislation.

    ***

    This IS why I will vote for Obama….Especially not for MY candidate. I will encourage him to do better. I will INSIST that he do better if he wants my vote.

    He already has your vote, where is the “if”?

    ***

    Oh, and one more thing. I’ll admit that Palin exaggerated her role in killing the bridge. Will you admit that she was the one who finally killed it?

  • Nemo

    Susan, Frank already denounced Obama’s spanish ad at the end of comment #6.

  • Don S

    Political campaigns are, and always have been, hyperbole. On both sides. Always. This campaign is no different than any other on that score. Obama’s claim that his proposal was the “basis” for the economic stimulus package that was enacted last winter is obvious exaggeration. Palin put the final dagger in the “bridge to nowhere” project, but it appears that it was going “nowhere” before she did so. Exaggeration. The sex ed ad was not a lie — the bill at issue clearly expanded sex ed to kindergartners. But it was exaggeration, in that it implied something more than was probably actually proposed or intended. Obama’s latest spanish language ad regarding McCain’s immigration policy — the term “exaggeration” is probably charitable for that one, given McCain’s actual historic immigration policies, but I won’t use the word “lie” for the purpose of this “bipartisan” post.

    I will repeat what I have posted previously on this blog. Anyone who relies on political ads to determine their vote is a FOOL.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Thanks, Nemo.
    That’s twice you’ve caught–I mean *taught* me!
    8^)

  • fw

    #23 Don

    The intent of exageration (the classic fish story) is to mislead. so it is dishonesty. Lie is not an inappropriate word.

    Anything that misleads or deceives or is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing BUT the truth doesn´t pass the moral sniff test.

    Am I being too strict here? Should I relax and loosen up here? Is that what I am being told?….. at least when I am talking about the republican candidates?

    Why does it seem to matter so much to all of you to do everything to avoid saying that your candidate ran an ad that was dishonest and dishonorable? And it is so ok for you to let me inform you that MY candidate has run ads that contain lies or are otherwise dishonorable.

    Just what is with that?

    so is the argument here that “hey my candidate is not perfect and yeah has made some er… mistatements and exagerations or white lies, but hey this is politics and so it is ok, everyone does it!”

    or is the argument that you all would hold up McCain and Palin of righteous examples of impeachable conduct?

  • fw

    #23 Don

    wouldn´t it be great dear brother if you could trust every ad that your candidate ran as being not only factually accurate, but also scrupulously fair?

    scrupulously fair would be defined as the other candidate saying “yep! that IS where I stand on the issue.”

    what would that world look like?

    I am suggesting that nothing short of that is moral.

    I think christians have a duty to encourage their candidates to at least aim towards this standard. we claim to be moral beacons to the world on so many issues after all….why do we make an exception here?

    tell me I am wrong Don. And please explain why.

    Palin would have been scrupulously honest to say “I fully supported the bridge until it became politically unfeasable, and then I accepted that reality as a good politician should.” instead she (dishonestly) claimed this as an example of how she stands up to porkbarrell spending in her RNC address. This was not honest. The facts do not support this as evidence that she has fought against the pork.

    Back at ya Don. what do YOU think would have been a wording of the sex-in-kindergarten ad that would meet my standards? or would my standards probably have meant that the ad would not have been run because it was misleading at best?

  • Nemo

    scrupulously fair would be defined as the other candidate saying “yep! that IS where I stand on the issue.”

    what would that world look like?

    I am suggesting that nothing short of that is moral.

    And if party A runs an ad, and party B cannot respond with “yep! that IS where I stand on the issue,” either one of two scenarios is possible:

    Scenario 1. The ad is accurate, and candidate B refuses to admit that is his stance.

    Scenario 2. The ad is inaccurate, and paints a false image of candidate B.

    Are you suggesting that it is less than moral to run an ad that addresses/exposes a position about an opponent that the opponent doesn’t want to admit to?

    Now, in the context of the kindergarten ad, are you suggesting it is a lie that: 1. Obama supported the bill in question and 2. the bill in question extends some sort of sex-education to kindergarteners?

    Or are you arguing that the ad is factually true, but implying false things about Obama?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    For all confused as to why the age limit was changed to kindergarten, you might consider this quote from page 3 of the National Review article Veith linked to:

    Martinez began by saying that the bill was indeed about inappropriate touching. “We know that young children, very, very young, have things happen to them that they don’t speak about,” Martinez told me. “It’s important that we teach our young kids very, very young to speak up.” When I asked Martinez the rationale for changing grade six to kindergarten, she said that groups like Planned Parenthood and the Cook County Department of Health — both major contributors to the bill — “were finding that there were children younger than the sixth grade that were being inappropriately touched or molested.”

    Does anyone here want to deny that children younger than 6th grade are molested, sometimes by their parents? Is it possibly a good thing to teach children to speak to a trusted adult if they are touched inappropriately, even if that is the majority of what they are taught about sex at that age? I know the National Review seems to think it’s a coup that Sen. Martinez admits the bill was not “specifically … about inappropriate touching”, but I don’t see it. The bill was about many aspects of sex education. But one of the bill’s sponsors explicitly said the kindergarten change — the one McCain’s ad refers to — was about teaching kids to speak up about inappropriate touching. That was the “age-appropriate” matter. No one, from watching McCain’s ad, would have come to this conclusion.

    Anon with that comment (@11), it is not FW that comes into question, it is you. I cannot see a way that you could say FW is “rejecting God” and not yourself sin in doing so.

  • Nemo

    tODD,

    Could you please point me to the section in the bill itself that talks about inappropriate touching of young children by adults? I’m not saying it’s not there, but I don’t remember seeing it—it is certainly not a central element of the bill. That explanation also makes a lot of the language of the bill superfluous.

    The touching explanation does not explain the apparent requirement for “instruction in grades K through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV” or lowering the age limit for the (apparently optional) classes on “comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12.”

  • Don S

    FW @ 25, 26 — what I am saying, primarily, is that you can’t produce a 30 second political ad, which tries to convince voters to vote for your candidate, which is not going to be viewed by the other side as not telling the whole story, and thus being misleading. Nemo makes that point well at post 27. In politics, much is subjective and the rest is hyperbole. That’s life here on earth. Like I said, those who rely on campaign ads to determine their vote deserve their fate.

  • fw

    #29 nemo

    The bill also called for all sex education course materials to include information that would help students recognize, among other activities, inappropriate touching, sexual assault and rape:

    SB99: Course material and instruction shall discuss and provide
    for the development of positive communication skills to maintain healthy relationships and avoid unwanted sexual activity. … Course material and instruction shall teach pupils … how to say no to unwanted sexual advances … and shall include information about verbal, physical, and visual sexual harassment, including without limitation nonconsensual sexual advances, nonconsensual physical sexual contact, and rape by an acquaintance. The course material and instruction shall contain methods of preventing sexual assault by an acquaintance, including exercising good judgment and avoiding behavior that impairs one’s judgment.

    The bill passed in the Health and Human Services Committee with Democrats, including Obama, voting along party lines in support of it. But the measure promptly stalled and died in the full Senate, and no action has been taken on it since late 2005.

    Obama is often quoted as saying that when it comes to sex education in public schools, “it’s the right thing to do … to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools,” placing an emphasis on the word “appropriate.” But Obama has also said he does not support, “explicit sex education to children in kindergarten.”

    In a debate with Republican Alan Keyes, against whom Obama was running for an open seat in the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama made it clear that at least one reason he supported the bill was that it would help teach young kids to recognize inappropriate behavior and pedophiles:

    Keyes, Oct. 21, 2004: Well, I had noticed that, in your voting, you had voted, at one point, that sex education should begin in kindergarten, and you justified it by saying that it would be “age-appropriate” sex education. [It] made me wonder just exactly what you think is “age-appropriate.”

    Obama: We have a existing law that mandates sex education in the schools. We want to make sure that it’s medically accurate and age-appropriate. Now, I’ll give you an example, because I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean. And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age. So, that’s the kind of stuff that I was talking about in that piece of legislation.

    Besides the Obama-Keyes race, this allegation also surfaced during this year’s party primaries when Mitt Romney claimed Obama supported sex education for five-year-olds. (Obama misleadingly fired back that Romney supported the same policy.)

    His Only Accomplishment?

    The ad claims the bill was Obama’s “one accomplishment.” This is doubly false. Obama was neither a cosponsor nor a sponsor of the sex education bill, which never got past “go” in the Senate. So it was not an “accomplishment” at all. Furthermore, Obama can properly claim a number of real accomplishments.

  • fw

    #27 nemo

    Now, in the context of the kindergarten ad, are you suggesting it is a lie that: 1. Obama supported the bill in question and 2. the bill in question extends some sort of sex-education to kindergarteners?

    The ad claims “Obama’s one accomplishment” in the realm of education was “legislation to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergarteners.”

    I am saying there were three lies here.

    This was not “obama´s ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT”

    1) It was not his accomplishment in that he did not sponsor or author the bill

    2) he had a few accomplishments while in the state legislature

    3) The bill does not MANDATE COMPREHENSIVE sex education to kindergarteners.

    The words that are lies are in all caps Nemo.

    sheesh Nemo:

    the ad doesnt´s even say it was a “bill he supported” nor does the ad say “some sort of sex education to kindergarteners” now does it? It says it was Obama´s bill and that it was MANDATING COMPREHENSIVE sex education to kindergarteners.

    The ad say it was actually HIS only accomplishment in the Ill legislature.

    The ad contains several factual lies I, along with fact check dot org, am saying. And yes I guess than means I am saying that the ad is a character assasination of obama and slanderous and yes. sleazy.

    Teaching kindergarteners about inappropriate touching is not what was presented in the ad. this is the “some sort of sex education ” that is in the bill.

    it is incredible to me that you are reading this bill so carefully and going back and forth so much to defend against the idea that McCain lies in the ad.

    for the sake of arguement brother nemo, lets supposed that my and factcheck´s assertions are correct.

    what would you then say this would mean about your candidate and his character?

    would you be critical of him? would you rationalize this by saying obama is no better? would you simply ignore it? would you be critical and condemn this ad and then forgive and move on like you probably have about his past adultery.

    these are the questions I am really curious about Nemo.

    My candidate has lied in ads against McCain. You will never see me defending him for that. Quite the opposite.

  • Nemo

    Alright, last post (not because I’m giving up, but because I have other things to do).

    fw, the section you mentioned pops up several times in the bill, always as one of the (roughly) 13 elements that the classes are required to teach. One of the other requirements is that they be “age and developmentally appropriate.”

    However, here is the catch. These “touching” provisions are part of a larger package, the “comprehensive” education if you will. Right there, next to “age appropriate” touching clauses are requirements that “age appropriate” discussions of “sexual abstinence” and “age appropriate” discussions of “forms of contraception, including the success and failure rates for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.”

    The touching provisions are part of the comprehensive package. If it is taught to kindergarteners, so is the rest of the package (the statute uses the word “shall”, not “may”, with each of those provisions).

    I still repeat, the only thing required by the bill to be taught to kindergarteners is “instruction in grades K through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.”

    ***

    Just saw your last post. Gotta run, but what I’m disputing is “lie” 3.

  • fw

    #33 nemo

    progress? 1 and 2 you agree are lies? cool. so then what does this mean for you if true about the honesty and honor of your candidate?

  • fw

    AW, PALIN IS BEST THOUGHT OF AS A WELFARE QUEEN. TAKING GOVERNMENT MONEY FOR HER OWN WELFARE.

    just listened to the video of Palin’s interview on Fox again, and what is striking to me isn’t even that she repeats her lie on the bridge but that she betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what an earmark is or what she is accused of lying about:

    “If its something that Alaskans really want and support, which at this point they are not willing to support to such an extent that we’ll pay for it ourselves, we better kill the project ’cause we know that the rest of the nation isn’t going to pay for it.”

    So Palin seems to be admitting here that the reason she eventually opposed the bridge after supporting it is that it was no longer going to be paid by the federal government. She is explicitly saying that Alaskans (and herself) would be fine with the bridge if it were paid by the “rest of the nation.” But she still took the money for other projects anyway.

    The logic behind it is the direct opposite of McCain’s anti-pork message. I think the best way to think of Palin is as a welfare queen, draining other people’s money in order to enrich Alaskans and get her more votes.

    As Kinsley put it in his must-read Time column:

    Alaska ranks No. 1, year after year, in money it sucks in from Washington. In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.
    And she has the gall to talk about Other People’s Money. All she has done her entire life is take other people’s money. Mainly yours.

    just why IS it that some of the most conservative states get the most pork: Utah, the farm states with farm subsidies (that the republicans aint turning down…), alaska…. solid republican states…..

  • fw

    Instead of writing a $1500 check to her voters, why in the heck didn´t she use the money to pay back the federal government?

  • fw

    Now note that the that liberal bastion the Wall Street Journal, is going after MCCain for multiple inaccuracies and distortions.

    it does seem that Mc Cain´s strategy to promote his own singular integrity is to trash the reputation of others. Cox, the SEC chairman who he says should be fired, was once widely viewed by republicans as a great potential vp pick for mc cain. He does not deserve what Mc Cain is throwing at him. and it is unhelpful for Mc Cain to be doing this during this crisis to a guy who is viewed as very competent by people in both parties.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178318884054675.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

  • fw

    I want the OLD mc cain back. the one who ran in 2000 against bush. I would have gladly voted for that Mc Cain as a man of deep integrity.

    Now the man seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to get elected.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Nemo (@29), unless I’m mistaken, FW has addressed your question to me in subsequent posts. Let me know if you disagree, and I can look into it further.

  • fw

    The bigger issue here is that these things are all distractions . trees to forrest

    Palin made the bridge to nowhere context in the context of asserting her bona fide credentials as a pork-barrell buster.

    If you believe that the story of Palins involvement with the bridge and her overall record strikes a strong “antipork” uber-theme, then her bridge comment is cool.

    I do believe her record as mayor and governor are about alot of pork. Jeez. she hired a lobbyist and started making trips to washington and was highly successful at getting pork. the best defense of her record here is a rather weak one, and that is that she, at least in the last year, got less pork than her predecesor murkowsky got. but I am not sure how much of that reduction is due to ted stevens, republican pork poster child being in hot water lately.

    Now obama and the sex in kindergarten ad.

    The ad was not aimed at educating you about an obscure bill that didnt even pass.

    The sole purpose of this ad was persuade you to believe that Obama favor making it MANDATORY to educate 5 year olds COMPREHENSIVELY about sex. Indeed to give this a priority over reading, and that this was his singular accomplishment and that it was HIS bill.

    If you believe this is true, the ad succeeded. Does ANYONE here with a straight face actually believe that Obama wants sex ed to be mandatory and comprehensively taught in kindergarten? You believe that the evidence being presented leads you to believe that this is actually true?

    c´mon now!

  • fw
  • Nemo

    progress? 1 and 2 you agree are lies? cool. so then what does this mean for you if true about the honesty and honor of your candidate?

    No, I just haven’t examined them yet, as they were not really addressed until 34 posts into the discussion. I thought the “lie” was that McCain misrepresented teh substance of the bill. How come you keep bringing up new issues, instead of defending your previous assertions?

  • The Jones

    FW @40,

    I do not weep one tear for Obama on that McCain ad. Even if it is not true that the bill was designed to teach sex ed to kindergartners, it is also not true that the bill was designed to protect kindergartners from sexual predators. After reading through the entire text of the bill, I found out that the MAIN purpose was to get rid of all that “nasty” language suggesting that monogamy is an expected norm in society, which was only one of many “nasty” and “outdated” things that appeared in the previous bill.

    So, the McCain ad. Was it an accurate representation of the design of the bill? No. Was Obama’s response a true representation of the bill? No. Was this an unprecedented nasty attack in this election, the likes of which have never been seen? No. Is the mindset of “Sex ed to kindergartners” all that far away from “do your own thing” sex ed? No. In light of all political maneuvers that are regularly exercised, do I think that the McCain ad was an unfair ad? No.

  • fw

    #43 The Jones

    You still miss my point. that the bill is a distraction.

    It was an obscure bill that did not pass.

    The purpose of the bill was to get you to believe 3 lies. that Obama is for MANDATORY COMPREHENSIVE sex ed for kids, and further that this is probably a centerpiece of his agenda in that the ad touts this bill as HIS ONLY ACCOMPLISHMENT. that it is his bill etc etc…

    So you are saying that this ad would represent well the highest asperations of YOUR personal morality and standards for honesty and how you talk about others.
    You find no fault with the ad whatsoever.

    Your social circle must indeed be an interesting one.

  • Nemo

    Frank @ 32

    I am saying there were three lies here.
    This was not “obama´s ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT”
    1) It was not his accomplishment in that he did not sponsor or author the bill
    2) he had a few accomplishments while in the state legislature
    3) The bill does not MANDATE COMPREHENSIVE sex education to kindergarteners.

    I’ll start with “lie” 3, and work backwards. The phrase “mandate comprehensive” was Dr. Veith’s erroneous restatement of the ad. The ad itself said “Legislation to teach comprehensive sex-education to kindergarteners,” as I noted in post #4 and corrected Susan on in post #16. For someone as concerned with complete accuracy, I am disappointed that you keep misquoting the ad. Additionally it is inconsistent to say that the bill is about inappropriate touching and not comprehensive sex education, since the touching provisions in the legislation appear as a subset of the comprehensive elements. You simply cannot pick and choose among which tenants are taught to which class, all are required (“shall”) in some “ago-appropriate” way (and mocking the idea of “age appropriate” teaching of contraception and STDs to kindergartens only reinforces my point—this is not a good bill).

    “Lie” 2: “he had a few accomplishments while in the state legislature.” First, the context of the ad limits the statements to educational accomplishments. I am willing to be convinced on this, but you, who have made the accusation, have the burden of proof. What other educational accomplishments did Obama have in Illinois?

    “Lie” 1: “It was not his accomplishment in that he did not sponsor or author the bill.” He voted in favor of something, rather than voting “present.” For Obama, that seems to be an accomplishment. Would you prefer the ad had said “the one effort that Obama did support, teaching comprehensive sex education to kindergarteners, never made it out of the Senate”? That would probably be more accurate.

    Fyi, here is the ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JoFVoPCMfg

    Now, since we seem to like this lie word so much, let me ask you: is it a lie to falsely accuse someone of misrepresenting your candidate?

    ***
    Your personal attack on Jones #44 was uncalled for.

  • Michael the little boot

    Nemo @ 45,

    I don’t think Frank was attacking Jones personally in making an observation, and a humorous one, at that. Besides, most people don’t have to endure insults around here of the type Frank does routinely. Like THIS ONE from Anon @ 11: “A homosexualist charging ’sleezy’ Now there’s a glass house.” Yeah. As if anyone who reads Cranach regularly thinks of Frank as sleazy.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 11,

    “Rejecting God, rejecting glorifying God, rejecting thanking God, rejecting any obedience to God, and then debating what is appropriate for children that they never want to have de natura, when they themselves have chosen to be as contrary to what is appropriate as is possible in the area of sexuality.”

    First of all, if you’re going to say stuff like that, have the decency to AT LEAST use a name that HALFWAY identifies you, as most of us DO here. If you’re not gutsy enough to back up the stuff you say with your own name, or SOME identifier, then you’re just a coward who likes to talk big. I identify with that, but at least I sign these comments with SOMETHING. Michael IS my real first name.

    Also, did you know there are AT LEAST 1500 other species which regularly engage in homosexual activity? (That we know of. This area has largely NOT been studied, and already we’ve found 1500 other animals which also have “alternative” sexuality. Wonder what we’ll find once we study it more fully!) Not the least of which are bonobo chimps, with whom we share close to 98% of our DNA. So there goes your natural argument. Got anything else?

    Oh, and I’d forego bringing up the stuff from Romans 1. That’s already been discussed numerous times, and it’s only an out-of-context reading of that chapter which supports the view homosexuality is a sin. If you read through to chapter two, it becomes clear what the author of that letter is talking about, and it’s not homosexuality.

  • fw

    a helpful non partisan article about that bridge in alaska…

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/159421/page/1

  • fw

    Nemo

    I was not attacking jones. I was saying that this ad apparently represents yours and jones moral standards for honesty and how you represent the opinions of other people. that you find this ad in fact exemplary for yourself and scrupulous and without fault in it´s use of facts.

    I think that if this is so, your social interactions would be interesting to observe.

    where exactly is the insult in this?

  • Anon

    Michael Caligula, I believe God, you do not. This is a Bible-believing, Confessional Lutheran Blog. Try not to appear so surprised to run into God’s Law and God’s Gospel in such a place. Your pretended surprise isn’t credible.

    The stuff I said that you found most onerous is in fact the first chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

    Your and others lies about out of context and alleged meanings for arsenokoitoi and for ‘man lying with a man as with a woman’ are just that: lies. Demonic ones at that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@50), since you “believe God”, then why do you smear your Christian brother by claiming he is characterized by “rejecting God, rejecting glorifying God, rejecting thanking God, rejecting any obedience to God”? Is that what you think it is to “believe God”? Do you think that your words here and elsewhere demonstrate a good understanding of the Eighth Commandment?

  • Anon

    Michael says that he doesn’t believe in God. It isn’t smearing someone to say something that is true. For someone who has such a low view of certain commandments, including the 8th, it is (t)Odd of you to cite it.

  • fw

    anon

    you claim to be a lutheran and you are in hiding as to your identity.

    what you say doesnt sound lutheran.

    prove that you are a lutheran by telling us what it is that makes you a lutheran christian.

  • fw

    anon,

    I am a lutheran christian. I am also a homosexual. you do smear me by misquoting the bible as to homosexuality. and you smear me by claiming that I am no christian dear brother, and you do not even know me or anything about me except a label “homosexual” that is nowhere dealt with in the Holy Scriptures.

    a man is not a homosexual due to the fact that he has sex with another man. prison sex does NOT equal homosexuality. Most of those men in prison are heterosexuals. for example. Ok? Romans 1 does not describe me, yet I am a homosexual. the logic then is that romans 1 perhaps is not about homosexuality. it is about men lusting after other men and probably having sex with them as well. If what I just said makes no sense to you, then maybe you might consider that there are somethings you rush to pass judgement on that you really don´t have a clue about?

    It would be great for you to stop taking God´s name in vain by misusing and misquoting the Holy Scriptures.

    Here is a test question to see if you really are a Lutheran:

    What do you feel is THE purpose of Holy Scriptures? What is the single doctrine that all of scripture is intended to support according to the very words of Jesus and Saint John the Beloved Apostle?

  • fw

    here is a video clip that helped my finally understand how you justify these ads because they are all based on facts`:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13684.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@52), come on. I asked (@51) “why do you smear your Christian brother by claiming he is characterized by ‘rejecting God, rejecting glorifying God, rejecting thanking God, rejecting any obedience to God’?” The quote there (which starts with “rejecting God”), was written by you, so I kind of figured you’d understand the context in which you wrote it.

    Apparently not. I direct your attention to the comment you wrote @11. It begins, “A homosexualist charging ’sleezy’.” As is plainly obvious, that is not a reference to Michael, but to FW. You have accused FW of “rejecting God, rejecting glorifying God, rejecting thanking God, rejecting any obedience to God”, and it is wrong (that is, sinful) of you to do so. You are judging what you don’t know (and, frankly, based in contrast to the very large amount of context he has provided) — apparently, you can’t get past the word “homosexual” to read what FW believes about sin and Jesus. Frankly, I am much more convinced of his right understanding about such things than I am yours, given your tendency to judge and condemn so quickly.

    As an example of that, you say I have “such a low view of certain commandments, including the 8th”. Bravo.

    And yes, I’m glad you noticed the word “odd” highlighted in my nickname (Which, capitalized differently, is my real name) here. That said, you’re not really in a position to be judging nicknames.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 50,

    “I believe God, you do not. This is a Bible-believing, Confessional Lutheran Blog. Try not to appear so surprised to run into God’s Law and God’s Gospel in such a place. Your pretended surprise isn’t credible.” Surprise? What surprise? I’m just unclear as to why you’re so mean to a fellow Christian. Not at all surprised that you bring up what you believe to be God’s law. You like to take cheap shots, it seems.

    “The stuff I said that you found most onerous is in fact the first chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.” Yes, I know. That’s why I said you probably should recheck your argument. FW has pointed out the inconsistencies in your view more than once. I don’t feel the need to repeat it. I just wanted to point you to it just in case you missed it. Now it appears you have deliberately refused to buy it. Your choice, but it’s not a responsible reading of the text.

    “Your and others lies about out of context and alleged meanings for arsenokoitoi and for ‘man lying with a man as with a woman’ are just that: lies. Demonic ones at that.” You ARE taking Romans 1 out of context by REFERRING TO IT AS ROMANS ONE. The chapter breaks were put in AFTER THE FACT. Read it as it was written, don’t just stop where it’s convenient. And I never said anything about any Greek words, nor did I say anything about the meaning for man lying with man as with a woman.

    Although, I DID say something about the other animals who exhibit homosexual behavior, and you neglected that completely. What, no snappy comeback? My lies must be too demonic for you.