Campaign Mendacity

Last week President Obama gave a speech in which he said:

We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts.  We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently…We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more …

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.  That’s how we funded the GI Bill.  That’s how we created the middle class.  That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we invented the Internet.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president – because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts.  We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently…We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more …

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.  That’s how we funded the GI Bill.  That’s how we created the middle class.  That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we invented the Internet.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president – because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

Then somebody at Republican Headquarters realized that if they took the two short sentences yellow highlighted above out of the speech and presented them as Youtube clips with Obama saying nothing else, it would obscure Obama’s point that virtually no business in America could operate without help of some kind from sources paid for with public funds, such as our roads and highways.

And then Democrats countered by squealing that the two sentences were deliberately taken out of context in order to obscure their intended meaning, and much fingerpointing ensued on both sides.

And then the Wall Street Journal jumped into the fray by publishing an article by one Gordon Crovitz ostensibly refuting Obama’s assertion that the Internet had been created by government research.  The problem was that Crovitz’s account bore only a tangential relationship with reality, and you have to wonder why he thought he could get away with it since most of the men he discussed were still alive and could immediately refute him.  Which they did, the most entertaining of whom being Vincent Cerf, primary developer of TCP/IP, who observed that he could fertilize his tomatoes with Crovitz’s account of his role.

But of course this hasn’t stopped Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox from citing Crovitz’s article as a definitive refutation of Obama.   Nor will this stop Crovitz and the Wall Street Journal from printing articles they know to be full of untruths since the game nowadays seems to be to shout mendacious propaganda at the top of one’s lungs, confident that it will convince much of the public.

Look, i’m a liberal.  Worse, i’m a damn progressive, and this whole website displays my bias.  But what i don’t do is post things here that i know to be false.  For that matter, when kind readers have called errors to my attention, i have immediately posted corrections.  I’m biased, but i’m not a liar, which is more than i can say about scumbags like Crovitz.

So if you see an error on this site, please email me and i’ll stamp it out.   mattegray.sf@gmail.com  

Tillandsia usneoides

Tillandsia usneoides

Meanwhile, some more of the flora at Saratoga Springs

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