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Posted at 7:58 PM ET, 09/26/2008

Debate Live Fact Check

By Washington Post Editors

11:02 p.m.
Obama made an arresting and frequently repeated claim near the end of the debate--that the U.S. has lost considerable respect in the world over the course of the Bush administration.

"We are less respected now than we were eight years ago or even four years ago," Obama said.

That's a subjective assessment, of course, but the Pew Center has been tracking anti-Americanism in the world since 2001 and has found that favorable opinions of the United States have declined precipitously in Europe and in the Muslim world since the Iraq war was launched.

Opinion has declined less markedly in key Asian countries, by contrast. A majority of people in India and Japan still had favorable perceptions of the United States in 2006, according to Pew.
--Michael Abramowitz

10:37 p.m.
Obama said that "I was called naive when i suggested that we need to look at exploring contacts with Iran, and, you know what? President Bush recently sent a senior ambassador, Bill Burns, to participate in talks with the Europeans around the issue of nuclear weapons."

This comment both overstates the case and does not accurately reflect Obama's position. Obama has said he would begin direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program without preconditions, a stance that has worried key European allies.

In fact, European officials are increasingly concerned that Sen. Barack Obama's campaign pledge to begin direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program without preconditions could hurt relations with key European allies early in a potential Obama administration.

The U.N. Security Council has passed four resolutions demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium, each time highlighting the offer of financial and diplomatic incentives from a European-led coalition if Tehran suspends enrichment, a route to producing fuel for nuclear weapons. But Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has said he would make such suspension a topic for discussion with Iran, rather than a precondition for any negotiations to take place.

European officials, however, are wary of giving up a demand that has been so enshrined in U.N. resolutions, particularly without any corresponding concessions by Iran.
Over the summer, the Bush administration sent Undersecretary of State William Burns to join the European-led talks, a major tactical shift. But Burns joined the talks with the Europeans; it was not a bilateral discussion.
--Glenn Kessler

10:29 p.m.
On Afghanistan, Obama once again twisted McCain's words when he said, "at one point, while you were focused on Iraq, you said, well, we can muddle through Afghanistan."

That was a reference to comments McCain made in 2003 in which the Arizona senator expressed concern, but cautious optimism, about the long-term prospects of Afghanistan. "I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that - in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan," McCain said.
--Michael Abramowitz


10:24 p.m.
Both Obama and McCain are twisting the record somewhat on the question of whether or not Obama would sit down with dictators like the leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "without preconditions." This debate goes back to a comment made by Obama in a Democratic debate with Hillary Clinton back in July 2007. On that occasion, the Democratic candidates were asked whether they "would be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea."

Obama's reply was as follows:

"I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous. "

Several days after the debate, Obama amended his statement somewhat to say that preparations were necessary for summit-level meetings. "Nobody expects that you would suddenly just sit down with them for coffee without having done the appropriate groundwork," Obama explained.

In subsequent months, the Democratic candidate has been seeking to draw a distinction between "preconditions" and "preparations." He now says that any meetings with other leaders must be carefully prepared, a distinction that he failed to make when the question first came up.

On the other hand, McCain has played down the willingness of former presidents, including President Reagan, to meet with America's enemies. While it is true, as McCain claimed, that Reagan did not meet with Soviet leaders prior to the election of the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev, this was not for want of trying. Reagan attempted to organize meetings with Gorbachev's predecessors but complained that the leaders "keep dying on me." He met with lower-level Soviet leaders, including Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko, at a time when U.S.-Soviet relations were very strained.
--Michael Dobbs


10:20 p.m.
McCain seriously mistated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it.
--Glenn Kessler


10:12 p.m.
McCain accused Obama of wanting to stage "military strikes" inside Pakistan, which is a misleading account of what Obama famously said in 2007: That he would be willing to go after Al Qaeda targets inside that country with or without the approval of the Pakistani authorities.
"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," Obama said.
--Michael Abramowitz


10:02 p.m.
When discussuing what ways he would save money in the federal budget, McCain said, "Look, we're sending $700 billion a year overseas to countries that don't like us very much." This is a line he used in his campaign acceptance speech, but as a matter of context he was not talking about foreign aid. That only amounts to $39 bllion a year, most of which is economic aid. McCain instead is talking about the amount of money that Americans spend on foreign oil, though some experts think that figure is a bit high. It certainly is not part of the federal budget.
--Glenn Kessler


9:58 p.m.
In a contentious exchange, John McCain said Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had called Barack Obama's Iraqi troop withdrawal plan dangerous, a charge Obama strenuously called untrue.
In fact, in July, Mullen, addressing a plan that would remove all combat troops by 2010, did say on Fox News, "I think the consequences could be very dangerous. I'm convinced that making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important."
--Jonathan Weisman


9:54 p.m.
Obama and McCain got into a little argument over whether the Illinois senator has oversight responsibility for Afghanistan in the U.S. Senate. Obama is the chairman of the Europe sub-committee of the Senate Foreign Relations Comittee. Obama's sub-committee is responsible for NATO affairs. Since NATO has troops in Afghanistan, McCain can claim that Obama's committee has an interest in what is happening in Afghanistan. It is true that he did not hold hearings of the sub-committee while he was out on the campaign trail.
On the other hand, Obama can claim that his sub-committee is not primarily responsible for Afghanistan. Another sub-committee has oversight responsibility for the South Asian region.
--Michael Dobbs


9:52 p.m.
John McCain correctly asserted that in 2003 he began to question the Iraq war strategy, which is correct. In November 2003, he criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war, saying the United States should send at least 15,000 more troops or risk "the most serious American defeat on the global stage since Vietnam."
But he has also made later, more rosy pronouncements. After visiting the Shorja market in Baghdad in April 2007, where he was protected by more than 100 soldiers, McCain said, "Things are getting better in Iraq, and I am pleased with the progress that has been made." Privately, according to a recent book by Bob Woodward, he was more critical, telling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "We may be about to lose the second war in my lifetime."
--Glenn Kessler


9:50 p.m.
During the debate, McCain once again took credit for his crusade to block a new contract for Boeing for a new fleet of midair refueling tankers. He said he saved taxpayers more than $6 billion while launching a Senate probe that found cozy relations between Pentagon officials and Boeing executives.
But the GAO found significant problems in the rebidding of the new contract, which had awarded the contract to a partnership between Northrup Grumman and the European firm EADS.
"This shows how a sort of naive crusade for good government can actually backfire," Loren Thompson, of the Lexington Institute, a defense think tank, told Newsweek.
--Michael Abramowitz


9:45 p.m.
John McCain raised an old Republican canard, repeated often in the primaries, when he claimed that Obama's health care plan would eventually turn the health care system over to the federal government. The Illinois senator proposes helping individuals purchase health insurance through a system of subsidies and tax credits. He is also in favor of mandatory health insurance for children. But he is not advocating a state-run health system, such as the one that exists in Britain and some European countries. Under the Obama plan, individuals will still be free to choose between different types of health insurance, and will be able to choose their own doctors.
--Michael Dobbs


9:39 p.m.
McCain, rebutting Obama's correct observation that earmarks are a small part of the budget, said, "But the point is, that you see, i hear this all the time. It's only $18 billion. Do you know that it's tripled in the last five years? Do you know that it's gone completely out of control to the point where it corrupts people?"
But while federal earmarks tripled in size from 1996 to 2005, they have actually dropped in recent years. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, in fiscal year 2005 Congress inserted 13,492 earmarks totaling $18.9 billion for appropriations accounts. In fiscal year 2008, there were 11,524 earmarks totaling $16.5 billion for appropriations accounts.
--Glenn Kessler


9:33 p.m.
John McCain claimed that Obama voted in the Senate to raise taxes on anyone making more than $42,000 a year. This is misleading on several levels. The vote that McCain is talking about was a non-binding resolution on the budget that envisioned letting the Bush tax cuts to expire, as scheduled, in 2011. But these budget resolutions come up every year, and do not represent a vote for higher taxes in future years. In fact, Obama has said that he will continue the Bush tax cuts for middle and low-income taxpayers. He says that he will cut taxes for all but the wealthiest tax-payers.
--Michael Dobbs


9:21 p.m.
John McCain kicked the evening off with a wild exaggeration by describing the allied invasion of Normandy as "the greatest invasion" in history. Such historical comparisons are always dangerous. In scale, the D-Day landings were far exceeded by Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union, in June 1941, and the Soviet invasion of Germany at the end of World War II.
A total of 326,000 allied troops took part in the initial D-day Landings in June 1944. By comparison, Hitler's sent an army of 4.5 million men into the Soviet Union in June 1941along a 1,800 mile front.
--Michael Dobbs


Please join The Washington Post's Fact Checker -- and friends -- for a live truth squadding of tonight's presidential debate from Oxford, Miss., beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Fact Checker Michael Dobbs will be joined by diplomatic reporters Glenn Kessler and Karen DeYoung, White House correspondent Michael Abramowitz, and campaign reporter Jonathan Weisman.

The Fact Check team will analyze statements by John McCain and Barack Obama for accuracy and exaggeration.

Readers are invited to flag errors and misleading claims by either of the candidates by contributing to the on-line discussion at The Fact Checker.

While foreign policy is the official topic for the 90-minute debate, questions about the economy and the bailout of Wall Street institutions are sure to come up. Let the Fact Checking commence!

(And if you're looking for more to read while you're waiting for the debate to kick off, check out the opinion section's Topic A, where you can find foreign affairs analysts and other experts giving their take on "The Debate We Want to Hear.")

By Washington Post Editors  | September 26, 2008; 7:58 PM ET
 
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Next: The Art of Meaningless Spin

Comments

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Posted by: ydov8yh5oc | September 26, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

As soon as any candidate says, "...worst since the Great Depression," fact check it. Very few financial records reach back to the 1930s and that makes such claims suspect. Example, there are no reliable statistics on bank failures during the Great Depression since most banks were state-chartered, if chartered at all, and there was no Federal oversight agency.

Posted by: HisRoc | September 26, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding about the McCain health plan tax credit? My husband and I just got our premiums for our health insurance and it is to be $22,000 for just the 2 of us. What would a $5000 tax credit do to help us? There is no way that would even make a dent.'

Posted by: Janice W | September 26, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Most of the time McCain says "My friends," he means just the opposite.

Posted by: Chad | September 26, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Live means live... we're live NOW!

Posted by: hey guys | September 26, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain is wrong again. Kennedy was released from the hospital hours ago and is at home watching the debate.

Posted by: Barbara | September 26, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Surely Obama has seen the democrat's & president's plan?

Posted by: Doris | September 26, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

McCain said that he called for the resignations of the head of the SEC.....Wrong! He said that he would fire him. It was shown that the president cannot fire the SEC head. He has waffled yet again.

Posted by: Louis | September 26, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Since the great depression" includes events that occurred after the great depression, not the great depression itself. The regulatory structure prior to the great depression, for example, is irrelevant.

Posted by: Mike | September 26, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The bear DNA was to count bears--see if the bear population was increasing, to see if their status on the Endangered Species list had helped them move away from the verge of extinction.

Posted by: loyola | September 26, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

They sound just a like. Ug!

Posted by: Doris | September 26, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Without a line-item veto, there is no way in hell that he will get to remove earmarks.

Posted by: loyola | September 26, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Do they believe what they are saying?

Posted by: Blur Facts | September 26, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain is wrong...business tax in Ireland is 12.5%.

http://www.idaireland.com/home/index.aspx?id=659

Posted by: sheab | September 26, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama says that things would only be delayed with the fiancial plan he doesn't have the details on?

Posted by: Doris | September 26, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

What is the tax increase that McCain said Obama voted for and then Obama said it's not true? Who is right?

Posted by: Emily | September 26, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

He voted NOT to extend the Bush tax cuts. Therefore McCain says he voted to increase taxes.

Posted by: loyola | September 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Unbiased fact checking by the Washington Post..yeah right

Posted by: Red4Ever | September 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

McCain just said he opposes Ethanol subsidies--does his voting record reflect this?

Posted by: Ashley | September 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Was McCain against ethanol when he was campaigning in the corn belt?

Posted by: Mike | September 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Cutting spending?? Where? Specifics?

Posted by: loyola | September 26, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

No ethanol subsidies? Wave good bye to Nebraska, McCain!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

McCain has opposed ethanol subsidies over the past couple of years, but I'm trying to find his voting record from before 2007. Stay tuned...

Posted by: eczarra | September 26, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

he's not going to lose Nebraska

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

McCain claims Obama opposes nuclear power--is this true?

Posted by: Ashley | September 26, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

McCain says earmarks have increased in the last 5 years, 2006 was the highest with $29 billion according to CAGW, 2007-- $13.2 and 2008--$17.2.
Pork from 2002 through 2006 the amount was over $20 billion each year.

Posted by: barbee | September 26, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

That's all well and good that McCain could create jobs by building 45 new nuclear power plans.... however tell me where is it he plans on building all these new power plants?? What community has volunteered to have one in their back yard?

Posted by: Christina | September 26, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

rediculous. You fact check the use of the word "greatest"? Great reporting Washington Post, and by great I mean largest reporting ever. Seriously...the only thing dumber than American politics is American media. Idiots.

Posted by: jesstyr | September 26, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

McCain refused to vote, or voted against, the wind energy credits.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

While on the campaign trail in Iowa in 2006, McCain expressed his support for ethanol. However, he has voted against the energy bill and the farm bill, both of which had ethanol subsidies attached to them. His voting record is valid, but his speeches flip-flop according to the population.

Posted by: eczarra | September 26, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

only took 30 minutes for McCain to say he's a maverick.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to "factcheck" broad statements such as the greatest invasion, could you factcheck the fact that McCain can't vote with President Bush since the president doesn't have a vote.

Posted by: Josh | September 26, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Did "everyone" really celebrate when we went into Baghdad? This sounds fairly dubious to me.

Posted by: Ashley | September 26, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't need to worry that I'm going to elect him Ms. Congeniality (he's already repeated this three times). In fact, he doesn't need to worry about me electing him at all.

Posted by: john | September 26, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Why not mention McCain's support for offshore US corporations that don't pay ANY US taxes? Like Tyco moving to the Bahamas....

Posted by: A-man | September 26, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Dobbs' flag on the play for McCain calling D-Day the greatest invasion in history. Who says we are arguing scale or size. It is the greatest since it was the begining of the end of Nazi domination of Europe. From the prospective of the US it was the greatest.


Posted by: megaphone | September 26, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

be sure to read LATIMES article
McCain resurrects an old stunt
The candidate has used his 'country-first' rhetoric before.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-welch26-2008sep26,0,3697752.story

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Are any of the Post editors here in any way impartial? Catch Obama on his supposed quotes from McCain or his supposed 90% support of Bush. seriously...

Posted by: jesstyr | September 26, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Corporate Taxes - GAO Study shows most companies paid $0.

Just as millions of Americans were filling out their federal 2003 tax forms to beat the April 15 deadline, the GAO study indicated that most corporations owed no taxes from 1996 to 2000, a boom period for corporate profits.

Those untaxed corporations earned $3.5 trillion of revenues.

The GAO study found that 71 percent of foreign-controlled corporations operating in the United States paid no taxes in those five years; nor did 61 percent of US-controlled companies.

The basic corporate tax rate stands officially at 35 percent. In reality, it's far below that for most companies. And the importance of corporate tax revenues for Uncle Sam has shrunk. That's shown by the numbers.

Corporate taxes have fallen from 5 percent of gross domestic product, the nation's output of goods and services, in 1946 to 1.4 percent now.

As a percentage of all federal tax revenues, corporate tax payments have declined from 23 percent in 1960 to 13 percent in 1980 and 8 percent today.

Posted by: Sandy | September 26, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama has supported expanded nuclear energy, but not to the extent that McCain has. McCain wants to build, build, build, but he doesn't really clarify where he will get the funds to build the necessary plants to bring us up to 45 operating nuclear power plants by 2030. Obama wants to find ways to use it safely, since many Americans have a fear of nuclear energy. He has also stated that he wanted to encourage exploration for reusable fuel.

Posted by: eczarra | September 26, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Fact check Lehrer! Earlier in the debate he was quite persistent in pushing the candidates about budget cuts to pay for the bailout. Perhaps the best parallel to such a scenario are the austerity measures introduced by Hoover as federal income tax receipts declined during the Great Depression. This is widely viewed by economists as having exacerbated the underlying economic malaise.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Not all earmarks are for frivolous things. A lot of those earmarks are for things like hospital funding.

Where would that funding come from? Would those things just not be funded? If they are funded in a different way, what does that do to the $18 billion?

Posted by: Sandy | September 26, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Regarding McCain voting with Bush, it is true. There are videos of McCain saying he's supported Bush.

Factcheck.org has a Q&A -

Is it true John McCain voted with George Bush 95 percent of the time?

Yes, it's true, according to Congressional Quarterly's assessment of McCain's voting record.

Posted by: Sandy | September 26, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Is this blog sponsored by the DNC?

Posted by: jesstyr | September 26, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Early in the debate, McCain claimed that he had demanded that SEC Chairman Chris Cox "resign." This is interesting spin: McCain in fact said that he would *fire* Cox, which, of course, the President cannot do. McCain was repackaging his own intemperate gaffe as something virtuous: a call to responsibility.

Posted by: AJL | September 26, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama's plan would have the government offer more money to pay for health care and would set requirements for health care plans. That sounds like a government plan to me.

Is Medicare Part D works a similar way and is a government program. Shouldn't you check facts rather than spin broad statements?

Posted by: Josh | September 26, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: Obama's comments about US troops taking hits from Al Queda without defending themselves: don't the troops already take hot pursuits into Pakistan?

Posted by: Mike | September 26, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

jesstyr, why don't you stop complaining about this message board and actually contribute? find something that mccain has been right about to give this place more balance rather than whine that it's "too liberal."

Posted by: anonymous | September 26, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

To all those saying the WP fact checker is biased toward Obama, perhaps there are no statements of Obama to refute because he is being factual and not exaggerating...

Posted by: anonymous | September 26, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

John McCain just asserted that Iran has a lousy economy due to its lousy government. First, they do have a democracy. Ahmadinejad was, believe it or not, democratically elected. Second, their real GDP growth rate for 2007 was over 5% (Source: CIA World Fact Book), which is pretty good.

Posted by: eczarra | September 26, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain seems quite proud of the fact that he takes military advice from housewives and 19 year olds.

Posted by: Coffee Guy | September 26, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain health plan is a gift to the health insurance industry. We would all be trying to find affordable private health insurance.

From FactCheck.org:

Sounds good. But McCain failed to mention how existing employer-sponsored health benefits would be affected.

• Workers would be taxed on the value of any employer-paid health benefits, partially offsetting the $5,000 credit for those now covered by such plans.

• Experts say a tax credit plan like this would likely cause companies to reduce or eliminate health benefits for their employees.

When I was doing corporate benefits a few years ago, family coverage was over $1,000 per month. A tax credit doesn't do you any good while you're paying additional taxes during the year.

Corporations would have no incentive to provide health benefits to employees.

The only people benefiting from McCain's plan is the health insurance industry.

Posted by: Sandy | September 26, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and another nice fact about Iran. They have 18% of their population living below the poverty line, we have 12%. And our real GDP growth was 2.2% in 2007. Lousy economy?

Posted by: eczarra | September 26, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse


Who won the presidential debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.?


http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=3547

.

Posted by: DBlake | September 26, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Former Secretary of State Kissinger, at a talk at George Washington University on September 16 of this year, stated that the next president of the United States should enter into direct talks with Iran without conditions.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/09/16/Kissinger_Open_direct_Iran_talks/UPI-46971221579660/

Posted by: eczarra | September 26, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain is exaggerating and misleading when he says that the "North Koreans have broken every agreement they've ever entered into." That's a gross oversimplification. Have they, for example violated the truce that ended the Korean War?

More to the point, there's plenty of blame to go around between the United States and North Korea for why the Agreed Framework fell apart and why the recent disablement agreement is foundering, as the Washington Post has reported.

Posted by: Steve | September 26, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Former U.S.Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today told an audience in Washington, DC that the U.S. should negotiate with Iran "without conditions" and that the next President should begin such negotiations at a high level. --- ABC News

Posted by: Emily | September 26, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Can we get a list of the legislation where Obama is one of the title sponsers? He listed a couple instances where he's been "leading" the charge in the Senate on that issue.

Posted by: Josh D | September 26, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Maccain looks Childish... Why he is mischaracterizating O'bama's poistion again and again

Posted by: sam69 | September 26, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

This blog is a joke. You should rename this thing the "Obama Spin Zone." Of course, I didn't really expect anything more out of the Washington Post - good thing fewer and fewer people are paying attention to what the WP has to say.

Posted by: Kevin | September 26, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Kissinger did indeed endorse Obama's perspective on diplomacy.

http://deseretnews.com/article/content/mobile/1,5620,695261802,00.html?printView=true

"Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. should negotiate directly with Iran over its nuclear program and other bilateral issues.
"One should be prepared to negotiate, and I think we should be prepared to negotiate about Iran," Kissinger, who brokered the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war and peace talks with the North Vietnamese, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Asked whether he meant the U.S. should hold direct talks, Kissinger, 84, responded: "Yes, I think we should."

There has been no response so far from Iran, he said.

"I've been in semi-private, totally private talks with Iranians," he said. "They've had put before them approaches that with a little flexibility on their part would, in my view, surely lead to negotiations." He didn't elaborate on who was engaged in the talks."

Posted by: Jenn | September 26, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to "factcheck" broad statements such as the greatest invasion, could you factcheck the fact that McCain can't vote with President Bush since the president doesn't have a vote.

Posted by: Josh | September 26, 2008 9:40 PM
==================================
THe presidents vote is his signature or his veto.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Here ya go, Josh D:

- Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 2007, S.1977
- Coburn-Obama Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, S.2590
- Lugar-Obama Cooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act of 2006, S.2566

just a few examples...first year in the Senate he authored 152 bills.

Posted by: mt | September 26, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Regarding McCain and Alternattive energy:

McCain’s has actually missed several “crucial” energy votes. In July alone, he missed every single energy vote brought to the floor. This session, McCain has skipped votes supporting renewable energy tax credits four times, all of which were filibustered. In June, for example, McCain missed a vote on the landmark Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation.

McCain has also been the “crucial” absent vote on key legislation. In December, legislation stripping tax break giveaways to Big Oil and investing in cleaner sources failed by one vote, 59-40 (Vote #425); McCain missed that vote to campaign. In February, McCain skipped a vote on extending tax credits to renewables, which also failed by one vote (Vote #8). Both times, McCain was the only senator absent.

Posted by: Sandy | September 26, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Mccain looks foolish and mean

Posted by: Samina Hayaat | September 26, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

McCain's voting record on veternas issues is deplorable.

McCain gets a lot of mileage on this issue because he was a POW and he is a veteran. People assume he supports the troops. He tells them he does.

He's voted for veterans funding bills only 30% of the time, according to a scorecard of roll-call votes put out by the nonpartisan Disabled Americans for America. Under the same system Obama has a 90% rating — though, of course, he has spent a much shorter time in Washington. "Senator McCain clearly needs to be recognized for his military service and in some respects that will play to his advantage, but when it actually comes to delivering health care and benefits during war, Senator McCain's going to have some explaining to do," said Paul Sullivan, director of the nonpartisan Veterans for Common Sense.

Posted by: Sandy | September 26, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

McCain just got pwn3d...wat

Posted by: FemAnon | September 26, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyone care notice, how Senator Obama consistently gave deference and acknowledgment to McCain and McCain did nothing but insult , lie and equivocate.

Posted by: sonja | September 26, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

McCain just said that the Strategic Defense Initiative "was a major factor in bringing about the end of the Cold War." This is a popular Republican talking point, but there's little evidence to support it.

There's no doubt that the Soviet Union feared missile defenses; they still do (though for slightly different reasons). But if SDI caused the Soviets to overspend on offensive and defensive programs in an effort to counter SDI, which in turn, the theory goes, caused their economy to implode, there ought to be some evidence for that. In fact, Soviet military spending was flat or declining in the latter part of the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration, more importantly, the Soviets never made a serious effort to develop its own SDI system. So as with the early years of the Cold War, the United States ended up racing with itself.

Just as important, Reagan's firm beliefs (fostered by misleading claims from his scientific advisers like Edward Teller) that SDI would successfully negate Soviet offensive nuclear forces and enable the abolition of nuclear weapons probably delayed the end of the Cold War by preventing both countries from reaching a rapprochement earlier than they did. Significant nuclear reductions happened _after_ the Soviet Union began to fall apart, because both George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev made the political decision to do so.

Posted by: Steve | September 26, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Republican guard belonged in Saddam's Iraq. They both were trying to talk about the revolutionary guards of Iran, but both kept talking about the republican guard.

Posted by: chris | September 26, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

In McCain's world no one is ever right except himself. Obama acknowledged several times that McCain was correct about something or that he agreed with McCain. To me that illustrates the maturity and control that Obama has, whereas McCain's notion that only he is correct and his refusal to acknowledge that others are sometimes correct is a sign that he does not have the wisdom and temper to be President. Forget fact checking: do we want another President who behaves like a cocksure adolescent?

Posted by: rusty 3 | September 26, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

More than 600 service members re-enlisted while serving in Iraq. Asked why they re-enlisted, most said it was for the tax-free bonuses -- it's all about the money. What will the president do to assist the WTU soldiers, or to address the suicide rate, service member families on welfare, the divorce rate for service members, and most importantly the service members who are being deployed for the forth or fifth time?

Posted by: MILITARY WIFE | September 26, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

If this debate could be won on proved truths and factual evidence Obama would win hands down. For statesmanship and dignity - ditto.

I was appalled by McCain's rudeness and his constant undermining of Obama when he received only courtesy and acknowledgment from Obama. If this is how McCain acts with people he doesn't feel are worth his time, then this isn't someone who should be sitting across a negotiating table from leaders of countries with whom America has issues. Particularly with that snappy temper and snide manner.

This wasn't only about facts and figures - this was about how you deal with people and how you connect, and how you behave under pressure. McCain failed on those three counts alone, and I haven't even started on his shaky grasp of truth.

Posted by: suzanne | September 26, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

no, no, Kessler. When McCain was taling about the money going overseas to countries that don't like us, he meant Iraq!!

Posted by: Kevin McNamara | September 26, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Speak, military wife! I to, am a military spouse and have seen 1st hand the issues that you have brought up, that McCain and his cronies have alternately ignored or actively moved to cut funding out of the overextended budget that support Americans who make these overwhelming circumstances. (WTU stands for Warrior Transition Units, soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan trying recover while on active duty.)

Posted by: sonja | September 26, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Georgia did begin the aggression by invading South Ossetia. McCain's adviser was a lobbyist for Georgia. Rice warned Georgia not to invade and antagonize Russia. Obama was right in his intitial reaction that both sides needed to act with restraint. McCain's immediate "We are all Georgians" campaign just didn't fly.
McCain seemed hateful and warlike tonight, very 20th century, very old and out-of-date.

Posted by: 44blue | September 26, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I still do not understand what McCain means by "victory." Switzerland on the Tigris? A theological oligarchy like Iran, but more friendly to us? Three or four or twenty ethnically cleansed mini-states? Either of the second two seem a lot more probable than the first.

But here's the point. How do tell when we have achieved "victory"? When the 5 million refugees can go home? When the Christians open up their stores again? When ethnic cleansing in Kirkuk stops and the Kurds give up their quest for a "Greater Kurdistan"? What can I look for to know the madness is over?

Posted by: lensch | September 26, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

"

Former U.S.Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today told an audience in Washington, DC that the U.S. should negotiate with Iran "without conditions" and that the next President should begin such negotiations at a high level. --- ABC News

Posted by: Emily | September 26, 2008 10:18 PM "

Kissinger couldn't have said that! McCain has known him for 35 years!

Or that is how McCain put it, anyway....

But according to ABC News Kissinger said just that on September 16.

Posted by: tom | September 26, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

A "draw" normally goes to the challenger, not the status quo, and Barack Obama showed he was more than equal to John McCain in a subject--foreign policy--that was supposed to be McCain's strongest suit.

It is clear there are three adults in the presidential race, Obama, Biden and McCain.

Sarah Palin is not.

Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 26, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

why did both candidates refuse to talk to each other? I get tired of the back and forth - a lot more would be accomplished if we actually talked to each other rather than at each other.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

come on people - Obama did insult as much and maybe more than McCain. Insults don't win elections.

I really don't care who won or lost - I care about whether or not I'm satisfied with my choice based on the veracity of their answers. And-yes I am.

Can we just pull our heads out of the sand and see that this is not about history - I don't care where you've been or what you opposed in the past - what are you going to do for our children? They deserve better than what we've experienced from both candidates. Stop the lectures - get to the meat of your ideas, and stop lying about each other - I mean, mistating the facts, that is...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

americans you should be extremely proud of barack obama. He was very good tonight.

we, in the rest of the world, trust obama.

Posted by: kk | September 26, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

This was rather random fact checking... I look forward to a more exhaustive and accurate analysis. What I find a little shocking is that the staff of both campaigns seem to be rather incompetent. Aren't they getting paid to make sure their guy doesn't get things wrong? Well... probably not. What they get paid for is probably not something I'd could comfortably contemplate for long.

Posted by: bj | September 26, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Although I support Obama as the better of two less than optimal choices, one thing that rankles me as an energy expert is this notion that wind, solar, bio-mass, etc. will somehow reduce US depedence on foreign oil. It will not. These are alternatives for producing electricity, so unless we start converting to electric cars, or make hydrogen via the energy produced and run cars on that, there is NO connection.

This is not to say we should not encourage more renewables, and I like the Obama plug for the modern grid--which everyone supports until it is routed near their house!--but transportation and electricity production are different sides of the energy equation.

Posted by: merganser | September 26, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Dear McCain:
Grow a pair. Make eye-contact with Obama.

Posted by: wordup | September 26, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Was Pakistan really a "Failed" state before Musharraf's coup? I don't think that phrase means what McCain thinks it means.

Posted by: Stav | September 26, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

McCain is looking wise and measured, while Obama is looking arrogant and rude. I'm voting McCain!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

@ merganser... I think you are mistaken. I live in a community (100,000 residents) where all of our power is from raw oil. We all think it is ridiculous and have petitioned our government to force the ONLY power company we have to change there ways. You can say switching to wind and solar won't make a difference, but it does!

Posted by: Mimi | September 27, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

"I'm voting McCain!"

hope you don't have any "pre-existing conditions"

Posted by: wordup | September 27, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I read each comment and those people responding definately has an Obama slant.

I am an Independent and came to that conclusion.

O Well

Posted by: Tom | September 27, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

My overall view of debate:
I give Obama the edge because of his demeanor and knowledge.
McCain came across as mean-spirited and contemptuous. Several times he looked as if he was going to explode
McCain main argument: EVERYTHING IS ABOUT IRAQ WAR WAR WAR EVERYWHERE WE CAN NEVER LEAVE IRAQ WE MUST WIN IN IRAQ (I thought we did)
Obama main argument: We can't just focus on Iraq. The next president must have a broader focus and be ahead of the game. Look at the whole world and fix problems (global warming e.g.) before they become a crisis. He seems very proactive not reactive like McCain
Obama seemed more relaxed and confident
McCain appeared tightly wound and angry. Not the kind of person I want with his finger on the button and negotiating with world leaders.

Posted by: patzav | September 27, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that almost all the most definite factual misstatements listed here so far were by McCain. Every Obama concern was something exaggerated or a little unfair, and only a couple of those. This list is primarily showing McCain being dishonest or incorrect. And there's no reason to think that the report is biased and they actually both were equally deceptive. Clearly, McCain is less interested in honest accuracy than Obama.

Posted by: Aaron | September 27, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

McCain conflates simplifying the tax code with making it more fair. Simplicity and fairness are not intrinsically related.

Posted by: Karen | September 27, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

McCain mentioned the 700 billion being sent "overseas to countries that don't like us very much". In fact Canada supplies a very large chunk of that oil. To correct the record, as a Canadian, note we are not overseas.

ha ha, couldn't resist ending it there. In fact yes , we DO like you too.

- a friend in Canada

Posted by: robin | September 27, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I am pretty amazed that the Washington Post hasn't debunked McCain's claim that Pakistan was a "failed state" when Musharraf overthrew the democratically elected government of Pakistan.

I know many Pakistanis, and they take this matter pretty personally, in that they see Musharraf as a tyrant who overthrew their democratically elected leader!

The only people who were truely upset about the former Pakistani government were the militarists, the ISI secret police, and the rich people bankrolling them!

Posted by: Mark Kraft | September 27, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

You know, I just want to say that its not you all big spenders that are burying your kids, or your mom or your dad. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, they deserve it. How are we to regain our respect with all our assets expended. I feel that we are leaving ourselves wide open. We should CONCENTRATE on OUR COUNTRY. Stop policing the world and start taking care of EACH OTHER. For those of you that are still Color Blind and are running in the blind, hopefully you wont have to bury one of your own just to prove a point that we won.

Posted by: msE | September 27, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Obama clearly led in honesty, as these fact-checks show. Especially the "raise taxes for those over $44,000" whopper - do you seriously think a nonbinding up-or-down vote on whether to let Bush's tax cuts expire as written by Bush in two years counts, when Obama's platform clearly states that he does intend to extend the middle class cuts? And this is not the first time McCain's said this, nor the first time he's been called on it.

I was, though, disappointed by the pro-missile-defense tone of both. This has never worked on anything beyond a small, battlefield scale; by the laws of physics, the costs to effectively defend a city or a country (even Israel) would be prohibitive (as in, more energy than the city uses).

Posted by: homunq | September 27, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

McCain called Pakistan "a failed state" before Musharraf. That's not true at all.
He also ignored that he flip flopped on torture.

Posted by: Bill | September 27, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

"McCain appeared tightly wound and angry."

you would be too if you spent the last 2 days trying to back out of the debate.

Posted by: wordup | September 27, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

McCain is such a puss he cant even look at Obama when hes talking to him hes like some scared little kid talking to the wall.

McCain cant pronounce any of the names of countries and foreign leaders that he is supposedly so familiar with.

I want to know just how McCain is going to "love and care for everyone" as he said, it sounded like he was proposing a old person orgy of some sort yucky nasty old bastard and he said it so filthy ewwweee

Posted by: john | September 27, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

How bout the biggest flip-flop of all: McCain saying he wasn't going to go to the debate unless the "financial crisis was resolved". If the way he ran his campaign this past week is any indication, he's not ready to run the country, especially during a crisis.

Posted by: wordup | September 27, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Pakistan, a failed state? By whose definition? Please!

Posted by: Ezequiel | September 27, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out how Obama's reference to McCain's comment on "muddling" through the war in Afghanistan was twisting Senator McCain's words. Especially since it's clear that McCain, like practically every other Republican blew off the effort in Afghanistan as soon as Santa Claus gave GWB the war he *really* wanted.

Posted by: Doug Chance | September 27, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"McCain is exaggerating and misleading when he says that the "North Koreans have broken every agreement they've ever entered into." That's a gross oversimplification. Have they, for example violated the truce that ended the Korean War?"

Yes. There have been several US deaths and many wounded as a result of North Korean attacks after 1953. Look it up. And South Koreans have suffered many more casualties. You, perhaps, do not know that North Korea sent a crack commando team into Seoul that managed to literally attack the presidential compound (the 'Blue House'). If that's not a violation, I'm not sure what is.

Posted by: EP Thorn | September 27, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's one for the GOP'rs. McCain did OK and he was expected to Obama on the other hand held his own and made some point that the vast majority of American's agree with.

McCain didn't kick Obama's butt. Many will argue that Obama did better then McCain. The Kissenger thing will be all over the news all weekend. So by virtue of being the underdog in Foreign Affairs and catching McCain on a Gaffe...Obama won hands down.

One telling thing for me was that McCain completely tossed the "change" mantra and went back to the "experience" mantra. In fact he only mentioned Reform once in an off the cuff remark. Does that mean the McCain camp is yet, once again, going to change tack? Can you say Vice Presidential Candidate Giuliani? Stay Tuned.

Posted by: SWMissouri | September 27, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

At the end when they touched on alternative energy. McCain said “I’ve always voted for alternate energy”.

It’s well known that in all his years he has never supported any energy form except oil. Perhaps it was a calculated mis-speak when he said ‘ alternate energy’ (as in alternate current electricity) as opposed to alternative energy 9solar, wind, etc)

If he’s not familiar enough with the concepts to speak it…
and he never voted for it in his entire career,
then he lies and says he did….

His record is pretty clear: more non-renewable polluting oil, and more wars.

Posted by: Chrispy | September 27, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse

i'm astonished at the number of troll comments that are all over the debate blogs and commentary sites. It's pretty obvious that the McCain campaign has banks of people posting plugs-
they invariably include "did anyone else feel that...X?' or "i wonder if anyone noticed...X"
and they include a slighting comment about Obama that carries some kind of buzzword- like 'soft' or 'too polite'

reading through cnn, cbs, and even here at the wp, the pattern really stands out.

it's almost as though they have a cheat-sheet of what key points they want the press to focus on tomorrow.

personally, i found Obama to be level-headed and succinct. He proved his mettle as a diplomat by being polite and not losing his temper, no matter how many lies McCain trotted out.

I think some key points were the Bracelet, Kissinger, and the fact that McCain is outdated. He apparently isn't clear on our relationship with SPAIN (?!? seriously??), and doesn't seem to understand that we are one country in a GLOBAL system.

L.W.- Alliance, Nebraska
not employed by EITHER party.

Posted by: zax | September 27, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

jesstyr's a troll.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

If I read through all the Fact Checker columns, I note that the majority of misleading comments (including the debate) are from Obama-Biden. So, run it by me again, who's running the dirty campaign?

Posted by: Battle for Fairness in the WaPo | September 27, 2008 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Anybody who's read Obama's book "Audacity of Hope" now knows his modus operendi. Use forums such as these to recast earlier poor decisions using modifers, nuance and "weasel words". His entire book was a rationalization of poor decisions...at one point for a particularly bad decision on a vote he actually says that he pushed the wrong button.

This is what you get when a lawyer wants to be President.

Posted by: Fact Check This! | September 27, 2008 3:03 AM | Report abuse

battle and fact- HAHAHAHAH!!!

How WEAK!

no- seriously- that's just pathetic. is that the best you can really come up with?

mcbane got his hiney handed to him. deal with it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Factcheckthis- I DID fact-check it:

TWENTY-SIX (26) United States Presidents were Lawyers.

All together, THIRTY-FIVE (35) had Law educations.

THAT'S what you get when a lawyer who wants to be president- a GREAT NATION.

fact check THAT, bubba. :P

Posted by: Pickle | September 27, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Factcheckthis- I DID fact-check it:

TWENTY-SIX (26) United States Presidents were Lawyers.

All together, THIRTY-FIVE (35) had Law educations.

THAT'S what you get when a lawyer who wants to be president- a GREAT NATION.

Posted by: Pickle | September 27, 2008 3:41 AM | Report abuse

and the biggest fact check of all should be about what Obama said about Kissenger. Here is what Kissenger had to say:

TWS Exclusive: Kissinger Unhappy About Obama

Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/09/tws_exclusive_kissinger_unhapp.asp

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 4:47 AM | Report abuse

I liked the way McCain said he would vote for the bailout bill without even reading it. Obama mentioned that all of the language hadn't been worked out yet, so he was not sure.

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

CNN Poll of Debate Watchers:

Who won?

Obama: 51%

McCain: 38%

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 5:32 AM | Report abuse

My impression was that McCain was lobbing one clump of BS after another the entire evening, and that Obama was busy correcting him. A dissapointment, for sure.

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 5:34 AM | Report abuse

lol 'anonymous' on kissinger-

sorry, but backpedaling after the fact doesn't mean he never said it. no matter how much you'd like to, you can't re-write history- not when it's thoroughly documented.

Enough previous posts here contain links to the MANY newspaper articles and interview posts in which Kissinger called for meetings with our adversaries that do not have preconditions.

Even if they didn't, Google is at the fingertips of every person with access to a computer. Interestingly enough, 'Kissinger' is now all that's needed to bring up relevant articles- two hours ago, it required a string of tags to track it down.

I'm guessing enough people have looked it up, no amount of backpedaling will 'fix' that gaffe.

Posted by: Pickle | September 27, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Why burnish the Kissinger cred? He is a wanted criminal in many parts of the world. There was outrage when he was proposed to lead the 9/11 whitewash.

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

I like the way McCain asked Obama to define what a rich person was...especially after McCain himself said that a middle class person makes under $5 million.

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 5:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought I was hearing things when McCain declared victory in Iraq. Ten minutes later he was fighting the Vietnam War again, and promising not to lose it. Did he forget to take his medication?

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

McCain's cancelled Boeing tanker savings almost enriched european Airbus. And Boeing is out of it for good. Does McCain think that nobody reads newspapers?

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 5:54 AM | Report abuse

re Kissinger-

Personally, I view it more as yet another instance of how very out of touch McCain is- in this case, with the opinions of of one of his top advisors and someone he has been friends with (according to his own statement in tonight's debate) for 35 years.

much along the lines of him saying that we have a strong economy- just days before he suddenly decided to pack in the presidential campaign because the economy was so desperate ('cratering' he said) that it needed his immediate and undivided attention.

these kinds of contradictions and inconsistencies won't be magically cured by sitting in the Oval Office.

Posted by: Pickle | September 27, 2008 5:57 AM | Report abuse

One could not help but think that when McCain nailed Iran for the lousy economy and the evil government...ummm, is that why our economy is bad? Logical conclusion check.

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Interesting how the "fact checkers" are different from each media site. They all say they are "fact checkers" but they all word their arguments differently.

Posted by: Cheryl | September 27, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

One could not help but think that when McCain nailed Iran for the lousy economy and the evil government...ummm, is that why our economy is bad? Logical conclusion check.

Posted by: lwps | September 27, 2008 6:20 AM


Blame the Dems for deregulating the banks in 1999.

Posted by: Cheryl | September 27, 2008 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Before you make accusations about how "Liberal" and "pro-Obama" it is...
Let's do a "Fact Check" on WaPo...
Although WaPo tries to put on a show that they're "unbiased" they're acknowledged by conservatives and liberals alike as a "Conservative" newspaper and it was founded by the Cult-like Conservative Rev Sun Myung Moon (Remember "Moonies"?):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Times
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Myung_Moon
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2008/Senior_McCain_adviser_helped_arrange_to_0509.html

If they're pro-Obama it's because there's not enough to spin against him and for McCain.

~*~
Folks, if you truly haven't made up your mind do yourself a favor and you're considering Obama don't just take some anonymous posters word on a blog/board or even 100% from Mainstream Media (most are NOT unbiased and are now owned big big corporations like GE, etc).

Please just use your the brain the Divine gave you. Do your OWN research, get the facts from decent reliable sources, watch how Obama really sounds & acts and contrast that with McCain, look at their real voting records available (Google VoteSmart & Roll Call) and please don't automatically buy the the political spin and lies put out by people who obviously only want 4 more years of Bush-like policies or are paid to say they do.

Posted by: ML Johnson | September 27, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Well put, MLJ.

As for Cheryl- yeah, 'blame' is what y'all are good at.

somehow, you're gonna talk your way around to 'blaming' the dems for the current 'cratering' of the economy here in the US, that's having a domino effect around the world.

I wait with glee to see just how you pull THAT rabbit out of your.... hat.

Posted by: Pickle | September 27, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Pakistan had a democratically elected president prior to Musharraf's coup. I believe Senator Mccain said it was a failed state twice.

Does anyone consider Pakistan a failed state prior to Musharraf?

Posted by: Elitist (4 year college grad) | September 27, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama clearly lied about the Iraq War!
The First Big Bush Lie, according to Obama, is that the Bush administration went to war to remove Saddam Hussein's WMDs or, as he puts it: "The first rationale presented for the war was to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." This familiar Democratic claim is itself probably the biggest lie of the Iraq War, rather than anything the president or his administration has said. In fact, the first – and last – rationale presented for the war by the Bush administration in every formal government statement about the war was not the destruction of WMDs but the removal of Saddam Hussein, or regime change.
This regime change was necessary because Saddam was an international outlaw. He had violated the 1991 Gulf War truce and all the arms control agreements it embodied, including UN resolutions 687 and 689, and the 15 subsequent UN resolutions designed to enforce them. The last of these, UN Security Council Resolution 1441, was itself a war ultimatum to Saddam giving him "one final opportunity" to disarm – or else. The ultimatum expired on December 7, 2002, and America went to war three months later.

Posted by: Pat | September 27, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama was directly involved in creating the Financial Crisis that were are going through in America Today. Obama misrepresented the Financial Crisis last night during the debate, he lied!

The American people are outraged by the corruption in Washington.

The American people are opposed to any bailout of Fannie Mae, Fannie Mac, AIG, investment, commerical, security and mortage bankers that profited from the home subprime mortgage scam –the crime of the century.

The American people want the politicians of either party that aided and abetted this crime to be exposed for what they are–corrupt criminals that should not be in Congress nor the Whitehouse but in prison.
The Democratic Party fought against more regulation and oversight for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recommended and proposed by both President Bush and Senator McCain.

The Democratic Party insisted and required by law, the Community Reinvestment Act, that banks make loans to people that were clearly unqualified to receive them.
The Democratic Party made sure that the executives running both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac supported their efforts to fund undocumented loans for home mortages.
The Democratic Party is responsible for starting this crisis by their meddling and government intervention in the mortage market.

The former executives who ran both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be in prison and not advising Barack Obama.

Reform yes. Cover up no!

Prison yes. Bailout no!

Only you can prevent socialism in America!

Posted by: Pat | September 27, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama and ACORN as Part of the Problem

From Investors.com

“They (Democrats) were the ones who screamed — “REDLINING!” — and sent banks scurrying for cover in low-income neighborhoods, where they have been forced to lower long-held industry standards for judging creditworthiness to make the subprime loans.

If they don’t comply, they are threatened with stiff penalties under the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA, a law that forces banks to make home loans to people with poor credit risks.

The revisions also allowed for the first time the securitization of CRA-regulated loans containing subprime mortgages. The changes came as radical “housing rights” groups led by ACORN lobbied for such loans. ACORN at the time was represented by a young public-interest lawyer in Chicago by the name of Barack Obama.

HUD, in turn, pressured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase more subprime mortgages, and Fannie and Freddie, in turn, donated to the campaigns of leading Democrats like Barney Frank and Pelosi who throttled investigations into fraud at the agencies.”

http://investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=306544845091102

The regulation grew to monstrous proportions during the Clinton administration, obsessed as it was with multiculturalism. Amendments to the CRA in the mid-1990s dramatically raised the amount of home loans to otherwise unqualified low-income borrowers.

Posted by: Pat | September 27, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

You missed fact-checking one of the big lies of the night. Barack Obama claimed that McCain has voted against alternative energy more than twenty times in his career. McCain replied that "I have never voted against alternate energy."

McCain has ALWAYS voted against a national renewable electricity standard--which is the most important renewable energy vote we've ever had. It would require utilities to boost their production of renewables. He voted against a 20% standard AND a 10% standard in 2002. He voted against a 10% standard in 2003. He voted against a 10% standard in 2005. And he still opposes this critical measure.

McCain may hide behind the platitude that "no one from Arizona is against solar energy"...but his record says otherwise.

Posted by: Navin | September 27, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The way I figure it, either the economy or the war has to be your top issue this election. So here is an look at the two candidates using direct quotes and non-partisan refererences, and video where applicable.

So the Iraq War is your top issue:

First, you do understand that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Do you recognize that there were no terrorists in the country before we invaded in March of 2003? If not, here are some good references:

NBC: Report: 9/11-Iraq link refuted immediately - Security - MSNBC.com www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10164478 - Cached

FOX: FOXNews.com - The Connection Between 9/11 and Iraq - Brit Hume ... www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,97063,00.html - 53k - Cached

The Washington Post: Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed (washingtonpost.com) www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46254-2004Jun16.html -

The 9/11 attack was launched from Afghanistan, why invade Iraq? Obama said then that Iraq was a “dangerous distraction,” and that the “war on terror was never in Iraq, its in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” His opposition to this war from the beginning has been well documented, but here one:
Obama calls Iraq war a 'dangerous distraction' - CNN.com
www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/15/obama.iraq/index.html - 86k - Cached

I defy anyone to argue that Iraq didn’t take our eye off the ball of the real terrorst threat. Even today, 9/24/2008, our generals on the ground in Afghanistan are asking for more troops to fight terrorists, but we can’t supply another 2,000 troops until the spring due to our Iraq commitments. We currently have 140,000 troops in Iraq. Read this article quoting our Defense Secretary who says “we need to think about how heavy a military footprint the U.S. ought to have in Afghanstan…” and goes on to say “despite requests from commanders in Afchanistan, the military has no additional forces to send there.”
Gates sees no more troops for Afghanistan until spring - CNN.com
www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/23/gates.afghanistan/index.html?eref=rss_latest

Now McCain is a war hero, no one can take that away. But for all his experience he has been dead wrong on this issue from day one. Here he is with Dick Cheney in 2003 making the case to go to war. He says we will be “greeted as liberators.” Here’s video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKFL-Mz4rto

More than 5 years later McCain wants a lot of the credit for the surge policy. Lets give him credit where credit is due, both on this issue and on his heroism for this country as a POW in Vietnam. He also has famously said he would follow Bin Laden “into the gates of hell,” which I like, since Al Queida and Bin Laden are the real threats, and what I want our leaders focused on, instead of the Iraq distraction.

McCain, in a speech this spring said that if we elect Barack Obama “We will risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who one suggested the bombing of our ally Pakistan.”

FOXNews.com - Obama Fights War on 2 Fronts as McCain Steps Up Attacks ...
www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331550,00.html - 56k - Cached

Here is Barack Obama’s quote that McCain was responding to: “If we have actionable intelligence aboukt high-value terrorists targets and [Pakistan] President Musharraf wont act, I will.”

Tough talk on Pakistan from Obama | U.S. | Reuters
www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0132206420070801

So it sounds like McCain will go into the gates of hell, but not across the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Ask yourself, how committed should America be to killing the terrorists who attacked us.

There has also been a lot of talk about Barack Obama’s plan for withdrawl from Iraq. McCain has called it “cut and run,” and “putting politics ahead of country.” Well, here are what a few prominent world leaders say about the plan:

Bush: In reversal, Bush to accept Iraq withdrawal timetable - Yahoo! News
news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080822/ts_alt_afp/usiraqbush - 52k - Cached

Iraq leadership: Iraqi PM Supports Obama's Withdrawal Plan, Al-Maliki Approves Of ...
cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/19/iraq/main4275137.shtml?...

McCain himself: ABC News: McCain on 16-Month Iraq Exit
abcnews.go.com/Politics/TheNote/story?id=5453293&page=1 - 94k

We got him on video there. Make sure you draw no distinction between McCain and Obama’s Iraq plans, since right here we can see how similar they are.

The question comes down to, who was right from the beginning, and who pushed to go into Iraq and take our attention away from the real threat? And where should our focus be now?

So the economy is your big issue:

You are aware his economic adviser said only a month ago that America had no real economic problems, but was instead in “a mental recession” and called us a “nation of whiners.”

ABC News: Obama Blasts McCain Over Advisor's 'Mental Recession' Comments
www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/story?id=5350099&page=1 - 96k

This is particularly important since McCain will rely on economic advisors more than past administrations, and this was the person who was writing his cue cards. Case in point, remember when McCain said “I don’t know economics that well.”

What McCain's investing strategy reveals about his character. - By ...
www.slate.com/id/2189898 - Cached

He obviously must not, since a month ago he said “the economy is fundamentally strong.” This was echoed by President Bush, as well, as this video shows:

YouTube - McCain: Out of Touch
www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRV8Q9IBDxk - 118k - Cached

Of course McCain is offering tax cuts. But watch this video showing how in 2003-2005 he was against the Bush tax cuts due to the costs of the war as well as “the disproportionate amount that went to the wealthiest Americans.” He went on to say “"I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the '80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we've got a debt that we've got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/24/AR2008042403456.html

This is probably why he is ducking the presidential debates on Friday. These issues, his 8 houses, and tax cuts that exceed Obama’s only for the wealthy ($603,000, if you want to put a dollar amount on it.) To bone up on economics McCain was reading Alan Greenspan’s “The Age of Turbulence.” Greenspan himself, in a recent interview, said he (a republican, mind you) couldn’t support McCain’s tax cuts that would be “financed on borrowed money.” John McCain prior to the presidential election would have agreed with him; prior to 2006 he had a clear record. Turns out that despite all the talk he really would rather win an election than do what he believes in.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26689925/

The same article goes on to say that his proposal to end earmarks on legislation to balance the budget would be a ‘drop in the bucket.’ Also “While McCain opposed the 2003 cuts and previous Bush administration tax cuts from 2001, he now says he would leave them intact. Obama has said he would repeal Bush tax cuts benefiting families making over $250,000 annually to pay for programs and provide middle-tax class relief.”

If nothing else, maybe you want to take one more look at these candidates…

Posted by: rory | September 27, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I encourage anyone with intelligent comments to reply to the above

Posted by: Rory | September 27, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

in response to Posted by: Pat | September 27, 2008 8:34 AM

You are at best ill-informed or at worst intentionally deceitful on your point. I work in finance and banking. The CRA is a very simple act; banks can't simply draw a line down a city and say "i won't lend to this neighborhood," especially if that is near the branch. Your 'source' is someones bigoted opinion piece, not fact.

Long story short with bank mortgages, you either had the FICO score, loan to value, and debt to income ratio, or you didn't get a loan. Theoretically, if every minority that applied had bad credit or poor work history we could give loans to none of them, and be perfectly in accordance with the act, AS LONG as we were applying our criteria in a uniform manor. We also have to let people know why they were denied.

Posted by: rory | September 27, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Obama said he has not called for direct talks without preconditions at the presidential level, but his web site says, "direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions."

Posted by: Austin, Texas | September 27, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

“…obsessed as it was with multiculturalism...”

Everything else in your posts deals with a persons ability to meet financial obligations, so are we to assume that you are stating here that a person's cultural background has something to do with their ability to make mortgage payments?

Posted by: Jete | September 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse


From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/anger-entitlement-and-contempt.html

Saturday, September 27, 2008
What A Debate Reveals: Anger, Entitlement and Contempt

What I found shocking reflecting on last night's debate was how angry and entitled McCain was, in a very open way.

McCain's manner was one of that who believed he should not even be on the same stage with this person. This indicates a person of extreme rights and extreme wrongs, not a statesmanlike persona, but an angry and impulsive one.

McCain carries strong ideas of what a liberal is, ideas that very little from his cherished ideas of who betrayed the nation during the Vietnam war. A stock character, driven and created by his own rage, carried, as it has been since the '70s, with a virtual ideological blindness--blinded by a contemptuous rage--that there are others who cannot understand the world the way he can. This is not judgment, but angry certainty. This is not readiness, but a just-contained rage that he should be confronted by such ideas.

You can see it in his constricted "can you believe it" rage at one who disagrees with him. This kind of contemptuous, angry dismissal of others ideas leads easily into the impulsive decisions of the last few months--generated with barely contained contemptuous rejection of those who would reject his ideas--only the most recent forms of those essential constructs--a contemptible media, easily fed with false notions and panaceas, as he believes they were earlier in his life; intellectuals, whose reason and deliberation is contrasted with the sharp, impulsive action that for his life has constituted a certain knowledge, and an angry, certain need to sweep away those who would stand in the path of righteous certainty.

What is beautifully ironic is how McCain maintains this contempt even as he switches from one position to another in the opportunistic second--this is when the look of contempt and entitlement turns, for a moment, to anxiety and panic.

Soon, however, the gaze is back. No matter what the new position is--impulsively determined, desperately grasped--if only "they" knew better. If only "they" knew the truth.

This kind of ideological rigidity and certainty (note how Obama could not contain himself from smiling when McCain attempted to compare him to Bush in that regard) combined with impulsive decision making, from the "gut" of sure knowledge, is what has created the outcomes of the past 8 years.

It was--in a setting where one would not expect it to be, where one would expect McCain to contain it--glaring apparent last night.

This is an amplification of the last 8 years rather than a change.

We do not need to experience this type of decision making again.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/anger-entitlement-and-contempt.html

Posted by: Cara Prado | September 27, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Lots of misinformation going on here, despite the commendable efforts of a few to set the record straight.

@ Pat -- Resolution 1441 was not a "war ultimatum," it was a warning of "serious consequences" (very different from a war ultimatum). The UN has always been supremely reluctant to violate a state's sovereignty by authorizing intervention in any way, shape or form. I recommend you RTFM, so to speak. And by that, I don't mean Wikipedia; read the damn resolution itself.

If "regime change" to remove an "international outlaw" was the reason for invading Iraq, why haven't we "regime-changed" much worse regimes that have also been objects of the UN's ire?

I think we know the answer: Iraq has something very valuable to our balance-of-power calculations which we wish to control. (It's a three-letter word.)

Posted by: Jon Worth | September 27, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I really don't see a problem in a government controlled health plan.
I am a European citizen and where I come from I have known no better than a government controlled health care plan. And guess what? It actually works! Everybody is entitled to health care at no or little extra cost, because everybody is insured for it by default. Nobody faces the possibility of going bankrupt on medical bills. To give an example: I lived in Germany 2004-2007, there you have to pay a personal contribution for visiting a doctor or dentist or other specialist; this will cost you 10 Euro (approx. $15) every quarter of the year, but only if you would use their services. Once paid this contribution (that goes into the treasury btw) you can visit the doctor, dentist or specialist every day should you wish during the quarter you made you contribution. Even hospitalization comes at the cost of that one time a quarter $15! And remember... once paid it will cover all your visits to whatever doctor/specialist within that same quarter.

Going to the dentist once a year will grant you a life long dental insurance. Oh and maybe a nice detail: you can actually chose which doctor, which dentist etc. you go to. Most doctors will give you (when needed) medication from their own stock, but should you need to go to an apothecary you might have to pay a small contribution. Most prescribed medication however is free. The ones that require contribution are mostly the brand name medicines.

Really people.... it's not that bad to have a government held health care insurance plan.

And even if the government controls the basic health care plan, people still have the choice to whether or not (privately) expand that government held health care insurance, should they wish to have private rooms in hospital or other perks that are not covered by the basic plan. It's not that bad people!

And should that not convince you, maybe this will: it's a hell of a lot cheaper than your privatized health care plans in America that cover next to nothing should you really need to make use of them!

Posted by: Monique | September 27, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Cheryl - "Blame the Dems for deregulating the banks in 1999". Nonsense... The Dems didn't have enough power to override the Republicans at that point.

Phil Gramm (one of McCain's top advisers and a very close personal friend) created that piece of legislation called "Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act" and McCain and the REPUBLICANS voted FOR it and backed it.

The fact is that the REPUBLICANS were the Majority in power in both the Congress and the Senate for most of Bill Clinton's term (who btw I'm no big fan of). The REPUBLICANS also have held the Senate, Congress and the White House for 6 out of the last 7+ yrs and were far from nice about working with Dems. They could have enacted all sorts of legislation during that time and Bush would have signed it.

The fact is that if you want DEREGULATION of large corps, banks, etc vote for a Republican... this has LONG been their stance. If you want REGULATION of large corps, banks, etc and protections for "Main Street" vote for a Democrat... this has long been their stance.

Posted by: ML Johnson | September 27, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm hoping some republican defenders will take me to task and differ with anything i've posted previously. Look up the 9:15 post and make your case. I'll listen, and start a civil exchange of ideas.

Posted by: rory | September 27, 2008 9:15 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: MadMark | September 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The use of the word "twisted" to refer to how Obama characterized a statement by McCain makes no sense in the following entry in this column. "Muddle" does appear to be the word used by McCain and Obama didn't twist it into anything else:

10:29 p.m.
On Afghanistan, Obama once again twisted McCain's words when he said, "at one point, while you were focused on Iraq, you said, well, we can muddle through Afghanistan."

That was a reference to comments McCain made in 2003 in which the Arizona senator expressed concern, but cautious optimism, about the long-term prospects of Afghanistan. "I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that - in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan," McCain said.
--Michael Abramowitz

Posted by: steve clark | September 27, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the massive monolith of ignorance that is Michael Dobbs.

As Crittenden so fittingly reminds the muddled man:

"If you really want to get into it, the Siegfrieds and the Ivans did it across land. The western allies did it over water. Universely regarded as the greatest sea invasion of all time, in contention for the greatest single technological and organizational, a massive, highly complex operation conducted under strict secrecy, cloaked by highly successful deception. Different. Greater. And on unconditional greatness alone, it’s important to note that the jackbooted sausage-eating bucketheads, several months in, when it started snowing and they were all still in their summer uniforms and not in Moscow as planned, weren’t feeling so great any more. The Soviets didn’t launch an invasion of Germany as much as they pushed multiple fronts forward over a period of two years. Sort of like we did after we invaded Normandy.

"We could dicker over the semantics of what makes an invasion, and technically, maybe the Washington Post is right. But in the end what it comes down to, Clintonianly speaking, is what you think “great” is. The Nazis wanted to own Russia, and killed every Jew and most of the Russians they met. If the Washington Post thinks that’s great, so be it. The Russkies, meanwhile, raped every woman they met, and enslaved half of Europe for 45 years. Washington Post informs us that’s also greater than Normandy."

http://www.julescrittenden.com/2008/09/27/fact-check/

Posted by: vanderleun | September 27, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"John McCain kicked the evening off with a wild exaggeration by describing the allied invasion of Normandy as "the greatest invasion" in history."

Wild exaggeration.....are you kidding. Can we start a fact check for the fact checkers. Its beyond naive to say that that Senator McCain's comment on D-Day was a wild exaggeration.

Pathetic MSM.

Posted by: Your fact checkers are pathetic.... | September 27, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I particularly liked McCain's talk about the folly of sitting down with someone who had advocated the "extermination of another country." Hopefully, our allies won't hold his statements about North Korea against him.

Posted by: MadCat | September 27, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

While McCain did make some statements about stronger regulation Freddie and Fannie in 2005 and 2006, his campaign manager, Rick Davis, was being paid as their advocate as recently as August 2008:

Loan Titans Paid McCain Adviser Nearly $2 Million

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/us/politics/22mccain.html?scp=4&sq=mccain%20fannie%20mae&st=cse


Posted by: Joanie in Bellevue WA | September 27, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I observed John McCain and saw that he couldn't look Barack Obama in the eyes. This sends a negative subliminal message. Was he afraid or lying?

Posted by: gary19 | September 27, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

This Presidential race has been electrifying! Senator Obama clearly won this first debate. My concern is a phyrric Democratic victory. The ongoing Philadelphia lawsuit (Berg vs Obama 08-cv-4083) questions Obama's eligibility to become president. Why won't Obama simply provide a certified vault copy of his original birth certificate? We'd all submit our birth certificates as a condition for employment. Obama should show the court this specific legal identification that will make Mr. Berg go away. Senator Obama should meet this challenge head on! Hiding behind a motion for dismissal is cowardly. It implies guilt. I want to be proud of our next president; not ashamed that I was victimized by another well-marketed confidence game.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

[...]The first faction consisted of foreign policy professionals and politicians who were involved in the early stages of war planning but turned against the war after 1967 when it clearly diverged from plans. The leading political figure of this faction was Robert F. Kennedy, who initially supported the war but eventually turned against it.[...]

Posted by: Obama's Foreign Policy Stance | September 27, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Your choice of adjectives in describing some of the "errors" you claim McCain made seem ridiculously hyperbolic, e.g., saying that the D-Day invasion being the biggest in history was a "wild exaggeration," when it was in fact the greatest by sea invasion in history (I'm reasonably sure of that; for some reason, though, I seem to recall someone saying Inchon was bigger), or your claim that McCain "seriously mistated" his vote about Marines in Beirut, when, in fact, he did vote against having them there. One can only wonder about the motives behind the choice of adjectives.

Posted by: S.C. | September 27, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

In checking about 8 sites from Fox to Media Matters to NYT, et al it seems like there is a very concerted effort by the RNC groups to flood these forums with their preworked talking points. Like the McCain website proclaiming debate victory before he even agreed to debate or the tactics in Florida in 2000. Democracy seems to get hijacked at times.

I'm not saying McCain did a lousy job in the debate, but I would give the edge to Obama on delivery, facts, and actaully looking at his opponent. McCain was rude and childish.

Posted by: Ron | September 27, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Could the author of this article please site his sources? Is that too much to ask of the WP?

Posted by: Patriot 1 | September 27, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Funny how you fail to fact check any of the big glaring issues with Obama's statements that, say, Sarah Palin would have gotten pounded for. E.g. Obama's misrepresentative invocation of Henry Kissinger in support of his (Obama's) "I'd sit down with rogue regimes as President without preconditions" position. McCain disputed Obama's citation of Kissinger in support of that position and Kissinger has come out today and stated that Obama misrepresented his (Kissinger's) statements.

Why would you not "fact check" this big Obama step-in-it episode from the debate, unless you were totally corrupt and biased Obama-serving faux "fact check" tool?

TWS Exclusive: Kissinger Unhappy About Obama

Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/09/tws_exclusive_kissinger_unhapp.asp

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 27, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Why would McCain not tell the public?

Barack Obama = “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorists targets and [Pakistan] President Musharraf wont act, I will.”

Why did McCain giggle, smirk and tell all of the world = McCain "Now, you don't do that. You don't say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things".

At least he is finally being honest about being dishonest.

Why has no one mentioned this statement or am I wrond in what I heard?

Posted by: anonymous | September 27, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

In last evening's Presidential debate did everyone notice how both McCain & Obama repeated the false "Threat by Iran to wipe Israel off the map" again and again when they know it to be a LIE ????

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=the+lie+threat+to+wipe+Israel+off+the+map&btnG=Search

It was as if there was a competition to outdo each other in demonizing President Ahaminedjad of Iran when they both knew that this is a fabricated threat made to help beat the drums of more war against Islam and Iran in support of Israel !!!!

Could this have been to compete for AIPAC favors ????

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12769

Posted by: housebird | September 27, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

As far as pure "Firepower" is concerned...D-Day was the greatest invasion of all time.

Almost 7,000 naval ships....14,000 planes...

Manpower concentrated on 4 beach-heads. One of which..."Omaha", was little more than 1 thousand yards.

When germany invaded Russia, they had an 1800 mile front.

Just because Wikipedia says something is great....does not mean it is true.

"The Media catches McCain in a Lie!"

The Washington post needs to retract the headline!

Did this guy get paid by WP...?

Are you going to keep this fraud on the payroll with so many qualified people unemployed?

I suggest The Washington Post hire someone with Military credentials, instead of an AXE to grind!

Posted by: jpokergman | September 27, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Washington Post. When will you check the inaccurate comments and lies told by your candidate...Obama.

Posted by: jeff | September 27, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

7:54pm PST 09/27/08


Very proud of the conduct of the Nephilim / Illuminati Warrior $enator McCain tactifully and strategically DEMONstrated last night. I know all of his Nephilim / Illuminati friends and family in "The Party" are too, including of course, "THE PRINCE", and the current Nephilim / Illuminati Warrior in the White House despite their differences. The $enator's training showed how strong The Force is with him. The $enator DEMONstrated that he can be trusted to tow "The Party's philosophy and agenda". I am eagerly awaiting the $enator's reception of the Sword, Torch, and Baton from the current occupying Knight, so that $enator McCain can solely push "The Agenda" from the Oval Office as planned. Even though we only need 4 more year$ there, in order to transition to "The Big Event", I believe the $enator has DEMONstrated enough faith for him to continue to hold our position in there for another full 8! I hope that my family and I will personally be continued to be counted worthy to po$itively participate and continue to benefit as we have the past 8 years. Everything is proceeding as foreseen and planned! "The Bailout" will help maximize our profit$ and pro$perity before the coming war with Iran. The liberal media has reflected this in their recent coverage of our orchestration of the current events and their public pollings. I am surprised that they even have the courage to go public with "Our Truth!". I hope this post will encourage you in "The Party" as well as assist the undetermined to join u$. It is such a joy to see things transpire as planned! Thank you for listening.

CHRI$Tian Verde,
Liberty Farms, Solano County, California, USA

This "Country First!"

$upport our troops, keep America free, VOTE McCAIN-PALIN!

"Drill, Baby Drill!"

"Bomb Iran Now!"

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Beloved Founding Father & 3rd American President: Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: american_patriot | September 27, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse


Obama is a Lawyer from Harvard. Great talker..great in speech. No heart....I admire Will Smith as an actor same with Obama if he is an actor. Black are good actors and i am a fan of them....Americans are good in helping people and really have a heart and have their word of honors and knows how to protect other countries and very smart. I love them both in different aspects. Just think of it. I am an asian but i think Obama is like our celebrity president here during the election that he was the superman who could change the system in our country but when he won he did nothing especially to the poor people. I hope Senator Obama won't be the same. I love your country.

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Posted by: Impomswheem | September 28, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Someone brought up the subject of Ethanol and Sen McCain. He was against Ethanol subsidies from the beginning. I remember his actually saying that in Iowa during the 2000 primary, knowing that it would virtually ensuse he would not win Iowa. Guts and moral courage - kind of unusual in a candidate of late.

Funny how the fact checker missed the greatest gaffe of all, one that McCain caught Obama on himself - saying that Kissinger would meet with enemies with no preconditions. K never said that.

The fact is that negotiations go on at many levels all the time - but both sides would rather they be allowed to progress without fanfare. Obama, being completely naive about how all this works, displayed that.

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Posted by: MadMark | September 28, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

RE: 10:37 PM

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs is Nicholas Burns, not "William Burns."

Posted by: Birmingham, MI | September 28, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

so I am puzzled by the title of this article?

And at the end of this article isn't Obama supposed to say "I approve this message"?

Posted by: azkmb | September 28, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

This Debate fact check is absurd. It's little more than a trumper-of-Obama points and spinster-parser article.

Who believes this fact check column anymore?

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 28, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

LOL. Seems like a lot of people "get it":
::::::::::::
so I am puzzled by the title of this article?...at the end of this article isn't Obama supposed to say "I approve this message"?

Posted by: azkmb | September 28, 2008 9:57 AM
::::::::::::
Hey Washington Post. When will you check the inaccurate comments and lies told by your candidate...Obama.

Posted by: jeff | September 27, 2008 9:58 PM
::::::::::::
This column just picks and parses what material is out there, that benefits Obama or undermines McCain, and "fact checks" that to Obama's benefit.

Fortunately, the Washington Post "fact checker" column does stop just short of actually making up "facts" to check for Obama's benefit.

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 28, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

In reference to the various health plans thus far proposed, I would like to say this. My wife and I are retired military family. We are thus covered by Tricare. http://www.tricare.mil/ Under Tricare, our medical expenses are covered 80%! It is a wholly government administered plan that allows us to see the doctors of our choice, pay no money up front, and receive the quality of health care that all Americans aspire for. In a nutshell? I think all Americans deserve a plan like Tricare. As a side note, as I am also medically retired and have Medicare as well, and thus my 20% deductible is payed by Medicare and as a result my health care is essentially free. What's not to like?

Posted by: Brummbaer | September 28, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Could we fact check the cause of the current financial crisis namely that Barney Frank repeatedly demanded (and sued and fined banks into compliance)that banks make risky loans. Now why might we ask would Frank do such a stupid thing? Well may I suggest googling Obama and the Strategy of the Manufactured Crisis? I honestly never understood why Democrats continued to demand fiscally backbreaking legislation but now I do.

Posted by: joInAmerica | September 28, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I would like to ask the women who pays $22,000 for health care premiums for her and her husband. Unless you are spending $22,000/year why take the coverage? Spend your own money. My guess is that you are using or have used hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care. If the latter is the case you want Obama's health care which is for me and other tax payers to pay for your health care, no thanks

I know a healthly couple who spends about $200/month and sometimes gets a good health rebate.

Posted by: bobbymike | September 28, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It was not mentioned that, indeed, Kissinger did say we should begin talks with Iran, without demanding preconditions. He said it while on a panel with 5 former Secretaries of State on C-Span hosted by Ms. Amanpour. Sorry. Not sure of the spelling of her name. McCain tried to refute that statement, that he knew Kissinger for 32 years, or however long, and that he absolutely did not make that statement. I'm surprised this was omitted from the article.

Posted by: Judith Welsh | September 28, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Obtuse. Pedantic. Incapable of understanding the difference between a "fact" and an "opinion".

Those are the words that leap to mind by this insane "fact checking" of McCain's OPINION that D-Day was the "greatest" invasion.

Good grief. At least the WP doesn't pretend to be objective any longer.

Posted by: Jim | September 28, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Dobbs for your comparison of Normandy and Barbarossa. Are you competing this year for Darwin Award 2008? I think you actually have some chances to win it. You get better and better every month.

By the way: McCain was against ethanol in Iowa during the primary while all other Republican candidates supported it. In the end, McCain came third or fourth in the primary. Anyway this ethanol stuff is a sham... But I am not suprised Obama supports it... Subsidies, earmarks, taxes... This is his area of speciality.

Posted by: Frederik | September 28, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I watched the debates, and found both candidates' performances lackluster. But the performance of this "fact checker" was a huge surprise for me. I heard the WP was, in its entirety, a laughable Op-Ed version of a newspaper, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, they'd ratchet up the standards for a presidential debate. Either McCain was the only one making any claims that required "clarification" by the Post, or the Post just looked the other way whenever Obama said something that could use a little fact-checking. Really, Washington Post? I'm an independent on the fence, and I understand the exaggerated power of the media and I fear the inflated power of the executive. My spine crawls at the idea of someone in the presidency whose flaws are simply glossed-over by an adoring media. For shame.

Posted by: Amazed | September 28, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

There's some serious hooey in here, but most of the "checking" is accurate.And McCain needed more fact checking, because as usual, he was pulling his answers out of a hat, a hat he didnt load.Most of Obamas assertions, policy objectives, and diplomacy standards are well researched from opinions of people who are at or have been in the thick of it for some time now.
John McCain has "Sat On The Fence" for his 26 or however many years, made a lot of dust ups about visible issues, and usually sided with his party anyways.More so in recent years, knowing his quest for the White House would never materialize if he didn't FOLD IN with the rest of the GOP mix, so Walk's like a Duck, Talks like a Duck, Must be A Quacker!!!!
Way too old, way out of touch, way to out there.

Posted by: Mullett | September 29, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Of all the "fact-checking", how did these Post folks miss Obama's wild assertion that McCain wanted to give "$300 billion in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans"?

It's a number that can easily be fact-checked, and since it was glaringly wrong I can only assume the Post 'fact-checkers' passed over it because they were too busy trying to find something else about McCain they could nitpick.

By the way, CNN fact-checked Obama's ridiculous "$300 billion" claim, and found it "misleading". (If McCain had said it, I'm sure the conclusion would have been worded more strongly... e.g., "LIE"), but give CNN credit for at least going where the Post is loathe to go....criticizing Obamas ludicrous statements.

Posted by: dbw1 | September 29, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The Normandie invasion is universally regarded as the greatest sea invasion of all time, and this is exactly what John McCain said dueing the debate, so it is factually correct. It was the greatest single technological and organizational success, a massive, highly complex operation conducted under strict secrecy, cloaked by highly successful deception. As for the Soviets, let's get serious, that was not an 'invasion', they didn’t launch an invasion of Germany as much as they pushed multiple fronts forward over a period of two years. Sort of like what the Allied forces did after they invaded Normandy. So, McCain was right to call the Allied Invasion as a the greatest (sea) invasion of all times.


Posted by: Dana Garner | September 29, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad that facts can't be checked during the debates, and have moderators call the candidates on misleading statements..."it is a known fact, my friends," that John McCain and his "handlers" are notorious liars, and should be exposed to the American public the moment the begin to spew comments that don't come close to the truth!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

WP, did you care to check this fact, Obama lying about Kissinger ever having said that negotiationg with Iran without preconditions might be a good idea. Actually, Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says:

"Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

Posted by: Dana Garner | September 29, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

From:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/impulsively-unreflective-duo-incrisis.html

Monday, September 29, 2008
The Impulsively Unreflective Duo In..."Crisis on Wall Street!"

The Impulsively Unreflective Duo In:

Crisis on Wall Street!

John McCain is leaning back in a chair in his office in the Fortress of Irritability. An aide is carrying in a map of Spain when the Macphone rings.

McCain (answering): Fire Cox! Send him to Yugoslavia! Hello?

Hank Paulson (on other end of line): John, it's Hank. We are here in the Capitol. Every financial expert is assembled here, John. We have consulted every master, conferred with the widest and most informed authorities, asked every adept. We need you, John, you, with your mastery of financial expertise, to arrive at the door of our ineptitude and help us find an answer.

John. You must...suspend the campaign.

McCain: Suspend the campaign? But...the people need need my expert advice here, Hank. (Aide is unfolding the map on a table, circling Spain in red, and writing in large bold letters "Not Czechoslovakia"). They need me here. Where my acts can matter most. In...

Aide: The Fortress, Sir.

McCain: The Fortress, Hank. I can't just sit up and say "I suspend my campaign." That would look to anyone like the most clear act of political pandering, why, it's just...just...(the "I" on his chest lights up and begins to blink, weakly). I'll do it!

Hank: That's wonderful, John. We'll see you...

McCain: (Standing up, cape waving behind him) In a moment!

Aide: (to McCain): But who will man the fortress?

McCain walks to secret bookshelf. Removes book entitled "Courage". The bookshelf magically spins, revealing a grey vault. McCain turns the combination lock.

McCain: 21...72...23...skidoo...Drat! (starting again) 21...90...I'm sure that I disagreed with President Bush a lot of the time, Senator Obama! (pauses).

Aide: Let me help you with that, Sir (quickly turns the lock left, right and left. The door of the vault slowly opens, with the sound of a vacuum seal.

This reveals a large auditorium, filled with advisers, cameras, and teleprompters. Over loudspeakers, a voice is filling the hall with sound: "The capital of Iraq is...Baghdad. Bagh...dad. The capital of Iran is..."

On the stage is Sarah Palin. She is holding a college text entitled "World Geography".

Palin: Ooooh. I know this one.

An adviser is standing to her right.

Adviser: Take your time, Sarah. Remember--think before you talk.

Palin: I know, I know. Can't I just say "A place that is deserving of our freedoms"?

Adviser: We've been over this before, Sarah. Remember--"Specific is terrific!"

Palin: Specific is terrific. Specific is terrific.

She shuffles her index cards and the loudspeakers intone..."The capital of Iran is...Tehran. Teh...ran."

Palin: Oooooh. They sound so much the same! Iran, Tehran. That's why I can't remember!

As McCain, hands on hips, cape waving, enters the auditorium.

McCain: Sarah.

Both of their "I"s blink briefly.

Palin: Mr. McCain.

McCain: I want you to watch the Fortress until I return. I have a very important mission. About Wall Street.

Palin (to adviser): But I thought Mr. Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev to 'tear down that wall.'

Adviser slowly shakes head.

Palin: But...can't I come on this mission, Mr. McCain? Please? I just know I could help!

McCain: Well, I think that a largely unprepared economic novice, struggling to comprehend concepts that are stumping the most experienced and educated authorities in the area...

Both McCain's and Palin's "I"s blink brightly.

McCain: ...Is just what this market needs! Let's go, Sarah! To the rescue!

Sarah: To the rescue, Mr. McCain!

NEXT EPISODE: The Evil Katie-Woman endangers Palin with a hypnotic confusion device...Questions! Can Sarah resist their terrible power?

Coming this week! On...

The Impulsively Unreflective Duo!

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/09/impulsively-unreflective-duo-incrisis.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | September 29, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

'Opinion has declined less markedly in key Asian countries, by contrast. A majority of people in India and Japan still had favorable perceptions of the United States in 2006, according to Pew. '

lol :-) Asia, WP, that's more than half of the world right there :-), so who's left in the 'world' then, I mean what's the percentage of Anti-Americanism that we're talking about, if the positive opinion of America hasn't declined in Asia? So, who are we talking about here, Russia (they never 'liked' us :-), Middle East (oh, well, ditto :-), France (I will refrain from commenting on that one :-). And then it is idiotic to even bring it on in the debate, since this is something that
s very difficult to measure objectively in a poll, of course it all depends on how you phrase the questions. It's also true that a lot of it has to do with a general dislike for Presdient Bush, it does not necessarily mean that if people are anti-Bush abroad, they are necessarily anti-American, it's very difficult to make that connection without stretching it too much.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

America, Forget Colour and let Obama take us out of this troubles, Mccain is no equal to Obama, Hillary was.

Posted by: Agboraw Mbi | September 29, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It is unfair for Gwen Ifill to moderate the VP debate, since she has a great deal to gain from an Obama victory. Her book, titled “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” is due to be released on January 20th, 2009, on Presidential Inauguration Day. She will have a blockbuster in all the bookstores if Obama wins.

From Amazon.com editorial review: “In THE BREAKTHROUGH, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power. ”

It is time for Gwen Ifill to recuse herself from the debate. She has a dog in this fight. There must be an impartial moderator, one who has nothing to lose or to gain. Ifill is rooting for Obama, and banking on an Obama victory.

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Posted by: elkt8l0o3z | October 1, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Biden wins on argument, class and connecting with the middle class.

Palin wins the beauty contest, but of the heartless kind, as shown when she immediately shifted to canned talking points when Biden mentioned tragedy in his family.

Now, who do you want a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | October 2, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

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