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Posted at 12:02 PM ET, 09/15/2008

Obama Confuses his Verb Tenses

By Michael Dobbs


"John McCain's chief advisor lobbies for oil companies, even from Russia and China. His campaign manager lobbies for corporations outsourcing American jobs.
--Barack Obama "It's Over" TV ad

The McCain campaign has taken a lot of heat from the fact checking community over the last week for deceptive, at times dishonest, campaign ads. But the Obama campaign is hardly immune from criticism about misleading advertising. A good example: a couple of ads slamming the Republican nominee for employing lobbyists while insisting that "it's over" for the special interests.

The Facts

Obama's "It's Over" ad flashes a photograph of McCain adviser Charlie Black across the screen with a voiceover claiming that he "lobbies for oil companies, even from Russia and China." Next up is a photograph of campaign manager Rick Davis with the claim that he "lobbies for corporations outsourcing American jobs."

Asked to provide support for these claims, the Obama campaign pointed to Senate records showing that Black had lobbied for a Chinese state-owned oil company, CNOOC, between July and August 2005. Senate filings show that Black lobbied for the Russian oil company Yukos in 2004. It also cited a 2004 newspaper report stating that Davis had lobbied for a telecommunications company called SBC that outsourced some jobs to India.

Excuse me, but verb tenses matter. "Lobbies" and "lobbied" or "has lobbied" carry two different meanings. I took McCain to task back in May when he claimed that "we have drawn down to pre-surge levels" in Iraq. It turned out that he was speaking prematurely: the full drawdown was still a couple of months away. The McCain campaign offered the "verb tense defense" to justify the senator's claim, ridiculing the distinction between "have" and "will" as a "matter of semantics."

It is fair for the Obama campaign to draw attention to the fact that McCain is surrounded by advisers who "have lobbied" for special interests in the past. (The McCainites point out that some of Obama's advisers are also former lobbyists.) Use of the present tense is out of bounds, however.

The McCain campaign, in the person of former lobbyist Rick Davis, issued a blanket directive on May 15 stating that "no person working for the campaign may be a registered lobbyist or foreign agent, or receive compensation for any such activity." The directive was a belated response to criticism on the role played by lobbyists such as Black in the campaign. Black told the Washington Post in February that he was conducting his lobbying business by phone from the McCain campaign bus, the famous "Straight Talk Express."

But that was then. Black stepped down from his position at the lobbying firm BKSH and Associates in March.

The Pinocchio Test

I awarded the McCain campaign three Pinocchios for mixing up its verb tenses over the Iraq surge in May. Consistency demands the same verdict for Barack Obama.

(About our rating scale.

By Michael Dobbs  | September 15, 2008; 12:02 PM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Barack Obama, Candidate Watch  
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Next: Palin for Energy Czar!

Comments

LOL!!! Of all the whoppers from Obama-Biden, the best you've got is "The Democratic presidential candidate is grammatically challenged"? Mr. Dobbs, you are official IN THE TANK for this election.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Verb tenses? Really?

Yes, you could ding the Obama ad on a technicality. But the reality is that McCain campaign advisers are lobbyists by profession. They were lobbyists yesterday and will be lobbyists tomorrow. The only difference is that if McCain loses they will be doing it back at their K street firms and if he wins they will be doing in out of the White House.

At MOST this ad deserved one Pinocchio.

Posted by: Chris | September 15, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Did you similarly defend McCain's "verb tense" faux pas?

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Only a journalist or English major would care so much about verb tenses during a presidential campaign season where the last 8 years have seen the collapse of ENRON, Terrorist attacks of 9/11, Iraq War, continuing Afghanistan War, the largest increase in national debt in history, the largest increase in federal deficits in history, the largest failure in the financial markets since the Great Depression.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | September 15, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

He is NOT a wife beater. OK sure, he USED to beat his wife.

He is not beating her right this very minute is he?

Posted by: ZD | September 15, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs:

When McCain says he FIGHTS special interests, is he lying? Has he fought special interests in the past -- yes. Is he currently, as in right now at this instant, fighting special interests? No, he's campaigning. So is he lying if he says he "fights special interests"? No, he isn't -- at least not based on the verb tense. And neither is Obama's ad. When someone has done something throughout his or her career, even if the last act was a couple years ago, it is still appropriate to use present tense, referring to what that person does. For another example, would the following statement be considered a lie or inaccurate: "Gabriel Garcia Marquez plays on themes related to Latin American, especially Colombian, history in his fiction." Marquez hasn't published a work of fiction in several years -- 2004 if I remember correctly. So is this statement a lie because of the verb "plays"? Is it wrong to say? Of course not. Neither is Obama's ad, nor McCain's claim that he fights special interests -- at least based on verb tense. Now as far as facts -- how can McCain be absolutlely dedicated to fight special interests if he employees numerous people who lobby for special interests? That is the salient issue. Your fact check, Mr. Dobbs, is bogus and facile. If this is the best you can come up with against Obama, it says a lot more about how well he and his campaign are doing, especially when you look at the real whoppers McCain/Palin have dished out.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

ZD:

You made my point, though in a much more succinct way. What a joke this "fact check" is. And like I said, if this is the worst he can find... McCain's in trouble, wife beater, special interests fighter that he "is"!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: NeldaDee | September 15, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Jake is that really you @ 12:45... Taking a position against McCain. WOW, hell has frozen over!! LOL

Posted by: i.supreme | September 15, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

That was the fake JakeD at 12:45 PM and 12:50 PM. No skin off my nose though. I get paid, per post, whether I write them or not ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if it is true that the actual candidate that bumps off mutual opponent wins in November regardless of issues and poll numbers?

Apparently the mutual opponent is wealthy, exposed corruption within both parties and is specifically targeted now.

Wonder how will he be bumped off?

Will the Dems use an OJ Simpson-like, black convict with jail time?

Will GOP use a Guiliani-like mob ties like his protege ex-NYPD commissioner used and got indicted for 140 years of jail or Gotti, Jr. who is standing on trial today for conspiracy and murder charges?

Will both parties employ the popular law enforcement practice of 'sweetheart exchange deals' where convict commit crime/murder in exchange for less jail time, conveniently covered up and real culprits not publicly suspected?

Will we too be targeted and have to worry about our personal safety as we share this information? For example, does my husband have to worry about his life while jogging after work today in the Hackensack/Bogota, NJ areas as our habits and plans are known in advanced with bugging devices both in private and public places? Will our car be tampered with? Is our food tampered with? Water? Etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if it is true that the actual candidate that bumps off mutual opponent wins in November regardless of issues and poll numbers?

Apparently the mutual opponent is wealthy, exposed corruption within both parties and is specifically targeted now.

Wonder how will he be bumped off?

Will the Dems use an OJ Simpson-like, black convict with jail time?

Will GOP use a Guiliani-like mob ties like his protege ex-NYPD commissioner used and got indicted for 140 years of jail or Gotti, Jr. who is standing on trial today for conspiracy and murder charges?

Will both parties employ the popular law enforcement practice of 'sweetheart exchange deals' where convict commit crime/murder in exchange for less jail time, conveniently covered up and real culprits not publicly suspected?

Will we too be targeted and have to worry about our personal safety as we share this information? For example, does my husband have to worry about his life while jogging after work today in the Hackensack/Bogota, NJ areas as our habits and plans are known in advanced with bugging devices both in private and public places? Will our car be tampered with? Is our food tampered with? Water? Etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Verb tense is extremely important, as it alters the entire meaning of what's being stated.

For example, I used to be a Democrat. But after seeing the harmful effects of their big-government platform in the 70s, I became a Republican. Obama would say, "Bob is a Democrat," because he doesn't understand verb tenses, so I guess he would subsequently be shocked to learn that I am voting for McCain.

Posted by: Bob | September 15, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought as much. You get paid for this, huh. Sounds like a good hustle... How can I be down. LOL

Posted by: i.supreme | September 15, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

First of all, the fake JakeD obviously doesn't know that Mr. Dobbs will never claim someone is "lying" (he has explained several times that proving "intent" is well beyond the scope of "The Fact Checker"). Second, I don't think that Gov. Palin has "lied" about anything, e.g. see my comments: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/09/sarah_palin_and_the_bridge_to.html#comments

If anyone has actual questions (not related to verb tenses), let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The author is incorrect in his grammar. The Obama ad uses a verb in the present simple tense which does not necessarily indicate an event occurring right now but instead an activity somebody does in general or repeatedly, i.e. John McCain plays the guitar or John McCain lobbies for oil companies. In contrast, "We have drawn down" is the present perfect, which means that something at this very instant is complete. "I have jumped over the fence", i.e. I'm now on the other side of the fence. John McCain's add by using the present perfect is a lie. Obama's add, albeit not being charitable to the McCain campaign, is technically accurate. I petition for removing the three Pinocchios and sending Mr. Dobbs back to grammar school.

Posted by: Aaron | September 15, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

i.supreme:

I'm retired -- with plenty of time to waste here -- so I don't get "paid" in earthly rewards any more. If you really want to know how to "store up treasures in Heaven" though, I can tell you about that.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you JakeD!

And before I forget, have we thanked you appropriately for GWBush 1 and GWBush 2? And bless your soul you cannot wait to give us yet a more terrifying sequel - JSMcCain; The Final Stand of GWBush.

I love the trailer! Yes, be sure to see JSMcCain; The Final Stand of GWBush --because the United States of America has not been completely destroyed yet!

You're doing a heckuva job Jakie!

Posted by: ZD | September 15, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Think of it this way, Mr. Dobbs and everyone else: what if the ad had used "lobbied" instead of "lobbies" -- would the factual content or implications be any different? McCain hires people he claims to fight -- lobbyists, including some who lobby (see above comment) for oil/gas companies. What benefit does the present tense have over the past in this situation? None. Therefore, it's obvious that the Obama campaign 1) was not trying to decieve is using present tense; and 2) as shown above in two examples, is perfectly justified gramatically, not to mention factually, in using the present tense. This post should be removed -- another cave to the canard of media bias. Facts are facts -- you check them and then report when it does not add up. There's a reason for five straight posts on McCain/Palin. They're liers.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea Obama voted for a law to force doctors to MURDER babies born alive during a botched abortion and now I can say I will never vote for him.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=164320

Dont read the above if you are close minded.

Posted by: Ida Brown | September 15, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain is fighting, and has fought, special interests: i.e. trial lawyers ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob:

The difference is obvious. You used to be a Democrat, now you're a Republican. No reasonable person, including Obama or any other Democrat, would call you a Democrat. The gentlemen mentioned in the Obama add are all still lobbyists. Mr. Dobbs bogus check was on the use of present tense when saying they lobby for oil companies, not whether they lobby at all. If they were no longer lobbyists, then your comments and an actual fact check would be in order. But as it is, they are not.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Another fake JakeD at 1:05 PM. Keep it up, please.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't practice any organized religion. Heaven isn't a concept I think exists. Far too many folks doing each other dirty using "God's will" as an excuse/justification. So to bite Sarah Palin, "thanks, but no thanks." Holla @ you later, my laymans lunch break is over.

Posted by: i.supreme | September 15, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Assuming the 12:37 post was real, did you bother reading the article before posting? It was clearly stated that the same number of noses were awarded to both candidates.

Any idiot can write "IN THE TANK" accusations. Care to back them up?

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | September 15, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

By the way, fellow fact checkers, when you are bored with this obviously bogus post, check out some real fact checking on the liar Palin: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/09/will_palin_get_the_same_scruti.html

If you're stupid, at least be a good liar. She obviously has not learned this lesson.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

BB:

The 12:37 PM post was real, and I did bother reading the article before posting. As for the "IN THE TANK" accusation, you really need more evidence than the MULTIPLE "Fact Checker" threads since the Convention all dedicated to McCain-Palin, ignoring anything (except "verb tenses") from Obama-Biden? If that continues until Election Day, would that be enough PROOF for you?

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

fake JakeD post at 1:16 PM

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

fake JakeD post at 1:33 PM

If you have any questions, just ask.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

(Keep it up -- I get paid, per post -- whether I write them or not ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Old man McCain is a "dead man walking," his father died at 70, and his grandfather at 63. He has had four bouts with melanoma in the last few years, and his physicians have refused to release his comprehensive medical records which include the military ones that probably indicate post traumatic stress syndrome from his POW days. His forgetfulness, anger, impatience, and irrational lack of judgment all point to this type of disorder.

His choice, in this light, of the totally unqualified moose killer Palin is cynical in the extreme. It shows callous disregard of what is needed to get our country out of its problems at home and abroad.

The McCain/Palin offer no solutions or ideas. They just bring us daily doses of Steve Schmidt/Karl Rove hate and smear lies.

The news media is picking up on their tactics this time- unlike 2004- and thus both McCain and Palin are attacking them.
Neither of them can stand the heat from being exposed for what they are. Liars.

When Sarah Palin ran for Governor she was kept completely under wraps. The press was not allowed anywhere near her, for good reason. She is only capable of mouthing cliches, soundbytes, and trite non sequiturs. McCain is handling her the same way in this campaign. No more interviews after the disastrous one with Charles Gibson.

We can't afford to have a vindictive small town, part time, know nothing President. Keep in mind, in the first year as Governor, she spent 300 days and nights at home- 600 miles from her office in Juneau- and charged Alaskans per diem expenses for doing it. $17,000 for meals, and $43,000 for transportation? Some reform.

Not this time.


Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Maybe EVERY post on this thread can be from "JakeD". For the record, or course, Alaska law permits the Governor to claim "per diem" expenses, even from home. Also, McCain's grandfather died from the stress of WWII, the day after he returned home. McCain's father dies on a military aircraft en route from Europe. McCain's mother is still alive though.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The conclusion of this piece lacks the strength the author asserts it to have. A very important, relevant difference exists between Obama's comment and McCain's. There is a clear sense in standard English usage under which Obama's remark may be true; but McCain's is false in any sense. When I say, "Tom supports United Way," this is true if he has supported it in the past and is likely to support it in the future. I would not be "confusing verb tenses" in this case. The people Obama was referring to have lobbied for the interests mentioned in the past and perhaps Obama has every reason to believe that they might again in the future. They lobby for those interests. Simply put. Unless they expressly avow that they have been reformed from their lobbyist ways, I think it's fair to say what Obama said. McCain, by contrast, asserted that some specific event had already happened that hadn't. So what he said was false. My conclusion: The author of this opinion piece needs to get his facts straight.

Posted by: CT | September 15, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is that there is substantial evidence at least one major McCain lobbyist/campaign worker (I think Charlie Black but unsure w/o checking) does make calls from McCain's bus. (or did). IOW, the lobbying has not stopped just b/c officially they're working for McCain.

Posted by: FactIs | September 15, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"McCain's father dies on a military aircraft en route from Europe." JakeD

Ho,Ho Ho. Another half truth- pathetic.

McCain's father died of a stroke while on board a military aircraft as a passenger.

Keep it up Jake.

Posted by: Jake Jr | September 15, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Alaska law permits the Governor to claim "per diem" expenses, even from home." JakeD

No it does not. The way the Palin's got away with it was by designating the Governor's mansion in Juneau as their "home of record," so that when they stayed most of the time ( 300 nights) in their actual home in Wasilla, they could write it off to the taxpayers as "a travel expense."

$17,000 for meals in a year? They must have been ordering some awfully expensive mooseburgers from the local Wasilla drive in restaurant.

You can do better JakeD.

Posted by: Jake the Moose | September 15, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

It truly is "silly season" in politics. Even the most educated amongst us can make a grammatical error.

Look at all the stupid grammatical mistakes that our current "smart" President makes.

Why don't you focus on the real issues - like McCain's temper - and how he and his mouthy VP candidate Palin may do something silly like take us to war with Russia. How about focusing on THAT???

Silly Season, indeed!

Posted by: Darleen | September 15, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Jake Jr.:

Because I didn't post his father's entire medical record, that's a "hlf-truth"?! LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

If I appoint an auto mechanic as one of my campaign advisors, it is perfectly acceptable for one of my opponents to claim that the advisor "fixes cars for a living," even if he has taken a temporary respite from doing so. It is assumed that Mr. McCain's people will go back to lobbying when this campaign is over, unless they end up in a McCain administration. While your "tense" argument is technically correct, it hardly constitutes an attempt to mislead. McCain has many professional lobbyists running his campaign, regardless of whether or not they are lobbying anyone at the moment. If you were one of my students, I would give you only a B- for your analysis, and suggest that this is a fairly weak attempt at providing equal treatment for both sides of the argument. Please consult an English teacher before making further such pronouncements.


Posted by: Dan Ingram | September 15, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty minor. The idea of the ad is to show McCain uses lobbyists. If the verb tense of the ad was changed, I don't think the viewers would notice the difference.

A better thing for Dobbs to discuss would be Obama's repeated claims about how he doesn't use lobbyists. This ad is only a small peice of that. (By saying McCain uses lobbyists, Obama implies he does not). Obama's talent as a lawyer may allow him to be technically correct about his use of lobbyists, but he's definitely misleading people on the subject.

Posted by: jfg | September 15, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

hlf = half

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Darleen:

Your comment implies that the Obama campaign did indeed make a grammatical error in the referenced campaign ad. There is no grammatical or factual error in the ad -- as proven by Aaron, CT, and less succintly by me at 12:45 (ignore fake JakeD posts). The silly thing is that Mr. Dobbs, a supposedly respected journalist whom one would think knows something about grammer, has posted this at all.

As for your comments on McCain as a warmonger, I agree wholeheartedly. I personally don't buy Palin's blustering at Russia, though. She is very likely a proxy for Putin, and I'm not entirely convinced she would not actually invite a Georgia-like takeover of the U.S. by Russia, starting in Alaska.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I can see McCain's nose all the way back here in Arizona.

Posted by: madman | September 15, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Because I didn't post his father's entire medical record, that's a "hlf-truth"?! LOL!!!"

It's not even a half truth- it's an attempted deception. From reading your post, most readers would assume the old man died in an aircraft accident. He was a stroke waiting to happen- as is his son McCain III , the curmudgeon. Not funny when his "foreign policy expert" who can see Russia from her state," is waiting in the wings.

Frightening and intolerable.

What about the phony Palin family "per diem?" You were strangely silent about that item.

Not this time

Posted by: Jake Jr | September 15, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama has a billion in earmarks and yet he is not lobbied a single time...Common Dobbs even you can't be that stupid...can you?

Posted by: dan | September 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Are you serious about Palin - Putin? That's just so stupid. It's like saying Obama is Muslim. Everyone knows he's a committed Christian. Stick to the facts. Palin is supremely unqualified and corrupt, but she's not some secret Russian agent, no more than Obama being a secret Muslim.

Posted by: jfg | September 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The author is incorrect in his grammar. The Obama ad uses a verb in the present simple tense which does not necessarily indicate an event occurring right now but instead an activity somebody does in general or repeatedly, i.e. John McCain plays the guitar or John McCain lobbies for oil companies. In contrast, "We have drawn down" is the present perfect, which means that something at this very instant is complete. "I have jumped over the fence", i.e. I'm now on the other side of the fence. John McCain's add by using the present perfect is a lie. Obama's add, albeit not being charitable to the McCain campaign, is technically accurate. I petition for removing the three Pinocchios and sending Mr. Dobbs back to grammar school.

Posted by: Aaron | September 15, 2008 1:01 PM
------------------------
I second the motion!

Posted by: michael4 | September 15, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

jfg:

I stand by my claim. She does more than see Russia from where she lives. Also, her most recent child was fathered by Putin, so he has a blood claim to our country once McCain wins. She will then knock him off and invite in the invasion. Look at her record with AIM, a group with connections to Russia and which receives glowing media treatment there (from Putin's controlled papers). Trust me on this one -- I was wrong about Obama being a secret Muslim, but Palin is indeed a secret Russian agent!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Someone's bored today.

Posted by: jfg | September 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

You're kidding right.

I'm on candid camera.

You ding Obama because of grammatical tenses.

What about the upteen million lies, falsehoods, racial slurs etc coming out of the McBush campaign.

Your effort to be fair, in some kind of tit-for-tat, is not honest.

You need to call a lie a lie. You do not need to somehow make an equivalency between English grammar mistakes by Obama, with the Washington pork lies coming out of Gov Appalilng's lips.

Please report the truth.

Not some kind of misdirected English grammar class.

Posted by: Continuum | September 15, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Um, what do you guys got?

http://apalinfan.blogspot.com/

Posted by: PF | September 15, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Helen | September 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Continuum:

See above comments from Aaron, CT, and myself - there was no grammatical mistake. It is acceptable in English to use the present tense when talking about what someone has regularly done in the past. If this is the best McCain's henchmen have, then we will indeed be swearing in President Obama in January 2009!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Helen:

All one of you, right? LOL!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker:

With all of your pinnochios, it really doesn't matter. Liars always win. GWB is a perfect example. People say they hate the negativity, but the negative ads "work." So, by definition, even the people being lied to are liars.

Seems that ALL politicians are just like us, so your fact checking is just a waste of time.

Posted by: Jill Q | September 15, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Jake Jr:

I have posted on several threads that Gov. Palin is allowed to take those "per diem" expenses. Prove me wrong, if you think you can.

jfg:

That was the fake JakeD ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jill Q:

Keep the faith - Barack Obama will be sworn in as president in January 2009. The lies, torture, and corruption that McCain-Putin want to continue will finally end.

As for negative, did you hear that McCain is still saying the economy is strong? I guess he believes Palin is still a virgin too! LOL!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"I have posted on several threads that Gov. Palin is allowed to take those "per diem" expenses. Prove me wrong, if you think you can." Jake D

Technically she is "allowed," because she is falsely claiming the Governor's mansion as her "home of record," when her real home is in Wasilla. She is paying herself "travel expenses" while at home- 300 days worth in one year.

"Allowed yes." But is it ethical and a mark of a "reformer?" No.

She is a liar and probably more corrupt then the other GOP "old guys" that she "exposed" and outed.

She is not presidential material. She probably has not studied any economics, constitutional law, foreign policy- or any ther subject pertaining to governing a country other than "sports broadcasting."

When you consider her mentor was a D student in every school he ever attended, you are looking at a worse than Bush economic nightmare.

Not this time. Time to get beyond their trite soundbytes and the pathetic non sequiturs that they both are mouthing.

Posted by: Not JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

With all the McCain/Palin lies this is pretty meaningless. At least Obama knows what a verb tense is. That's more than Bush ever did know

Posted by: David | September 15, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Since Post "Fact-Checker" Michael Dobbs admitted that he won't go looking for Obama lies and half truths unless readers force him to, here's another one I guess someone will have to put in front of him on a silver platter.

Obama claimed today that the mortgage mess leading to the meltdown of Lehman (and the "mortgage crisis" in general) is the result of "the Republican policies" of George Bush. Wrong.

As much as Obama wants to blame a guy named 'George Bush' for every ill facing mankind (sort of like Bill Clinton did in '92), many economists researching the mortgage crisis are beginning to point to none other than Bill Clinton himself as the originator of many of the policies (including repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act) that took the regulatory reigns off of banks and let the housing industry go nuts for a few years before coming apart at the seams in recent years.

Wonder if Dobbs will bother to rectify Obama's claims and put the mortgage crisis blame where it belongs, on the shoulders of Bill Clinton and not George Bush.

Oh, and Joe Biden voted FOR the repeal of Glass-Steagall that has helped lead us to the mortgage mess we are in. But don't let facts get in the way of your "Fact Checker", Mr. Dobbs.

Posted by: dbw | September 15, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

So this is a fact check? I'm sorry, but you don't have to be a registered lobbyist to still be considered a lobbyist. Nor do you have to receive compensation for your efforts.

There is a difference between the violations of tense used by Obama and McCain. McCain's tense implied something that had yet to happen had happened, and it's not credible because it had not happened yet. Obama's tense implies that something that had happened is still happening, and is at least much more plausible because it has a history of happening. Is it still misleading? Yes, but the odds are his campaign advisors still have their special interests in mind.

Recall, Washington, that as men we may peer into a crystal ball, but within it we will only see the past.

How about you fact check some more of McCain's ads? You know, the ones with blatant lies about Obama's history and political connections? Or the ones where McCain is claiming to be an agent of change?

Posted by: Soup | September 15, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Dear NotJakeD:

You can continue to repeat the drumbeat of Obama's campaign & the Post (which are pretty much the same entity anyway) about Palin's per diem's and charging the state for her family traveling with her on state business (all of which was within state policy). The FACT is that she reduced annual travel expenditures for the governor by 80% vs her Democrat and Republican predecessors.

So, if an 80% cost reduction isn't reform, then please share your definition?

Posted by: dbw | September 15, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, verb tenses are important when speaking precisely.

Like when you say that Sarah Palin "supported" the "Bridge to Nowhere" before she "opposed" it. Or even that she partially "ran her gubernatorial campaign" on the basis of supporting it.

So many tenses, so many lies!

I agree -- if this is the best "Fact Checker" can come up with, then Obama is in fact running a campaign that's about a million miles cleaner than McCain's.

Posted by: Tom C | September 15, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

There is another clear problem with Obama. He has offered to us that "he did blow" in reference to doing coke. While a true statement, and his mental abilities do reflect his cocaine usage, it cannot take away from the bigger issue that Obama sucks.

Posted by: Michael | September 15, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

dbw:

And by "Ebaying" the plane, she cost the state much more money due to the increased transportation costs of moving around Alaskan prisoners, of whom she should rightly be a member if corruption were properly prosecuted there.

As for the canard of the housing crisis being unrelated to Bush's policies, which McCain-Putin support -- I'm quite certain there are far more economists who will dispute the actual source of the problem. Maybe next time you'll cite an economist who thinks it all started with Roosevelt. It happened on the Bush/Greenspan watch -- and he did nothing to stop it. Neither will McCain-Putin, if elected. Things will get worse, not better. The economy is strong, McCain said today. He probably still thinks abstinence education works, just like it did for Palin and her kids.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Michael:

And maybe if Palin's daughter Bristol had stopped at "blow" her mom could still claim that abstinence education works!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

So, when a person has lied repeatedly, we're not supposed to say he "is" a liar? We have to say he "was" a liar? Sorry, but that's not how the world works, and it certainly isn't how English works. Take an ESL class, Dobby.

Posted by: JPM from NC | September 15, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Verb tenses? The truth is still contained in the message. There are three lobyists on the reformers compaign. The GOP ads were flat out trash. That's shameful. The networks themselves should draw lines between greed and ethics.

Posted by: Alohaakamai | September 15, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, fake JakeD posts at 4:19 PM and 4:21 PM ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Is that an "LOL" from you, Jake? You better be careful; you're starting to sound like one of those young Obama-supportin' whipper snappers.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | September 15, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

You are scum. Go get a different job or go back to journalism school.

Posted by: WOW | September 15, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

This country is crumbling and that is the best you can do. If you were this specific to the republicans you would have to write 6 articles a day like this. But, then you wouldn't be fair and balanced. What a joke. You people make me sick.

Posted by: WOW | September 15, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

the fake JakeD said: "And by "Ebaying" the plane, she cost the state much more money due to the increased transportation costs of moving around Alaskan prisoners".

False. Not that you Democrats ever care about facts, but the liberal LA Times itself already defused this favorite liberal-blogger claim. The cost of transporting prisoners on the state-owned jet Palin sold was more than double the cost of ferrying them commercially or via the US Marshall service (which Alaska does now). Therefore she saved even more money for Alaska's taxpayers on prisoner travel, in addition to the 80% travel cost reductions in the governors office.

Thanks 'fake JakeD' for pointing out that Palin saved even more money for Alaska than I originally claimed! Do you always damage your pro-Obama message with this much success?

Posted by: dbw | September 15, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Words (and verbs) have meanings. To the intellectually challenged (or affirmative active candidates such as O'Bama), the differences may be insignificant, but to a lawyer writing a binding contract or a government negotiating a treaty, the choice of words and their exact meaning are paramount. Thank you for giving me one more reason not to vote for O'Bama. I already have enough reason but one can never be too careful.

Posted by: FOXBOROUGH | September 15, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

He is NOT a wife beater. OK sure, he USED to beat his wife.

He is not beating her right this very minute is he?

Posted by: ZD | September 15, 2008 12:44 PM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Obama USED to hang out with the racist Wright.

Obama USED to have a close relationship with Rezko.

Obama USED to hang out with the socialist terrorist Ayers.

Wouldn't look very nice if we changed that to the present tense, would it now, cutester?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Biden's son is a federal lobbyiest.
Obama employees plenty of them.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

dbw:

I'm not sure how you can claim Palin saved money for Alaska, when the total state budget has risen 30% in the past two years. That rise certainly outweighs, by a multiple of hundreds, the lower costs in her travel. If you cut $100K here, then increase by $100 million there, can you really claim to be a reformer, taxpayer-minded leader? Obviously not.

FOXBOROUGH & Anonymous:

I think the level of thought behind your posts says it all. Graduate, or should I say, drop out of Alaskan high schools, did you? See above comments from people who understand grammar -- which does not include Mr. Dobbs. Using present tense here is perfectly acceptable, and anyway the implication stands for McCain (as it does for Palin) -- if you say you fight special interests, how can you hire lobbyists to run your campaign? You can, of course, but only if you are a hypocrite and/or liar. Lies they can believe in -- McCain/Putin 08.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

JakeD's post points out the importance of words, albeit from the negative side. His garbled sentences apparently are a requirement to become part of the O'Bama fan club. Affirmative Action graduate, JakeD???
Unfortunately Jake epitomizes the level of discourse of those who do not know what they do not know. And you certainly do not know basic English.

Posted by: foxborough | September 15, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

You need the review your understanding of grammar. To say they lobbied is to use the past perfect, an action occurring in the past which is over--completed. As many of your readers point out, there is no proof that their current activity is anything more than an interruption, a parenthesis in their carers.When you point out that the most egregious of the professional lobbiests carried on their activity during the campaign and using the resourses of the campaign you, unwittingly, undermine your own intergrity.Your NPRie balancing act is dishonest at the core. The individuals in question are lobiests and will return to being lobbiest after the election You are a disgrace to your profession.

Posted by: bill tammelleo | September 15, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

My friends, are we beholden to lobbyists? Continuing to seek earmarks--excuse me, 'infrastructure funding'--even as we deride the system? Telling lies to the voters?

My friends, the answer is a resounding "NO!"

It's true that we were all pork-crazed lobbyists yesterday (and will be again just as soon as the campaign's over). Sure, we might've lied in that ad yesterday, and we've got 3 new fact-free zingers queued up.

But right now, right here in this very moment in which we are current speaking to you, we are not 'lying'.

Yes, verb tenses matter (and thank God for it!)

--The McCain campaign

Posted by: StraightTalk'08 | September 15, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

This article is the epitome of what we call "pathetic." It's not worth saying more than that. Only McCain supporters would pay attention to this nonsense.....MAYBE!

Posted by: Adrian | September 15, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise. Someone writes a specch for Obama, and he makes a mistake reading it on a teleprompter. If he cannot do this well, what else does he have going for him? His elite eastern college degrees?

Posted by: rljmsilver | September 15, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think McCain supporters really want to start a discussion about speeches, teleprompters, and who puts the words in the mouths of the candidates.

Some people running for office have studied the world and developed a coherent informed view on the issues that face us. They can talk extemporaneously about these matters without making fools of themselves, because they actually have something to say that doesn't come from a all-nighter session with the campaign Cliff-Notes crew.

True understanding vs. inch-deep regurgitation of ideology: amazingly enough, that kind of thing still matters to some voters.

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Obama is just another Democrat. In his short career as a US Senator he's proven that he follows the party line. There's no "change" or attempt to put country first. For Obama it's "party" first, country later. According to this site, Obama voted with his party 96% of the time - giving him an 11th place rating among the Senators voting party lines; meaning 88 senators are more "change" minded than Obamba. Biden placed 8th. Where's the change here? Typical party politics. McCain came in 65th at 88.3%. He's proven by his voting record that he's more "change-minded" than Obama; that he's willing to challenge his party, not just follow it. Obama is a follower, not a leader - just another Democrat.

Posted by: Rich | September 15, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

FACT:
Obama took $105,896. from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in lobby money.

FACT: The HEAD of the BANKING COMMITTEE is a DEMOCRAT from CT. - Senator Chris Dodd. And he took in excess of $135,000 from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

GOOD JOB DEMOCRATS - You certainly were "overseeing" the Banking/Lending and finacial industry!

Posted by: NO HYPOCRITES | September 15, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama did vote with his party, but he LIES about that, too.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Adam (from the Saddleback Civil Forum):

Q. AT WHAT POINT DOES A BABY GET HUMAN RIGHTS, IN YOUR VIEW?

A. WELL, AH, I THINK THAT WHETHER YOU'RE LOOKING AT IT FROM A THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE OR A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE, UH, ANSWERING THAT QUESTION WITH SPECIFICITY, Uh, YOU KNOW, IS ABOVE MY PAY GRADE. BUT, BUT, BUT, LET ME JUST SPEAK MORE GENERALLY ABOUT THE ISSUE OF ABORTION BECAUSE THIS IS SOMETHING OBVIOUSLY THE COUNTRY WRESTLES WITH. ONE THING THAT I'M ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED OF IS THAT THERE IS A MORAL AND ETHICAL CONTENT TO THIS ISSUE. Uh. SO I THINK THAT ANYBODY WHO TRIES TO DENY THE MORAL DIFFICULTIES AND GRAVITY OF THE ABORTION ISSUE I THINK IS NOT PAYING ATTENTION. SO, SO, So THAT WOULD BE POINT NUMBER ONE. BUT POINT NUMBER TWO, I AM, I AM, PRO-CHOICE. I BELIEVE IN ROE V. WADE AND I, I COME TO THAT CONCLUSION NOT BECAUSE I'M PRO ABORTION, BUT BECAUSE ULTIMATELY I DON'T THINK WOMEN MAKE THESE DECISIONS CASUALLY. I THINK THEY, THEY, WRESTLE WITH THESE THINGS IN PROFOUND WAYS. IN CONSULTATION WITH THEIR PASTORS OR SPOUSES OR THEIR THEIR DOCTORS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS. AND SO, SO FOR ME, THE GOAL RIGHT NOW SHOULD BE -- AND THIS IS WHERE I THINK WE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND AND BY THE WAY I HAVE NOW INSERTED THIS INTO THE DEMOCRAT PARTY PLATFORM IS HOW DO WE REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS BECAUSE THE FACT IS THAT ALTHOUGH WE'VE HAD A PRESIDENT WHO IS OPPOSED TO ABORTIONS OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, ABORTIONS HAVE NOT GONE DOWN.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Responding to Biden's statement on abortion, Cardinal Justin F. Rigali made this statement:

"...the Senator's claim that the beginning of human life is a "personal and private" matter of religious faith, one which cannot be "imposed" on others, does not reflect Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious.

The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception. The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact.

The second is a moral question, with legal and political consequences: Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed? The Catholic Church's answer is: Everybody. No human being should be treated as lacking human rights, and we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. Even this is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law accessible to all people of good will. The framers of the Declaration of Independence pointed to the same basic truth by speaking of inalienable rights, bestowed on all members of the human race not by any human power, but by their Creator. Those who hold a narrower and more exclusionary view have the burden of explaining why we should divide humanity into the moral "haves" and "have-nots," and why their particular choice of where to draw that line can be sustained in a pluralistic society. Such views pose a serious threat to the dignity and rights of other poor and vulnerable members of the human family who need and deserve our respect and protection.

While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice."

Would Obama and Biden say "I wouldn't own a slave, but I'm not going to impose my beliefs on others," or "I wouldn't abuse my children, but I'm not going to impose my beliefs on others?"

Posted by: John | September 15, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, John.

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

when you have to write about the misuse of verbs you have nothing to write about.

Posted by: ripley8 | September 15, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Those on the Left who decry the loss of one soldier's life in battle in one day, and then beat their breast over the tragedy of war, can go to bed at night and not give a thought to the 2,000 babies who are killed every day under the guise of a "Women's Right to Choose". Do the math: 1,000,000 +- abortions every day translate into well over 2,000 babies every day. But to the left, these babies are only a blob ob flesh with no feelings or capacity to feel pain. And people wonder why we don't want to vote for O'Bama. It's not because he's black, it's because he is out of touch with reality.

Posted by: foxborough | September 15, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Why during this campaign, everyone is a so called expert on what the candidates need to do/say? and how they should do/say whatever it is that they really do/say? The last time I saw the word LOBBY it was also a verb meaning-trying to INFLUENCE a CEO who may be a lobbyist to work/do what ever, for you. JMcshame and SaraMcsame are
not quizzed re their speaks or misspeaks, Why Not? It appears that the idea to forget about the issues and nickpick is the the appeal for stump of the day. What happened to the listening to what folks say then reporting w/o bias? Fact checking is okay, its when opinions become woven into the mix. What about the idea of checking up on HOW folks in AK really do obtain food forthe table and at what cost
Howdoes it compare to NJ,CA,NM,Al,and Fla? It does not appear that we are getting a clear picture of how food prep in Ak will be a factor in lowering- the economy; cost of heating homes; etc in these or other comparable States. How does using these stats to cut out what the people pay for or sacrifice or suffice, to make Sara a more experience candidate? Please check out these facts

Posted by: mamamay | September 15, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

What is missing from the Dobbs article is whether the firms the these advisors work for are still lobbying, and if so, have the advisors cut ties with the firms or just taken unpaid leaves of action. If they are still tied to the firms, the fact that they are not making the calls themselves is irrelevant. Does anyone belief those firms aren't telling their clients what a coup it is to have one of their partners high up in the McCain campaign?

Posted by: BGJD1979 | September 15, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha, learn2grammar.

While present progressive("Charlie Black is lobbying") is incorrect given the context, present simple is perfectly correct."Charlie Black lobbies", as in "Charlie Black has the habit of lobbying", "Charlie Black is a serial lobbier",or "Charlie Black can't break his lobbying addiction". Lobbying is habit of Charlie Black's as much as it is possible to say this of anyone.

Notice how this differs from the McCain example. McCain used the Present Perfect(have drawn down), which implies a completed action, rather than a habit or tendency. We could easily verify that the action had not been completed; thus be certain the statement was false.

If Charlie Black never lobbies again you might be able to make your point, but only time will tell. Even in the future when we can verify, given the habit of people returning to lobbying after their time in office is done, it could be argued that Obama's statement was correct given the information available at the time.

You should make sure you clearly understand your grammatical tenses and all their acceptable uses in the English language before you take someone to task, otherwise you run the risk of making yourself look like an ignorant partisan hack.

Posted by: Fact Wrecker | September 15, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

@John,

1. I think any embryology will tell you that no fetus is going to survive on its own prior to the third trimester. Although I imagine you frame the issue of "nurturing environment" somewhat differently.

2. Catholic theologians also preoccupy themselves with issues of the soul, which are very tricky. We might do better to ask not when a baby is viable, but when a baby is conscious and aware; when a baby is imbued with a soul. We might look to when the baby has some autonomic innervation in the 27th week, or we might look much further, even postnatal, to when the dendritic connections in the nervous system begin to develop. The bottom line is that these biological issues are much trickier than you might believe.

3. The issue of privacy is a very important one that men don't often understand. I didn't really get it until Sarah Palin asserted her right not to share information about her daughter's pregnancy. The bottom line, is that denying someone the right to choose, is denying someone like Palin's daughter the right to keep the details of her pregnancy from the public. If we were to enforce a post-conception abortion-ban, all women would have to get pregnancy tests; probably from the government, at the very least they'd be obligated to inform some public agency about their pregnancy to monitor it, so that they could be certain that women don't try to terminate it.

I'm not a woman, but I don't think I could fathom having my girlfriend being forced to register with some baby safety tracking agency if she found out she was pregnant.

It is this 3rd point that is a contradiction in the Republican philosophy that I can't understand. How can a party be for limited government, yet support government tracking of the substances I consume, the people I sleep with, and the health status of my body?

Posted by: On Abortion | September 15, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

You're wasting our time with these trivial gotchas.

Posted by: Patrick | September 15, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

To "On Abortion"
If you (or your girlfriend or wife) want to maintain the privacy of your heinous act of killing a baby (no baby if left unattended will survive even after it is born) then why must you drag the rest of society into being complicit in your act by demanding we pay for it? If you insist on having the abortion, then be man enough to pay for it yourself.

Posted by: foxborough | September 15, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

After 7 1/2 years of "W" you worry about verb tense--Bush couldn't even answer a question without someone holding up a flashcard or speaking in his earpiece. You gotta love it when we Americans are more worried about verb tense than about getting anything done to right this country. Heck, let's go out and watch paint dry together too!! Would be lot more fun than watching or listening to Bush ever again.

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

randy sheuemann is a top lobbyist for gerogia he's done well over $800.000 worth of lobbying while he is the top foreign policy advisor for mccain. the main stream press still has not told facts. i would think getting paid by a foreign country to assure it has some pull while acting as a head foreign policy advisor to mccain is "unethical"- but what do i know?
i do know some one who is not intimidated by the rovian bark should do what they get paid to do report facts. the american people have had enough of the lies and cover ups from the medaia and mccain/palin ticket. simply put the media can't handle the truth or a candidate who actually lives it.obama does not fit their sterotype!
they say he is so liberal - obama has more integrity and character than any of his crtics, rove- liar palin-liar sean-racist orelliy -racist,mccain- needs help;
these people the christian conservatives with morals and values are liars, they are not christians they don't follow Christ example at all. they are hypocrits and someone needs to call them out.

Posted by: twiggy | September 15, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands."

He will even 'change' the weather.
He is a god...
obama for Fuerher'
Heil "Bama

Posted by: USA3 | September 15, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@foxborough

I think you misunderstand. I don't think society should finance abortions at all. I think women should be able to keep issues of reproductive health to themselves and decide what burdens and responsibilities they take without government interference. They should have the option to keep their reproductive issues private. If they choose to engage in any medical procedures that is between them and their doctor.

If you want to stop women from having abortions, the government will have to expend resources to monitor their reproductive health and violate this privacy. This may come with significant resistance. Thus much like the war on drugs or prohibition, support for abortions bans is supporting the creation massive government infrastructure to stop behavior that will be intractably expensive to control.

It is impossible to be pro abortion-ban and anti big government.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 15, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

It is only fair that he gets criticized for it. If Obama wants to take the high road as far as facts he needs to watch his words. Especially in a commercial where there are no "mistakes". McCain has taken political lies to a new low and Obama needs to let McCain wallow in the 5h1t at the bottom of his pit of depict alone.

In the next weeks to come he needs to hit McCain on the issues.

WPO I want to know what would Obama's and McCain's solution to the Wall Street crisis. I know McCain does not support a bail-out (I tend to agree).

Ahhh, John McCain I long for the days when I trusted you.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | September 16, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

To "On Abortion," your argument is full of logical flaws. Where to start? First, science is very clear as to when life begins. A third person is introduced into the picture at conception. Viability has nothing to do with when a human life begins. How viable is a one week old infant without certain care, or some 80 year olds, or all of us for that matter. As for your second point, again, science says life begins at conception - pure and simple. If you want to add "conscious and aware" to the equation, does that mean that coma patients have no right to life because they aren't "conscious and aware?" How about sleeping people - right to life? How aware is a newly born baby? Right to life? Adding the soul issue even further complicates a simple issue for science. These "biological issues" as you put it aren't much trickier than I believe. Biology says life begins when the sperm meets the egg. There are different stages in life, which you refer to - when pain is felt, when a fetus can live outside the womb, but those are just that - stages within a human life. Again, as Rigali wrote "we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. Even this is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law." Is one life more valuable than another? If so, how long until we decide someone "important" with a heart condition is "more valuable" than you and deserves your heart before you're ready to give it.

Your third point is the most flawed. First, why is it that men don't understand the issue of privacy. Wasn't it a group of men who endowed us with those rights in this country. You talk of denying someone the right to "choose." Choose what? To kill an innocent unborn human or to let it live? We have to keep in mind what this so-called "choice" entails. Should we repeal all murder laws because they are difficult and expensive to enforce? What about rape laws? We could save a lot of money by saying "it's not right, but each to their own and it's too tough to enfore." I don't follow your argument that banning abortion would lead to government monitored pregnancies. You noted your fear of your "girlfriend being forced to register with some baby safety tracking agency if she found out she was pregnant." Where does that come from? Quite a stretch in trying to defend the argument for making murder legal. Did banning herion and cocaine use lead to government sponsored and imposed drug testing on the public at large? Would you argue against rape laws because maybe the government will require all pregnant women to prove that the pregnancy wasn't the result of rape; that maybe they'll make men register their sperm. If abortion is illegal, it doesn't mean the government monitors preganancies, it simply means that taking the life of an unborn child is illegal and if a person does so, then they have committed the same crime as if they had taken the child's life one hour after birth. Why would pregnancies have to be registered and why would the govt. monitor them?

People today want to avoid consequences and responsibility at all costs, even if the cost of doing so means murdering unborn children. Pregnancy is the result of a specific action. Abortion is the means to avoid the responsibility and "inconvenience" that flows from the action. When does a person's right to avoid "inconvenience" carry more weight than another's right to life? Give the baby up for adoption after 9 months if it's too much inconvenience. It's interesting that everyone who supports abortion rights have already survived the abortion decision. And as for calling yourselves "pro-choice," it's "pro-abortion." There's no sitting on the fence on this one; no "I don't agree with it, but I'm not going to tell others what to do." Can you sit on the fence with regard to slavery, apartheid, child molestation or infanticide? Are you "Pro-Choice" with regards to them? Can you say, I wouldn't molest my child, but I'm not going to impose my views on others - parents should be free to choose; or I wouldn't own a slave, but it's a personal choice that people should be free to make on their own. If, as science, not the Church, states, life begins at conception, then abortion is murder, plain and simple. It's more inherently evil than slavery, child-abuse or rape. It needs to be treated with such seriousness. "Pro-Choice" is merely an attempt to numb the moral sensitivities to abortion. Let's call it what it is - pro-abortion, because you're either for it or against it.

"Defense of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but an act of justice." - Archbishop Wuerl

Posted by: Rich | September 16, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

So I noticed that this received the same amount of Pinocchios as the Bridge to Nowhere business--Are you insane? Maybe you didn't read the recent article about the fact that they are still working on the bridge...with the same public funds that she said "no thanks" to. And she freaking said that line again just today! Are there no repercussions for this nonsense?!?

Posted by: Tom | September 16, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

For example, I used to be a Democrat. But after seeing the harmful effects of their big-government platform in the 70s, I became a Republican. Obama would say, "Bob is a Democrat," because he doesn't understand verb tenses, so I guess he would subsequently be shocked to learn that I am voting for McCain.

Posted by: Bob | September 15, 2008 1:00 PM

No, Bob, actually Obma would say "Bob is an idiot." Which is true in any tense.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

So the McCain campaign was awarded three Pinocchios for mixing up its verb tenses over the Iraq surge in May.

How many Pinoccios did it get for the outright lie of troop level?

Pre-surge - 130,000
After the currently discussed 'draw-down' - 140,000

When I was taught the basics of math in elementary, I was taught that 140,000 does NOT equal 130,000. In fact, I was taught that 140,000 is more than 7.6% more than 130,000.

If 'incorrect' verb tense gets a candidate three Pinoccios, how many Pinoccios does an outright lie on troop strength get?

Posted by: Critter69 | September 16, 2008 5:31 AM | Report abuse

"Naive"

Posted by: Fred | September 16, 2008 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs, I have to disagree with your 3p rating for both McCain and Obama in this article. If the troops are scheduled to come home in a couple of months the verb tense really doesn't matter. If a person used to be a lobbyist do you really think they are going to give up that very lucrative career in the future? These critiques of yours do not seem to have penetrated the surface.

Posted by: John | September 16, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs, I have to disagree with your 3p rating for both McCain and Obama in this article. If the troops are scheduled to come home in a couple of months the verb tense really doesn't matter. If a person used to be a lobbyist do you really think they are going to give up that very lucrative career in the future? These critiques of yours do not seem to have penetrated the surface.

Posted by: John | September 16, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Helen:

All one of you, right? LOL!

Posted by: JakeD | September 15, 2008 3:21 PM

You are right, JakeD, Helen may be the only Democrat swinging right because the rest of us are...

Independents for McCain/Palin 08.

Posted by: Red (this time) Indie. | September 16, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Three pinocchios for verb tense? The last "former" McSame lobbyist to make the news was the clown who took 800K to make us all "Georgians"?....the humanity!

Posted by: BeatTweedy'08 | September 16, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

It's absurd for Obama to talk about McCain and lobbyists when Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden worked as a lobbyist up until Friday last week. He conveniently quit just in time for the presidential election. What a joke. The Democrats love to call everybody else liars, but they are liars and hypocrites on top of it!

Posted by: ttj | September 16, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

These McCain "lame brainer's" are the biggest whinners I have ever heard. For the longest time they referred to Obama Supporters as "koolaid drinkers". Now, given all the crap they are swallowing about their "hero", "tough guy", "maverick", who has never accomplished any thing in life without the help of a much younger, more powerful, woman, it's looks as though you are the only ones drinking up the koolaid. John McCain, once again having to depend on a woman to do what he couldn't get done on his own.

Posted by: cathy | September 16, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Michael, you're talking about a distinctions without a difference.

Posted by: gingles | September 16, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Some nerve complaining about Obama's grammar after 8 years of Bush!

Posted by: Kris | September 16, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Bush was constantly made fun of because of his speech. Don't think for one minute Obama will get away with it either. Welcome to the land of grammatical scrutiny. How's it feel to have the tables turned?

Posted by: Palin-ette | September 16, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

How stupid can you people be? It's not about grammar, it's about Obama misleading the public to believe something that is no longer true. Besides everyone of you who attacked McCain on the issue of lobbists need to place that same attack on your guy, he is just sneakier about it. I get tired of obamabots having a fit when he is called out for being the politician he promised NOT to be. It's about time somwone call Obama out for his {sic} new politics! What a joke of a candidate! NObama!

Posted by: Sherri | September 16, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Consider a sports commentator discussing a video replay of action that took place in the past: "If he stays in bounds, he scores."

Or it might be acceptable to say "First, he lobbies, then he advises." The chronology is communicated by the sequence, not the tense."

I too think that tense confusion may not warrant "noses." However, confusion about the immutable past may not rise to the same level of ambiguity as any statement based on assumptions about the future.

Posted by: Paul L | September 16, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

If grammar-abuse is my candidate's most serious offense in this extremely long campaign, I will lose no sleep.

Too bad the GOP cannot say the same.

Lots of sass, but no class.

Posted by: Susan | September 16, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"The Democratic presidential candidate is grammatically challenged"? Mr. Dobbs you've got to be smoking some strong weed. Please do some more reading on William Faulkner and you will understand the view of time as a continuous stream of past, present, and future, all realized in the present moment. The fact that the lobbysts took a break from lobbying during election time does not mean they have stopped the practice all together. The use of the word "lobbies" is a tenseless example of time in politics. Do further research before spewing your narrow mindedness on paper.
Where are the animal rights activists whenw e do need them? This trigger happy moose hunter is on the loose. Soon she will run into Dick Cheney and guess where they will shoot? At us. Vote the future-O'Biden.

Posted by: Dailsy Roleta, Mansfield, OH | September 16, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The fact is McCain has surrounded himself with lobbyists...do you think a temporary holiday from lobbying would change where the hearts and minds of these blood suckers are. Very weak argument.

Posted by: O' Really | September 16, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Then we need to take a look at Obama's campaign committee. It is still full of soldiers from the Nation Of Islam. That would be Black Muslims. I guess that makes Obama a racist.

Posted by: Cadillac | September 16, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This is hilarious. Are you serious? You wonder why the public see the press as left? You wonder why the media is a joke to Americans? If it was McCain doing this you guys would be all over him...

At least Fox has the decency to tell us what the truth...that they are on the right. You guys are delusional though! You actually believe your neutral! That's hilarious!

Keep it up!

I want you to...I love McCain and Palin.

Posted by: get a life | September 16, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs, I am retired, I worked as a welder. When someone asks me what I do, I reply: "I'm retired, I'm a welder."
Although I am currently not welding that is what I did all of my life, am I also lying?
Stick with nailing McCain on the real lies.

Posted by: JPS | September 16, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Hurricane Ike Batters Texas Gulf"
"Firefighter Dies in Rescue Attempt"
"Stock Prices Rise"

No, actually, "Ike Battered," the "Firefighter Died," and "Stock Prices Rose."

This is standard practice in writing headlines. I think journalists should understand that.

Of course, the lines I really wish we could see is "McCain Dates Strip Club Dancer" or "McCain Deserts Injured First Wife to Marry Millionairess." Oh, but wait! Those events are in the past so they shouldn't count . . . just like Vietnam.

Posted by: Hale Meacham | September 16, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh Good God face reality that wimpy out of
touch with reality Marxist Socialist Democrat Confused Liberal Loser,Covert Muslim,Empty Suit,Grandiose,Arrogant,Smirky
Phony,Fake Messiah Barack Hussein Obama has
always been a confused pathological liar
from birth on as well.

And need I mention the huge amount of dangerous cocaine brain damage that Obama
the grandiose,delusional Cocaine Snorting
Pot Smoking Drug Addict did himself as
well. Do you voters trust another drug
addict in the White House? And do you want
another alcoholic like old drunkard big
mouth Joe Biden in the White House after
George W Bush? I think not.

So please vote for Sen John McCain and Gov
Sarah Palin for real change and not just
more Democrat Lies,Broken Promises,Smears
and Incompetence from Messiah Barack Obama
and Loud Mouth Drunk Joe Biden,and Nutty
Nancy Pelosi and Hopeless Harry Reid!

Independent Woman Voter For McCain/Palin
Palin for President in 2012 and 2016!

NOBAMA and NOBIDEN NOW AND EVER!
NANCY PELOSI NEVER AGAIN!

Posted by: Sandy 5274 | September 16, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama is grammatically ignorant period. He just makes up as he goes; after all he is an empty suit! 80% of his money comes from big donners and lobyyists, including oil executives. I can trust McCain but CAN NOT TRUST OBAMA EVER!

Posted by: nancy sabet | September 16, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The point here is simple. Obama, once again, is being hypocritical. Both campaigns have people working for them who at one time were lobbyists. It is next to impossible for either party to run a campaign without involving former lobbyists. I know Obama and you Obama-nuts think he a god but maybe he could drop the 'Holier-than-thou' part of it.

Posted by: Brendan | September 16, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It's clear that the Obama camp is spending a lot of money on flooding these comment sections with responses. Do they pay per comment? By the word? By the hour? Shifting tenses in this case is not poor grammar. It's intentional deception.

Posted by: Andrew Austin | September 16, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This is perfect MSM bullcrap. The GOP leaning author can not say Obama lies like McCain so clearly does, so the idiot attacks his verb tense. False equivelancy and "fake" balance. This is pure GOP inspired drivel.

Are you still in the tank for McCain?

Posted by: Jon Chinn | September 16, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I find your Pinocchio scale ridiculous.

How can Palin's repeated lies about saying "Thaaanks boot nooo thaaanks, on that bridge to noooware", get three Pinocchios and so does this?

They're not even comparable.

Posted by: Jerry | September 16, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC | September 16, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Jake - Multiple fact checks wouldn't be needed if Palin didn't keep getting her facts wrong. As Bob Woodward noted to Karl Rove, you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

"IN THE TANK" is an ad hominem attack on Dobbs. I think you forget just how hard the Fact Checker bore down on Hillary for her landing under fire claim. It was the most important fact check of the entire campaign and directed at a Democrat.

BB

P.S. I think there's a fake JakeD on the 20% energy claim by Palin. ANOTHER instance of, shall we say, misspeaking by Gov. Palin.

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | September 16, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh for crying out loud...are we now reduced to this? If you are going to grade him on pretenses, this is nothing short of ridiculous! I actually liked your column before this garbage.

Posted by: kd Oklahoma | September 16, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Andrew Austin...no one is paying me. I'm a 40's white, middle class, soccer mom, who shops at Walmart. Pretenses checking is nothing short of stupid, and you have to admit that. Had this been about McCain, I'd have said the same thing, and I'm sure you would have too.

By the way, are you working for McCain? *LOL*

Posted by: Kd Oklahoma | September 16, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

While we're at it, why not check out the adjectives as well as the verbs. There are two adjectives widely used as nouns that negatively impact the entire way of life in America and the world. The two adjectives, masquerading as nouns, are: "black" and "white". These two adjectives, "black" and "white" people, are to racism as miracle-grow is to a lush green lawn. If you are serious about ridding the nation of its primary disease, cut off the supply line, "black" and "white" people.

These two words are a part of the grammar of slavery. By the usage of these words in our language system, America is ipso facto locked into the past tense.

Oh, by the way, while you're at it, grammar checking, don't forget to examine another favorite word, "minority". See how that word fits the idea of the American principles, the nation's Creed, as described in the Declaration of Independence.

Posted by: Maia Ajanaku-Locke | September 16, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Dear Sir:

The McCain drawdown in Iraq stating it as current fact before it happened was a lie, not a mistaking of the future for the present. The Obama present tense use of McCain's staffers as lobbyists when they actually quit those jobs was benign as apple pie. To believe that giving up a salary means you no longer are a lobbyist is as stupid as believing that Cheney was no longer affiliated with Kill-Burn- & Loot company otherwise known as Halliburton when he was the VP. Excuse me -- when he is the VP. He's still their man. And lobbyists have to look beyond the Presidency.

Murray A. Katz, M.D.

Posted by: Murray A. Katz, M.D. | September 16, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

John Mccain's flat out lies far outweigh 'verb tenses' and any other mistakes Obama has made along those lines. RIGHT WINGERS NEED TO CHECK THEIR SO CALLED FACTS ON NON-PARTISAN WEBSITES !!!!!

Posted by: Dan Brennan | September 16, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Steal a loaf of bread one time and you will carry the lable of FELON for the rest of your life. Once a felon, always a felon. It doesn't take a focused effort, or even years of effort, it takes one crime one time that could have happened in about 30 seconds.

This "tense" article deserves no attention, but I suppose it draws webhits.

Posted by: Earl E | September 16, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Tense makes sense, but only when the subject is no longer engaged in the activity. Anyone working for the Republican Party in this election is working for corporate interests. As Barack said yesterday, surely you don't believe these lobbyists are working for McCain to put themselves out of business.

Posted by: FrankD | September 16, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Please check and scrutinise Obama to see if his facts add up but do not bother about McCain, Republicans are liars by default. They say they are pro-life and they are also pro-gun what a laugh! Hellooo you can not be prolife and pro-gun, they say they are christain right but hate their neihbours, thanks to them America is the only land where the world liberal means "evil". Democrats are not pro-death they are just against enforcing the moral standard of one group on another, in other words they are against bigotry.

Ayoola Oke

Posted by: Ayoola Oke | September 16, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I would argue on the contrary that they did lobby and they do lobby - I don't doubt for a section that they still argue for the same interests that they always have.

Proving that they previously did lobby professionally does not disprove that they are lobbying now just the same.

Posted by: 6 | September 16, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey how about the lie in his bio. He was raised by a single mother. This is a gross exaggeration of the facts. His Mom remarried while he was still a young child. Also the food stamp story about living on food stamps. If this ever happened it was again not a lifetime of abject poverty. In his own ad campaign he talks about the Kansas values he got from Grandma. It sounds like his Mother received a lot of financial and moral support from her family so I don't think things were as dire for Obama has his staff is painting it. There are kids out there that had it much worse. But of course they want us to pull out our hankies for the poor little kid that went from rags to riches. That makes a better story than the truth.

Posted by: flcracker | September 16, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

In America we don't want people to pull out hankies, we measure people by how far they lift themselves.
McCain comes from a line of Admirals, and from that we can see where he has risen, and how he did it.
Would he be where he is today if he had not jettisoned his crippled wife for the beauty queen millionairess?
Also, if getting something done in Washington means working across the aisle, because McCain actually has both parties against him, doesn't that reduce his capability to get anything done? By his own admission he is fighting the republicans...

Posted by: Earl E | September 16, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Austin September 16, 2008 10:49 AM “It’s clear that the Obama camp is spending a lot of money on flooding these comment sections with responses. Do they pay per comment? By the word? By the hour? Shifting tenses in this case is not poor grammar. It's intentional deception.”

Oh, Andrew, Andrew -- It’s even much worse than this: every lapse of grammar and usage is a hairline crack in the foundations of civilisation.

It was long established newspaper practice in headlines to use the present tense for what has happened and the infinitive for the anticipated future.

Take for example, “President speaks truth to power” over a news article about George W. Bush’s having given a discourse on DeMorgan’s theorem to a gathering of oil executives the previous day. Or, alternatively, the headline a couple of days earlier, “President to speak truth to power” announcing the projected tutorial in advance.

I do not know whether newspapers will continue or any nation so conceived and dedicated can long endure in these nefarious and deceptive practices insidiously perpetrated to inveigle the unsuspecting into reading reporters’ copy in print.

I commend Andrew Austin for his perspicacity in regard to a technique of disinformation honed under the patronage of The Great Sneer over the past 7 3/4 years. I am flattered in his choice of role models.

I do know, however, because he writes too well, that he can not himself be a client (apologies, Kd Oklahoma September 16, 2008 11:21 AM), even of McCain (I just can’t back you up on that one, KdO).

I am a bit perplexed that McCain-Palin is so hard up that this contrived outrage over tense confusion and porcine lipstick are the worst the campaign and minions can come up with opposing Obama-Biden.

And perhaps if Mr Dobbs reads some more William Faulkner (pace with thanks Dailsy Roleta, Mansfield, OH, September 16, 2008 10:20 AM) he will understand the view of Sarah Palin as continuous stream of Snopeses past, present, and future, all realised in the present campaign.

Posted by: Hneftafl | September 16, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

We can see if, having this pointed out, the Obama campaign uses the same language in every stump speech for the next two weeks.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by: Oink | September 16, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dobbs, while you have that dictionary out, look up 'revolving door', will you?

Posted by: Party Like a Rockstar | September 16, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If they don't want people to pull out their hankies why the sob story of the poor boy from Kansas on food stamps. Also why does he not celebrate his Mother's roots, you know the one that took care of him and didn't abandon him. I can tell you in a nutshell. He wouldn't have received the lopsided support of the black voters so he celebrated his African heritage. Now as for McCain marrying up he donates his Senate pay and book revenue to charity. I didn't see Obama giving away his book money. He just bought a house he couldn't afford without the help of his friend the slumlord and guess what, he didn't care too much about the people that had to live in those slums now did he when he took his buddy's money to buy his mansion.

Posted by: flcracker | September 16, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this is so trivial, it's unreal. Shall we talk about Bush's grammar? Sheesh.

Posted by: Jennifer | September 16, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Where's Kristen Zweig (SNL) ("Oh, brother!," [rolls eyes]) when ya need her?

Posted by: Marty the Smarty | September 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What's this? A little whinging by the WP after the repugnants whined to the ombudsman that McMansions was getting beaten up too much in the press? Obama is a choir boy compared to any republican. Lying is automatic with them and McMansions/Rove are taking it to another level. McMansions entire campaign staff has been, or is, made up of big time lobbyists. He'll "change" Washington - sure he will.

Posted by: Pearl77 | September 16, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Just so you know I'm voting for Obama, not for McCain and the Barbie Doll....now whatever tense you want to put that in, you have my blessings.....

Posted by: Betsy G. | September 16, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Inductive reasoning is always faulty, said Karl Popper, the philosopher. If somebody has raped 20 women in the past, it does not mean he is raping one now, or rapes all the time. Obama no tense, Dobbs tense.

Posted by: Gandhi | September 16, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Since we're are checking facts, did the O'Bamaboy ever produce a legitimate birth certificate proving, once and for all, whether he can legitimately run for office? Probably not.

Posted by: foxborough | September 16, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Come on now! Verb tense? A lobbiest is a lobbiest is a lobbiest. Next you'll be picking on punctuation! Let's get real with the fact checking and STAY with the FACTS, not grammar or punctuation. If I were to canvas McCain's grammar, I'd have a field day.

Posted by: Randy H | September 16, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Obama needs to go back to high school and restart conjugating his verb tenses no logical explanation for that. (He might be the president) and as w've had for the past 8 years, we don't need another english challenged president in an english speaking country. This gives me second thoughts about heritage.

Posted by: osnokes | September 16, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Way too late I know but I can't resist. JakeD (real or fake?) on the 15th at 2.11pm refers to a 'totally unqualified moose killer Palin'.Are unqualified moose killers allowed to hold public office? Oh,by the way I could have huge fun with punctuation here-try a comma after 'moose'!

Posted by: Jim McKenna | September 17, 2008 4:28 AM | Report abuse

Look at this: Even when Michael-bama awards his vapid icons to Obama, he has to include McCain in the commentary. Hey Michael, do you ever have fantasies where you are a journalist? That's all they are hack boy - fantasies. I have tropical fish that spend more time out of the tank than you do.

Posted by: even now | September 17, 2008 5:23 AM | Report abuse

They may not be lobbying now because most of them are 'on leave' from their normal profession and are getting paid by the McCain campaign. After the election most will return from being on leave and return to lobbying unless something else comes up.

Posted by: raymichael | September 17, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Rich

You clearly don't know that much about science if you think life is so clearly defined. I suspect the definition of life is a scientific debate whose rich history far eclipses your meager intellectual curiosities. Here's an example of the complexity of the quest. Consider a zygote like a sperm or an egg? Is has many of the characteristics of a living thing and is aesthetically identical to a living thing, should we not consider the death of a sperm or an egg murder as well?

The right to privacy argument is well supported by a wealth of legal argument, so I'm sorry if you're having trouble understanding it. Lets say a woman wants to take a morning after pill and post-conception abortion ban is in place. If she isn't pregnant then taking it isn't illegal, but if she is then taking it would be considered murder under our hypothetical law. Whether she murdered, hinges on whether she is pregnant. Finding this out, would clearly violate several rights including the protection against unreasonable search, the right to due process, and the right not to self-incriminate. So if we want to protect these rights for women, we don't get to legislate about abortions.

Your self-righteous pontification about whether you would let murderers escape doesn't do much to justify your decision. A lot of tragedy has occurred in history because people felt that they were so certain that they were correct and that the evils of the people they were certain about were so large that it justified horrific villainy. If you can't show that there is a way to ban abortion within the means defined by the constitution(protection against unreasonable search, etc...) then telling me how much would be gained by the ends you propose is completely unconvincing. Both from a legal perspective and hopefully from a moral one.

Also, just for the record, the War on Drugs led to a large erosion of civil rights, as well as a war by the federal government on its citizens, spraying dangerous chemicals on farmers in Columbia, racial profiling, and general suckiness. I hardly think that is an example to show that there won't be a crusade of awfulness by abortion zealots if they get a law on the books.

Posted by: On abortion | September 17, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

One more note. I wasn't saying the group of old white slave-owners that founded this country didn't understand privacy in general and many specific applications of it, what I was saying was that many men, including yourself, don't seem to understand how the government legislating on pregnancy violates a woman's rights.

Perhaps organ donation is a good example that men can understand. There is no doubt that many lives, young and old, would be saved if more people donated blood. So why not support mandatory blood donations? People are being killed because some people are too selfish to donate blood. It doesn't cause a person any harm if they donate blood, so the end clearly justifies the means. Force everyone to donate blood once a year and millions of innocent lives will be saved from death and suffering.

I'm sure it seems pretty clear to you why we don't do this. We can't tell people what they choose to do with their own bodies, it is an incredibly fundamental violation of one's rights. The same logic applies to pregnancy, but cost doesn't seem as high to men because it isn't a cost that they have to bear.

Posted by: On abortion | September 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

JakeD gets more doles from McShame.

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

It's such a relief to listen to Barack Obama and Hillary and Bill Clinton speak using correct grammar, contrary to the last eight years of hearing illiterate, disjointed and strange sentences uttered by our president.

Now, John McCain is taking over where he left off with "My friends" one of his most irritating habits when addressing audiences. He is, also, a brilliant prevaricator, which was learned from George Bush's dirty campaign against him.

Posted by: Betty W1 | September 17, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

On abortion:

No, the "same logic" does not apply.

First, a sperm or an egg, left by itself in a womb, can NEVER develop into a BORN human. You do realize there are murder laws protecting a fetus as against anyone other than his/her mother and abortionist, right? No society has ever legally protected a sperm or egg as a full human being.

Second, mandatory organ or blood donations would be completely different, at law and in fact. That being said, barring religious objections, the State CAN take a child away from his / her parents if that child is being abused or otherwise endangered. An unborn baby in the womb is a unique situation, more akin to parents having the duty to care for their born children too. Unfortunately, in the case of unborn children, the State cannot "take" them into protective custody. The only other effective alternative is banning methods used to abort said children. There is, indeed, one way to ban abortion within the means defined by the Constitution: death penalty for all abortionists. Other mass murderers get the same, exact punishments.

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Obama and you will have DESTROYED Hillary's chance at becoming President!!

Consider this:
If you elect Obama for 2008 , Hillary CAN'T RUN IN 2012!! The incumbent always runs for their party in reelection.

Hillary will then be 69 when she gets a chance to run as democrat. Then people will call her old(like they do McCain who is 72) and she will NEVER become President.

Reagan was 69 when he got elected but he wasn't trying to break the glass ceiling at the same time.

So if you care at all about Hillary, you will VOTE AGAINST Obama this time around. Plus, you will break the glass ceiling and Hillary WILL BE THERE in 2012!!

Think about it!! It makes sense!!

If you support Hillary, YOU MUST VOTE AGAINST OBAMA!!!

Posted by: Eric | September 17, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD

And a fertilized egg outside of a womb or in a womb under certain conditions will never develop into a human being. For example, an oral contraceptive can stop implantation of a fertilized egg. I suppose you support the banning of oral contraceptives as well? Moreover, a certain percentage of unfertilized eggs and sperm do develop into human beings(the ones that end up fertilized). The bottom line is that depending upon what qualifications you apply, your definition will draw the line at a different shade of gray. What matters isn't the potential for a developed human, it is a developed human.

You didn't actually provide any reason why the same logic wouldn't apply, but the fact is that forced blood donations and banned abortions have excellent correspondence. In both cases a person would exercise their right to privacy to deny bodily support to another, an action that would result in their death. The only place the analogy breaks down is with the fact that in the blood donation case a fully conscious developed being dies; a being that is demonstrably capable of suffering, whereas in the case of abortion an unfeeling mass of cells dies. A woman has no responsibility to even let anyone know that she is pregnant, much less offer her blood, calories, and nutrients to her fertilized egg. In the same way the government cannot even unwillingly test your suitability for blood donation, much less compel you to provide your blood, calories, and nutrients so that a fully developed human being can survive.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 18, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Obama’s “CHANGE” it will be a real change forever because American’s will not have chance to have Presidential election for as long as Obama is alive! That would be a real Obama’s CHANGE FOR AMERICA! In a Socialistic regime as Obama is proposing, there is no Presidential election…he want to be there for life; get their friends around them as means of support; and dictating harsh life for rest of the public. Don’t even think of Constitution rights…he will change that too!

Posted by: karoline1 | September 18, 2008 4:05 AM | Report abuse

Eric:

LBJ did not run for re-election.

On abortion:

You do realize there are murder laws protecting a fetus as against anyone other than his/her mother and abortionist, right? That's ONE example right there. Parents have a moral and legal duty to care for their children. I'm not that BORN children have the right to organ / blood donations from parents. They do have the right to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and not abused. That's more closely related to an UNBORN child, given the unique circumstances in her mother's womb.

You would agree that the State CAN take a child away from her parents if that child is being abused or otherwise endangered, right?.

Posted by: JakeD | September 18, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

JakeD:

If we're using the state as a model for right and wrong then there isn't anything to debate here. The state allows abortions, so if we were going to be consistent we would follow that portion of the state behavior as well.

But you're wrong. The federal government doesn't charge for murder. If you killed a fetus you charged with assault or feticide, not murder.

The state's capacity to take away a baby is irrelevant. It doesn't violate the personal and bodily privacy of the mother, whereas a forced blood donation or a banned abortion does.

The fact that the state can regulate some things about something doesn't entail them the right to regulate anything about it.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 18, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about the federal side (didn't Laci and Connor's Law get passed?), but here in California -- anyone other than the mother / abortionist killing the fetus is subject to MURDER charges -- see Penal Code Sec. 187.

That is the CURRENT state of the law. But, you may also be aware, or not, that some of us are advocating the repeal of Roe v. Wade so that individual STATES can ban abortion.

Posted by: JakeD | September 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought so:

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a United States law which recognizes a "child in utero" as a legal victim, if he or she is injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. The law defines "child in utero" as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."

The law is codified in two sections of the United States Code: Title 18, Chapter 1 (Crimes), §1841 (18 USC 1841) and Title 10, Chapter 22 (Uniform Code of Military Justice) §919a (Article 119a).

The law applies only to certain offenses over which the United States government has jurisdiction, including certain crimes committed on Federal properties, against certain Federal officials and employees, and by members of the military. In addition, it covers certain crimes that are defined by statute as federal offenses wherever they occur, no matter who commits them, such as certain crimes of terrorism.

Because of principles of federalism embodied in the United States Constitution, Federal criminal law does not apply to crimes prosecuted by the individual states. However, 34 states also recognize the fetus or "unborn child" as a crime victim, at least for purposes of homicide or feticide.

...

The bill contained the alternate title of Laci and Conner's Law after the California mother (Laci Peterson) and fetus (Conner Peterson) whose deaths were widely publicized during the later stages of the congressional debate on the bill in 2003 and 2004. (see Scott Peterson and Laci Peterson). Scott Peterson was convicted of double homicide under California's fetal homicide law.

Prior to enactment of the federal law, the "child in utero" was, as a general rule, not recognized as a victim of federal crimes of violence. Thus, in a federal crime that injured a pregnant woman and killed the "child in utero," no homicide was recognized, in most cases.

One exception was the "born-alive rule," applied in US v. Spencer, 839 F.2d 1341 (9th Cir. 1988), a case in which the child was born alive and died shortly afterwards; therefore there was no doubt that the decedent was once a living person under the law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unborn_Victims_of_Violence_Act

Posted by: JakeD | September 18, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

(sorry -- I forgot to close the italics)

Posted by: JakeD | September 18, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm aware of the law. You copypasta wikipedia like the best of them. That doesn't change the fact that the federal government treats a feticide differently from a homicide. Most notably because this law imposing restrictions on feticide that do not apply to homocide.

Also, as I mentioned above, if we use the current law as our standard for ethics, or even this particular law, it recognizes abortion as a legitimate action for any woman to take. By that standard, abortion is legal and ethical. We're done.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 18, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Also, Roe V. Wade is a Supreme Court decision, not a law, so individual states can't repeal it.

I don't really care what california's law is.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Obviously. I never said that States could repeal Roe v. Wade, but I did think you wanted a debate "On Abortion". Oh well, no skin off my nose (unlike the aborted babies torn limb from limb). Later!

Posted by: JakeD | September 18, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Debating facts, like what the current law is, is both boring and silly. Or worse, it is from a mistaken conflation of law and ethics.

An interesting debate is what ought to be or what ought not to be. Despite my attempts to steer you towards more interesting topics, you seem more interested in what the current laws are on the issue.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 19, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm misunderstanding you because you're using legal language incorrectly.

Example 1:
"repeal" is to rescind a legislative act. If you're talking about changing a judicial precedent the correct term would be "overturn" or possibly "vacate".

Example 2:
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act defines a separate offense that has the same sentencing recommendations as a homicide. You seem to think this implies that the offense defined by this law is identical to a homicide. It is not.

One final mistake you made above:
You can only be charged for the crime in The Unborn Victims of Violence Act if you are being simultaneously charged with the commission of another crime. This means that it is perfectly legal for a person who is neither an authorized medical professional nor the mother of a fetus to terminate that fetus, as long as they do not commit any of the offenses named in the act.

So there is no "murder law" that prevents someone other than "his/her mother and abortionist" from ending a pregnancy. Wrong on all counts.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 19, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

No, I am not using legal language incorrectly nor am I "wrong" about anything else I've posted (you simply don't want to talk about State laws, like California, that I said up front OUGHT TO BE extended to everywhere else -- that's the debate I was trying to have -- as I said, already, no skin off my nose either way ; )

If anyone else happens to be reading this still, here in California (as just one example) it is NOT "perfectly legal for a person who is neither an authorized medical professional nor the mother of a fetus to terminate that fetus." It's too bad the culture of death can't even agree on that much. No surprise since people like Barack Obama don't even want to protect BORN alive infants. We are going to have a civil war over the abortion issue if we aren't careful.

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Let me pose this for those who think verb tense is not important.

Someone walks in and says "I love your daughter."

Think of the images that come to mind.

What if he came in and said "I loved your daughter."

. . . yah, tense matters

Posted by: McPalin consumer | September 19, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, the thread topic -- "tense matters" -- however, as I pointed out in my very first post, there are MANY more important Obama-Biden whoppers and the best Mr. Dobbs had was "The Democratic presidential candidate is grammatically challenged".

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

One more question to those who support abortion on demand: do you disagree that the State CAN take a child away from her parents if that child is being abused or otherwise endangered?

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

palin is a nutcase and mccain is a neo-

should someone yell "houston, we have a problem"

Posted by: luckyboy | September 19, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

luckyboy:

You are aware that THIS thread is about Barack HUSSEIN Obama confusing his verb tenses, right? Your "problem" will be even greater when McCain-Palin are sworn in as President and Vice President on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

In honor of all the Obama-Biden whoppers thus far in the campaign, I had a BK Whopper, with cheese (no pickles), for lunch today.

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

You still aren't being clear, Jake. You contend that the federal law is sufficient, so you want to argue that a law that applies everywhere should apply everywhere? I don't even necessarily disagree with increased punishment for killing a pregnant woman as long as it doesn't infringe on a woman's right to choose whether she has a child, her right to keep her pregnancy private, or represent some sort of legal creep into an attempt to block choice rights.

That said, you've made another mistake in your characterization of the California law. The State Supreme Court in California interpreted an only an embryo at a gestational stage greater than 7 weeks to be considered a "fetus" and thus entitled to murder protections under the law. You should really be more careful with your use of language.

I don't have a problem with a state taking a child away from a mother if it has due cause. I wouldn't have a problem with the state saving unwanted embyros either if it didn't infringe upon the mother's civil rights. A child is an independent entity that experiences suffering and has an independent will, but as far as I'm concerned, an embryo is part of the mother until the umbilical cord is cut.

This is the same way I feel about organ donations. If taking a kidney from a dead person can save a life I'm all for it, but taking a kidney from a living person without consent is gonna be a problem, even if it can save a life.

Anti-Choice advocates don't get to violate civil rights just because they're upset that humans are viviparous.


Posted by: On Abortion | September 19, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

On Abortion:

I never contended that federal law is "sufficient" -- where did you get that -- I want Roe v. Wade REVERSED!!! Honestly, there's no need to debate with you any more, if you really think even a BORN BABY can be killed since it also "is part of the mother until the umbilical cord is cut." There's no reasoning with someone as depraved as Obama.

If anyone else wants to discuss the topic in a rational manner, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I can see you're getting embarrassed now. This whole process would be a lot more pleasant for both of us if you were careful to check your facts.

You just said you want to have a debate on laws that treat children as victims of homicide. When you find out that these laws are not what you construed them to be, you now decide that you're talking about broader abortion issues and that you're too outraged to talk to someone that disagrees with you.

Nice rational thought process there JakeD, you really do a lot of good for your cause.

If you really want to have the debate you're claiming you do, you could start by providing some reasons for your position. I don't think that is actually think that is what you're trying to do though. I think you're trying to find some way to egress from a discussion that is going quite badly for you without losing to much face.

You still have failed to respond to the points I've made or answered any of my questions. The ball is in your court if you want to take your lumps on past misstatements, drop your feigned outrage, and help me get this discussion onto more fruitful ground.

Just a recap of where we stand:
1. I've heard some muttering about how states can take children out of neglectful or abusive homes. If you want to make that into a coherent argument you're going to have connect the dots on how this relates to abortion, I'm not going to connect the dots for you.
2. You're also going to have to explain how this addresses my objection that it violates the bodily & privacy rights of a woman.
3. You need to explain to me why the ends justify the means for abortion, but not when compelling organ donations.
4. Also you can answer the question I asked you. Do you support the banning of oral contraceptives and hormonal medical treatments for women? These treatments prevent implantation of a fertilized egg and can thus cause the death of an immature embryo.

Posted by: On Abortion | September 19, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Verb tenses? With the absolutely standard revolving door of public/private jobs (Trent Lott, after all, quit the Senate because if he'd waited out his term he'd have the onerous task of waiting *two whole years* before he could be a lobbyist, rather than the less enriching one), you're going over verb tenses?

And to use a name like Charlie Black to illustrate this point shows either a stunning lack of political knowledge or a complete disregard for it--not to mention a disregard for ethics.

Who approved this article?

Posted by: Dave Petesr | September 19, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I am against anything done to prevent implantation or termination thereafter. I will address all other points next week.

Posted by: JakeD | September 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

On Abortion:

You just said you want to have a debate on laws that treat children as victims of homicide.

Yes. You OTOH said: "I don't really care what california's law is." (September 18, 2008 5:48 PM)

When you find out that these laws are not what you construed them to be ...

I have never said the federal or State law is not what it currently is. Do you understand that I am advocating CHANGING ALL laws to at least fall in line with the basic protections afforded here in California? Anyone (other than her mother / abortionist, until we can get Roe v. Wade overturned) who kills an unborn child with malice aforethought should be locked up for murder. That would be the case even 1 minute after her birth.

... you now decide that you're talking about broader abortion issues ...

That's also right. I am talking about changing laws as set forth above AND the broader abortion issues. I can walk and chew gum at the same time too.

... and that you're too outraged to talk to someone that disagrees with you.

No, what I said is "... there's no need to debate with you any more, if you really think even a BORN BABY can be killed since it also 'is part of the mother until the umbilical cord is cut.' There's no reasoning with someone as depraved as Obama." (September 19, 2008 7:18 PM)

Those are your words in the single quotes, not mine.

Nice rational thought process there JakeD, you really do a lot of good for your cause.

You will note that I never resort to ad hominem personal attacks against anyone posting here. Alas, yet another reason why debate with you is fruitless.

If you really want to have the debate you're claiming you do, you could start by providing some reasons for your position. I don't think that is actually think that is what you're trying to do though. I think you're trying to find some way to egress from a discussion that is going quite badly for you without losing to much face.

I'm still here, aren't I? I will have to leave it up to others to judge whether I've offered no reasons for my position.

You still have failed to respond to the points I've made or answered any of my questions.

Keep this admonition in mind when YOU decline to answer my questions that I have posed to you thus far.

The ball is in your court if you want to take your lumps on past misstatements, drop your feigned outrage, and help me get this discussion onto more fruitful ground.

I've made no misstatements, nor have I feigned outrage, but I'll try one last time (unless someone else wants to discuss any of the following points).

Just a recap of where we stand:
1. I've heard some muttering about how states can take children out of neglectful or abusive homes. If you want to make that into a coherent argument you're going to have connect the dots on how this relates to abortion, I'm not going to connect the dots for you.

I don't expect you to. I believe all I was asking you about that was: "do you disagree that the State CAN take a child away from her parents if that child is being abused or otherwise endangered?" I note that you haven't answered that simple question repeatedly (September 19, 2008 11:42 AM, and then generically to anyone who supports abortion on demand at 12:44 PM; don't worry, this will be the last time I ask you ; )

2. You're also going to have to explain how this addresses my objection that it violates the bodily & privacy rights of a woman.

Murderers don't get many "bodily & privacy rights" in prison, do they? I'm not advocating anything more burdensome than what Andrea Yates went through. All of that was accomplished via due process. Of course, given the unique location where potential murder victims are (in the womb), there will have to be some tweaking to investigative techniques, but no more so than already allowed under regular murder laws.

3. You need to explain to me why the ends justify the means for abortion, but not when compelling organ donations.

I already answered that too -- parents have a moral and legal duty to care for their children -- I'm not advocating that BORN children have the right to organ / blood donations from parents because that's a line that no one is willing to cross. Children DO have the right to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and not abused. And, whether you want to admit it or not, the State has a compelling interest to ensure they are. That's more closely related to an UNBORN child's situation, given the unique circumstances in her mother's womb.

4. Also you can answer the question I asked you.

Again, keep this admonition in mind when YOU decline to answer my questions on this thread (above).

Do you support the banning of oral contraceptives and hormonal medical treatments for women? These treatments prevent implantation of a fertilized egg and can thus cause the death of an immature embryo.

Yes. As I already said: "I am against anything done to prevent implantation or termination thereafter." I hope that addresses all of your points.

Posted by: JakeD | September 22, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

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