Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just the Facts

AP fact checking Obama's SOTU. I found this interesting:

OBAMA: "I've called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans."

THE FACTS: Any commission that Obama creates would be a weak substitute for what he really wanted — a commission created by Congress that could force lawmakers to consider unpopular remedies to reduce the debt, including curbing politically sensitive entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That idea crashed in the Senate this week, defeated by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Any commission set up by Obama alone would lack authority to force its recommendations before Congress, and would stand almost no chance of success.

Makes you wonder when the Congress will get upset with Obama grabbing at their responsibilities.

This is good too:

OBAMA: Drawing on classified information, he claimed more success than his predecessor at killing terrorists: "And in the last year, hundreds of al-Qaida's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed — far more than in 2008."

THE FACTS: It is an impossible claim to verify. Neither the Bush nor the Obama administration has published enemy body counts, particularly those targeted by armed drones in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. The pace of drone attacks has increased dramatically in the last 18 months, according to congressional officials briefed on the secret program.

I guess I can give him the credit on that one. Not that it matters really. His dawdling around doing anything in Afghanistan did more damage than his drones have done good, so maybe he'll now let the generals actually do their jobs.

Oh, and one very poorly covered fact, that the ONE didn't bother discussing is Iraq.
December was the first month since the beginning of the Iraq war in which there were no U.S. combat deaths, the U.S. military reported.

There were three noncombat fatalities.

"That is a very significant milestone for us as we continue to move forward, and I think that also speaks to the level of violence and how it has decreased over time," said Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Must be related to the Iraqi's stepping up and taking the casualties in Harry Reid's "lost war."

November recorded the lowest casualty figures for Iraqis since the U.S.-led invasion, with 88 civilians killed and 332 wounded. In addition, 12 Iraqi soldiers died in November and 44 were wounded. Among Iraqi police, 22 died and 56 were wounded.

Previously, January 2009 had the lowest Iraqi civilian casualty figures since 2003. Since then, figures had been fluctuating, with August being the deadliest month for Iraqi civilians in more than a year.

Now just imagine a world where Obama would give at least the military credit for getting it right.

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