Factcheck.org: Cheney & Edwards Mangle Facts | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Factcheck.org: Cheney & Edwards Mangle Facts

A few factcheck.org report just in: "Getting it wrong about combat pay, Halliburton, and FactCheck.org Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals.

"Edwards falsely claimed the administration "lobbied the Congress" to cut the combat pay of troops in Iraq, something the White House never supported, and he used misleading numbers about jobs."

Previous Comments

ID
137178
Comment

CNN Reports: Early polls indicated differing reactions to Tuesday night's debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards. An ABC News snap poll showed Cheney the winner, aided by a more-Republican audience, while a CBS News poll among undecided voters showed the opposite. What's your take on the VP debates held last night (10/05/2004)?

Author
kaust
Date
2004-10-06T08:34:22-06:00
ID
137179
Comment

I was *astounded* that Cheney even brought up the Factcheck site. Yes, it corrects Kerry's mischaracterizations, but it also shows that a sitting president and his administration are outright lying on many points. And when he said "Factcheck.com" (rather than .org), I screamed out that it was the wrong URL, and someone wondered if the GOP had put up their own to catch the hits. But the unbelievable part is that, if you click on Factcheck.com right now, you get a personal message from George Soros on "Why we must not re-elect President Bush." It was truly a remarkable (mis)use of the Internet on Cheney's part. Now, what I don't know is when that Soros site went up. I need to go check the logs on it. But it's funny whether Cheney suggested a Soros anti-Bush ad by mistake, or whether the Soros somehow got that site up overnight. I can just see them scrambling to buy the URL from its owner after the debate--maybe there's a new millionaire out there somewhere as a result. Interesting use of free enterprise, if so. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T08:40:48-06:00
ID
137180
Comment

Another interesting Cheney factcheck: He said he had never met Edwards last night. Go over to http://www.dailykos.com to see images of Cheney and Edwards together before last night. Didn't Cheney know this would surface? Why would he lie about that? Weird. Also re the Halliburton point: I knew immediately last night that Factcheck.org does not clear his tenure as CEO of Halliburton; what they do, as I recall, is that Kerry overstated the actual, on-paper conflict of interest he has now because he has crossed his Ts, so to speak, legally. That in no way excuses his behavior as CEO--or means that he isn't still trying to give the spoils to his old buddies, who may or may not work with him again later on. Of course, Kerry should not exaggerate the legal conflicts of interest--but that fact does not negate the real facts, which factcheck.org is pointing out, and probablly to a lot more viewers today, thanks to Cheney last night.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T08:52:20-06:00
ID
137181
Comment

I haven't really had a chance to review the transcripts for all the details but after watching the debate (late last night), I feel the following: - Cheney played up his seniority and made Edwards look inferior in the "experience department" - Edwards and Cheney both brought a very human element when discussing same-sex marriage - Edwards did what many feared by openly referring to Cheney's daughter as gay... She's usually not a topic or is skirted in most discussions. - Edwards seemed intimidated by Cheney or nervous in general. I don't think this has anything to do with Edwards not having his facts straight (though they both stretched them). - Cheney definitely came accross as more knowledgeable and seasoned (at least on the topic of war). - Edwards came across as more knowledgeable about the needs of many middle class families (whether policies actually are aligned or not). I actually think they both did excellent jobs in this debate. Cheney definitely carried Bush in this round and may have helped their campaign more than Edwards helped Kerry. Still, I think the upcoming debates will be the true defining moments of both campaigns.

Author
kaust
Date
2004-10-06T08:57:19-06:00
ID
137182
Comment

AP today: "Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session. The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight," Cheney told Edwards during the debate. On Feb. 1, 2001, the vice president thanked Edwards by name at a Senate prayer breakfast and sat beside him during the event. On April 8, 2001, Cheney and Edwards shook hands when they met off-camera during a taping of NBC's "Meet the Press," moderator Tim Russert said Wednesday on "Today." On Jan. 8, 2003, the two met when the first-term North Carolina senator accompanied Elizabeth Dole to her swearing-in by Cheney as a North Carolina senator, Edwards aides also said. Edwards didn't forget their prayer-breakfast meeting. The Democratic vice presidential candidate noted the discrepancy at a post-debate rally in a Cleveland park, calling it an example of Cheney "still not being straight with the American people." Maybe the meetings were about as memorable as all those times Cheney drew connections between Saddam and al Qaeda and assured the American people that Saddam had WMD. He seem to have forgotten those night as well.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T09:36:58-06:00
ID
137183
Comment

I pretty much thought it was a draw, too. It's easy to like either one's answers, depending on your viewpoints. I thought Edwards handled the tort-reform thing very well; the swimming-pool story makes the point very well. Also, my favorite line all night was when Edwards pointed out that Cheney had voted against "meals on wheels," which I assume is true since no factcheckers that I've seen havven't disputed it. We all burst out laughing at that one. Headstart is heartless enough, but MEALS ON WHEELS??? My biggest complaint, though, was with Gwen Ifill. I thought she she did fine during foreign policy section, but how many questions on domestic policy did she actually ask? It was mostly about politics, which isn't the same thing. I thought Edwards did an admirable job of trying to get No Child Left Behind and health care in there, but she never asked the questions directly, I don't think. It's really shameful to not ask a real education question. I expected better about of PBS, for goodness sake. Maybe I shouldn't have. She seemed to devolve into horce-race reporting with the worst of them. Too bad.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T09:52:01-06:00
ID
137184
Comment

Being that the free Cheney publicity seems to be overloading the Factcheck.org server today, making it hard to open, here's the first part of the analysis of this Factcheck about the veep debate: Cheney: Well, the reason they keep mentioning Halliburton is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen. They know the charges are false.They know that if you go, for example, to FactCheck.com (sic), an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, you can get the specific details with respect to Halliburton. Cheney got our domain name wrong -- calling us "FactCheck.com" -- and wrongly implied that we had rebutted allegations Edwards was making about what Cheney had done as chief executive officer of Halliburton. In fact, we†did post an†article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office†from†Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards†was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right. Edwards on Halliburton: Partial Credit We can only give Edwards partial credit for his Halliburton attack, however. He implied that Cheney was in charge of the company when it did business with Libya in violation of US sanctions, but that happened long before Cheney joined the company. "Halliburton" Edwards: While he (Cheney)†was CEO of Halliburton, they paid millions of dollars in fines for providing false information on their company, just like Enron and Ken Lay. They did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States. They're now under investigation for having bribed foreign officials during that period of time. Edwards was also slightly off when†he said†Halliburton paid millions in fines "while he (Cheney) was CEO." What he meant was that it paid fines for matters that took place†while Cheney was in charge. And in fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission†announced Aug. 3 that Halliburton will pay $7.5 million to†settle a matter that dates back to 1998, when Cheney was CEO. Halliburton†failed to disclose a change in its accounting procedures that resulted in making its earnings look better. Cheney himself was not charged with any wrongdoing, however. The SEC said Cheney "provided sworn testimony and cooperated willingly and fully in the investigation." On other matters, Edwards said Halliburton "did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States" and is now "under investigation for having bribed foreign officials" while Cheney was CEO.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T13:35:13-06:00
ID
137185
Comment

Factcheck analysis on last night's Halliburton point: * Iran:†Indeed, Halliburton has said†it†does about $30 million to $40 million in oilfield service business in Iran annually through a subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd. The company†says that†the subsidiary fully complies with US sanctions laws, but the matter currently is under investigation by a federal grand jury in Houston. * Bribery Investigation:†U.S. and French authorities currently are investigating whether a joint venture whose partners included a Halliburton subsidiary paid bribes or kickbacks to win a $12 billion construction project in Nigeria. * Libya:†Edwards was wrong to†include†Libya, however. †In 1995, before†Cheney joined the company, Halliburton†pled guilty to criminal charges that it violated the U.S. ban on exports to Libya and said it would pay $3.81 million in fines. Those†violations dated back to†1987 and 1990. If the Factcheck site doesn't start working soon, I'll post some of the other points from last night that criticize both candidates. Meantime, though, this is the one everyone is buzzing about todayóalong with the fib Cheney told about never meeting Edwards before.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T13:37:09-06:00
ID
137186
Comment

George Soros, BTW, is saying that he doesn't know who re-directed the factcheck.com domain to his site.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-06T13:38:08-06:00
ID
137187
Comment

CNN Reports: A slip of the tongue by the vice president during Tuesday night's debate with Sen. John Edwards led Web surfers to a site run by George Soros, a billionaire who makes no secret of his opposition to the Bush administration. In answering a question about his involvement with Halliburton, Cheney meant to direct people to FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan site run by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. He urged people watching the debate to go to the site for facts countering Edwards' statements about the corporation Cheney used to run. But Cheney cited FactCheck.com, a for-profit advertising site based in the Cayman Islands.

Author
kaust
Date
2004-10-07T09:22:12-06:00
ID
137188
Comment

Todd read this a.m. that the people who owned factcheck.com said they wanted to make a political statement (against Bush) when they heard Cheney misspeak. But they couldn't afford the traffic. So they pointed it to Soros' site, figuring he could afford it. Smart thinking, I suppose. I think think a mill, or at least a few hundred thousand, could have changed hands overnight. The biggest point, though, is that whole defensive mention of Factcheck did not work out for Cheney atall. The real site shows many distortions by his campaign, and that Edwards was "mostly right" with his Halliburton comments during the debate, even as it shows distortions by the other side as well. And the fact that Cheney sent folks there makes it hard to now condemn it. And people who went to the dot-com version get a diatribe by Soros and redirected to the real site! Todd and I were saying on our walk this a.m. that this incident should go into the political blogosphere history books.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-07T09:46:45-06:00
ID
137189
Comment

AP is reporting that Edwards was right on Cheney and Iran sanctions: "Vice President Dick Cheney, who has called Iran 'the world's leading exporter of terror,' pushed to lift U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran while chairman of Halliburton Co. (HAL) in the 1990s. And his company's offshore subsidiaries also expanded business in Iran. [...] "Cheney countered that he now supports sanctions against Iran but sidestepped the issue of Halliburton's involvement, saying it was being raised by Democrats 'to try to confuse the voters.' "Halliburton's foreign subsidiaries did about $65 million in business with Iran last year, company documents say. A federal grand jury is investigating whether Halliburton or its executives deliberately violated the U.S. ban on trade with Iran. "Foreign subsidiaries of American companies can do business with Iran as long as no Americans participate in or direct that business. Halliburton says it did not break that law. While he headed the Houston-based oil services and construction company, Cheney strongly criticized sanctions against countries like Iran and Libya. President Clinton cut off all U.S. trade with Iran in 1995 because of Tehran's support for terrorism." [..] "At an energy industry conference in 1996, Cheney said sanctions were the greatest threat to Halliburton and other American oil-related companies trying to expand overseas. "'We seem to be sanction-happy as a government,' Cheney said. 'The problem is that the good Lord didn't see fit to always put oil and gas resources where there are democratic governments.'" "Sanction-happy?"

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-08T08:59:05-06:00
ID
137190
Comment

A star is born! Factcheck.org e-mailed today: FactCheck Upgrades Service 10.08.2004 Well, we never expected that to happen! As nearly everybody now knows, Vice President Cheney's reference to "factcheck.com" at the debate Oct. 5 touched off an avalanche of publicity and new visitors to our site. Our University of Pennsylvania server was overwhelmed. The number of visitors during the 24 hours after the debate reached five times our previous peak volume, and we have no idea how many tried to get on the site and failed. We have now†contracted with†Boot Networks , a California company,†to†handle the hosting of FactCheck.org.†The switchover began†Thursday, Oct. 7. The content of the site will of course remain under the control of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, as always. Visitors should notice that pages now load much more quickly. We†are assured that visitors†should be able to†reach the site†even at times of unusually high volume. However, some features will be unavailable†for a time.†The "search" function is temporarily disabled, as is†the "e-mail to a friend"†feature. Streaming video of TV ads is not available. We are working to restore all these features as quickly as possible. In the meantime, our core content should be fully available. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we thank you for your patience as we work through these "growing pains." --Brooks Jackson Director, FactCheck.org

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2004-10-08T15:07:13-06:00

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