Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fact Checking factcheck.org

Sarah Palin and fact checking factcheck.org …

Please help fact check factcheck.org.

>>> Factcheck.org http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/sliming_palin.html
Reading this post in it’s entirety is recommended. I have read factcheck.org for a long time and was very disturbed when I read their original post. I had trusted them as a neutral source of information and knew that there was a ‘rest of the story’.

>>> I found ‘RealRhono2’s response on http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=78&f=1414&t=2959426 Posted today 4:21 PM (9/9/08)
I took the liberty of piecing together a number of his/her responses for readability. I think the detail in these posts is worth reviewing although it does all make my head spin.

RealRhino2 wrote: Summary

Fact-checking factcheck.org. Some of those statements are themselves VERY misleading.
1. Palin DID in fact cut funding for what we would traditionally think of as special needs kids (such as her son Trig) when she took office. The confusion stems from the fact that prior to her becoming Governor, the "special education budget contained four programs: SESA (basically education for severely disabled kids like Trig), a program for deaf children, another for other learning disabled kids, and something called the Alaska Youth Challenge Program, which is a "boot camp" style school essentially for teenagers getting voc tech type and life skills.

When Palin took over, she removed the Alaska Youth Challenge Program from the "special education" budget and put it somewhere else. That is why people claimed she cut the budget by 62%.

BUT it is just as misleading to say she increased the "special needs" budget. What she did was increase the heck out of the Challenge Progam, the "boot camp" program for troubled teenagers. She in fact reduced the funding for SESA, the program available for kids like Trig. The budgets for the other two programs remained the same.

Re the "special needs" funding: Alaska's pre-Palin budget:


Dollars shown in thousands. SESA ("low incidence severely disabled students") = $2,072.3. Challenge program ("'boot camp' environment") = $5,091.6.

Alaska's first Palin budget:


SESA = $2,054.6.

ACYA 2008 = $5,709 (up from $5.091.6 in 2007).
ACYA 2009 = $6,082.1

She increased fundings for juvenile delinquents to get social/life skills to join the workforce. A find goal, to be sure. But not what is traditionally thought of as "special needs" kids like her DS baby, Trig.


RealRhino2 wrote:

2. No, she didn't "demand" that books be banned. As we've seen with Troopergate, that's not her style. Her style seems to be to question and imply, and then fire somebody if they don't do what she's implied should be done. It is EXTREMELY misleading to say the librarian remained employed there for several years after Palin came on board.

The facts are these, and they are not disputed: Soon after she became mayor, Palin asked the librarian if she would comfortable banning some books if she was asked to do so (by whom is unclear). The librarian said she would not. Just a couple of months after that (not YEARS, months), Palin sent the librarian a letter telling her she was going to be fired because Palin felt the librarian didn't fully support her. (One wonders what that could even be about, if not for the book banning issue. What else was there to support her on in that short time?) After community pressure to keep the well-respected librarian, Palin relented and didn't fire her.

Re: Librarian. Pretty easy, really:


Anchorage Daily News article. Would librarian be okay with banning books, you know, if somebody asked her to? Nope. Few months later, "Surprise! You're going to be fired!"


RealRhino2 wrote:

3. It is false to say she has not pushed for teaching creationism in public schools, unless they are relying on semantic arguments of what it means to "push" for teaching it. She certainly suggested that creationism should be taught in public schools alongside evolutionary theory. In a televised debate during her run for Governor, when asked if creationism should be taught with evolution, she said: "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

What could be more clear than that? "I am a proponent of teaching both."

The next, when she got some blowback on the issue, she hedged by saying essentially, "I'm not saying it *has* to be part of the curriculum, I'm just saying that if it comes up in discussion that should be okay."

There is CLEARLY a difference between saying it shouldn't be prohibited in an open discussion in the classroom and saying "Teach both." Not "Talk about both if it happens to come up," but "teach both."

3. Creationism:

Again, semantic argument about "push." She said it should be taught, but she didn't use her position as Governor to try to force it to be added to the curriculum. What do you get for that, partial credit?

Is that all we mean by "pushing" it? I guess. I think it says something that her personal belief is that is "should" be taught.


RealRhino2 wrote:
4. As to supporting Buchanan, it looks like we are again getting into semantics. She wore a campaign button for the guy. Is that support? Courtesy? Who knows? Not really a "factual" matter that can be wrong or right, IMO, given that her efforts for Forbes happened after that. She may have changed her mind after Buchanan's visit. Maybe she found out he's a pig and she switched her allegiance. Non-issue, but not really something that can be proved or disproved, IMO.


RealRhino2 wrote:

Did you happen to know that she became co-chair of Steve Forbes's Presidential campaign only AFTER she was wearing a Pat Buchanan and was at his fundraising event? Is it just not possible that she at one time supported Pat Buchanan, met him and thought him a d-bag, and so switched her support to Forbes?

Please note that I'm not saying she did or she didn't. I'm saying it's not really discoverable as a factual matter. She wore a Buchanan button and appeared at a Buchanan event. She claims it was courtesy. Fine. Could be. Others claim it was support. Fine. Could be. Only person that *really* knows is Palin herself. But to claim that it's a "lie" is just not possible, IMO. The best we can do is say that Palin says otherwise, claiming she wore the button out of courtesy, and that shortly thereafter she was co-chair of Forbes's campaign. Which doesn't mean she *never* supported Buchanan, just that ultimately she did not.

Let me put it in a ridiculous way that should make it clear. Hillary Clinton has recently gone on record in support of Obama's Presidency bid. Does that mean she never supported anybody else earlier in the race? 'Cause I can think of one person she supported pretty heavily..... ;-)

I think Republicans protest too much about the media interest in Palin. She's an unknown; the coverage had to be expected.


Marie wrote: Special thanks to RealRhino2 With so many of us in information overload, juggling busy this kind of detail is so appreciated. I don't have a way to verify RealRhino2 ... what I do know for sure is much of my thinking goes along the same path as RealRhino's...

When will Palin pale next to the economy? Can the Bankruptcy of America be stopped? When will people see the link between National Security and our Economy? What if we could change course? Stay tune in America... and check out American Progress'in your spare time.

Just imagine the possibilities.

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