Posted by: inforodeo | February 6, 2019

FACT-CHECKING a FACT-CHECK of TRUMP’S 2019 SOTU ADDRESS

Yes, I watched it on Fox News …

The POTUS spoke last night, and media are leaping in to dig for supportive evidence of his leadership … or evidence of his lies.

Sadly for the anti-MAGAs, even the liberal-leaning media is struggling to pick away at one of the most interesting SOTU addresses given in modern times.

I’m going to summarize and fact-check the “fact check” CNN posted today; the link to their original article is posted below. I’m adding my own verdict to each of the claims they chose to examine, based on the strength of their arguments and evidence provided.

Some of the other news media attempts at fact checks have been pretty weak: in following links provided, I’ve seen articles arguing numbers the President gave, using linked page data from six years ago. CNN was pretty good overall, though many claims were along the lines of “he’s wrong because we know what he’s really thinking” or “he’s wrong because this completely unrelated data is scary.”

In most cases where CNN has declared an item “true but needs context”, or “true but misleading” the context provided may be irrelevant to the words they took issue to, and ”misleading” can only be stated if you have an existing bias as to where you think he was trying to lead the audience, or where you wanted to be led to. I’ve listed these as “True” if the statement itself is accurate without these assumptions.

Claim: “1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.”

“Indeed, the trek to the US-Mexico border has been reported to be violent. According to data from Doctors Without Borders, 68.3% of migrants and refugees “entering Mexico reported being victims of violence during their transit toward the United States,” and nearly one-third of women said they’d been sexually abused.”

VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

Claim: “Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.”

CNN responded to this claim in three parts:

1. Trump makes this claim a lot.

2. DOJ doesn’t track nationalities in its reports.

3. Immigrants are less likely to be convicted of crime.

So … the fact that Trump has made this statement a lot does not support or refute it: this is an ad hominem logical fallacy, so point one was a waste of text. If DOJ doesn’t track/release nationalities of crime perpetrators, then Trump’s use of the word “countless” is factually correct, though CNN’s attempt to use this as a point is actually an “appeal to ignorance” fallacy. The final point, though most relevant, is also unrelated to the point: the fact that immigrants are less likely to be convicted of a crime a) does not mean immigrants are not convicted of crimes; b) does not mean those not convicted haven’t committed a crime; c) ignores the fact that crime data is only gathered when crimes are reported; d) ignores the fact that nonsecure borders allow criminals to leave the country and escape prosecution unchecked.

VERDICT: PROBABLY TRUE.

Claim: “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.”

“The President’s statement, which has been repeated by public officials and the White House over the course of the last year, makes an inaccurate connection.”

This one includes the facts to back up CNN’s point.

VERDICT: FALSE.

Claim: “The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.”

“Trump said the southern border is “lawless,” while making the case for sending an additional 3,750 troops to the border.”

CNN follows this with statements and data to indicate that, BECAUSE OF border security measures, US border cities are relatively safer than interior US cities.

While the criticism of Trump’s use of the word “lawless” is inaccurate by the statements presented, focus on that word does ignore crimes committed in border cities using smuggled military munitions (grenades!), or committed by cartels; as well as crimes committed by undocumented aliens in interior cities. Since the purpose of fact-checking is to examine the specific statements made, CNN is, in this case, correct.

VERDICT: FALSE.

Claim: “I want people to come into our country, in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

This is at odds with what’s been the administration’s stance on legal immigration. Trump has both sought to cut legal immigration and has made it more difficult for asylum seekers.”

CNN follows their claim with paragraphs using words like “signaled” and “signs”, without ever providing actual statements or data that indicate the administration doesn’t want this. They do list recent actions to enforce existing laws regarding illegal immigration – which reinforces Trump’s differentiation between “legal immigration” and “illegal immigration.”

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.”

“Trump can claim some credit for the acceleration of the economy on his watch, but not most of it.”

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.”

“This is true, but needs context.”

VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

Claim: We have “added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs. Something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is we are just getting started.”

“… it’s true that growth in manufacturing jobs has sped up during the past two years. The reason for uptick is likely due to a number of factors, including falling oil prices, strong job numbers nationwide, and deregulation.”

“Likely” is a speculative word, so it has no place in fact-checking, but which party wants deregulation and growth in manufacturing?

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58% of the newly created jobs last year. All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.”

CNN says this number has actually decreased from higher numbers during the Bush administration, and speculates that

“There are a number of reasons behind the trend including structural issues and an aging population. The US is the only advanced economy without a government-mandated paid maternity leave and lacks affordable child- and elder-care options making it more difficult for women to work.”

Otherwise avoiding highlighting a significant point in Trump’s SOTU, they do concede:

“Trump announced in his speech plans to include in this year’s fiscal budget a nationwide paid family leave.”

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “More people are working now than at any time in our history. 157 million people at work.”

“That’s true, but it could do with some context.”

CNN’s context is that we still need to reduce unemployment levels.

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill,” Trump said, “and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future.”

One year ago, Trump proposed a plan, but congress hasn’t acted on it yet.

“The plan … focused on making it easier to get federal permits and would allow the federal government to sell assets that “would be better managed by state, local, or private entities,” according to the proposal.”

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, this is unfair, and together we will stop it.”

“It’s true that Americans shell out more for medications than their peers in Canada, Europe and many other places. Trump has often pointed this out as yet another example of how the world takes advantage of the US.”

VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

Claim: “As a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.”

“This is true, but misleading.”

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “We have spent more than $7 trillion dollars in the Middle East,” Trump said of the conflicts “in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“This is false — never mind that Afghanistan isn’t in the Middle East. And it’s not the first time Trump has floated this claim about spending on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“A CNN analysis found that in order to get to $7 trillion, you have to add future spending, most of which is for veterans over the next 35 years.”

CNN and others don’t want to acknowledge what Trump – a businessman – identified: the cost of war – the costs that come out of our military budgets – include the costs associated with paying benefits to veterans of those wars. This is so absolutely accurate; those who ignore these long term costs of actions are living in an imaginary world where endless credit flows through the government’s faucets and money grows on the mountainsides in our national parks.

VERDICT: TRUE, AND SIGNIFICANT.

Claim: “When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Just two years ago. Today, we have liberated virtually all of the territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty monsters.”

“Trump is right about the amount of territory re-captured from ISIS during his time office. At the end of 2016, ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq was about 23,320 square miles, according to defense publication IHS Jane’s. On Tuesday, the commander of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, said the group is “down to about 20 square miles that they still control.””

CNN goes on to try attacking the president for past statements about ISIS that weren’t a part of the SOTU, so that injection of bias in their “fact check” can be ignored, along with any notions of their journalistic integrity.

VERDICT: TRUE.

Claim: “If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.”

“This is questionable.”

This is, by far, the most awkward and embarrassing statement Trump made at the SOTU; it’s both prideful and a slippery slope fallacy of logic. However, some analysts have reluctantly agreed with the statement.

VERDICT: TRUE, BUT AWKWARD.

Claim: “We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. Finally. For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by friends of ours — members of NATO. But now we have secured, over the last couple of years, more than $100 billion of increase in defense spending from our NATO allies. They said it couldn’t be done.”

“Trump is right that NATO allies stepped up their defense spending under his watch.”

VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

Claim: Trump declared that the US is withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, adding that “while we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms.”

“This is true.”

VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

Claim: “This new era of cooperation can start with finally confirming the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are still stuck in the Senate — in some cases years and years waiting. Not right. The Senate has failed to act on these nominations, which is unfair to the nominees and very unfair to our country. Now is the time for bipartisan action.”

“This is misleading. While it is true that confirmations for Trump nominees lag behind the rate of confirmation for other American presidents, it is inaccurate to suggest that it is entirely the fault of the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.”

“Suggest” has no place in fact checking.

VERDICT: TRUE.

Please read the original CNN article and decide for yourself! The link is at the bottom of the page.

Most fact-checking articles and sites will ignore some of the very powerful and significant moments of the SOTU Address, as looking too closely at them may reveal the President does know how to lead, and others might be too controversial. Viewing video of it in its entirety is highly suggested; reading it at your own pace is a great idea too.

Some highlights of last night that were entertaining/moving:

  • The white-coat women, newly elected to Congress, ignoring and scoffing at statements about what is going well with the country, while leaping in excitement at recognition of themselves by the President.
  • The President’s stern words against late-term abortion, and mention of God.
  • The President’s stern words against socialism, and the look on our socialist politician’s faces.
  • Congress chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”
  • Congress singing “Happy Birthday to You” to a Holocaust survivor
  • Pelosi playing with her dentures and sarcastically clapping
  • Our military leaders looking uneasy
  • The lady Trump pardoned standing and crying
  • The cross-party applauding and energy that did happen throughout much of the address

Bernie Sanders feels the burn when the POTUS slammed socialism.

This is a great nation, and despite political differences and a President that can sometimes sound like a 13-year old bully, we seem to be on the right track under this leadership.

Original Source (CNN Article): https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/05/politics/fact-check-trump-state-of-the-union/index.html?ofs=fbia

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Posted by: inforodeo | July 28, 2015

Face it: The World is Ugly.

A body of a 23-year old woman was found in an alley between two dumpsters in one of the bigger communities near here. As is the case with every tragic death or unusual crime, I did a quick search on social media to look at her profile and make sense of the human side of her story. In her recent photos, she looked gaunt. Her posts were difficult to read because of spelling errors – the kind people make when they are typing drunk or under the influence. Other clues in her photos hinted at a troubled family, where an addiction or other injurious lifestyle was eating away at the family. They seemed happy …

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Posted by: inforodeo | September 14, 2014

We Couldn’t End Homelessness By Scrapping F-35 Jets

I saw a meme the other day that said

The money spent on the failed F-35 Jet could buy every homeless person a $600,000 house.

So I got curious.
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Posted by: inforodeo | July 23, 2014

The Biblical Ignorance of Some People …

“Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who gives people free healthcare. You’re thinking of Jesus.”

This bumper sticker, shared by George Takei today, means well. It wants to be clever. I can appreciate that.

Setting aside political motivations for a second, however, it is Biblically inaccurate.

First, and the most debatable, there is no definitive proof that Jesus was “brown-skinned.” Likewise, there is no proof that he is not, so that phrase must be eliminated:

“Obama is not an anti-war socialist who gives people free healthcare. You’re thinking of Jesus.”

Second, where did the anti-war part come from? Jesus led the battle in Heaven between Satan and the Father. He leads it still. Even those who readily throw away the supernatural could not have missed this “historical figure’s” command to his disciples to sell their coats and buy swords (Luke 22:36), or his statement that he “came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Strike “anti-war”:

“Obama is not a socialist who gives people free healthcare. You’re thinking of Jesus.”

Third, Socialism, a modern word, has different meanings, depending on who is slinging it. Those who want Jesus to be a Socialist can bend things around to prove it, as can those who don’t want Him to be. The term is useless. Do away with it:

“Obama is not someone who gives people free healthcare. You’re thinking of Jesus.”

Fourth, Jesus didn’t give “free” healthcare. Each of his miracles required work on the part of the recipient. The blind man had to put mud on his eyes. The lepers had to bathe in the river. The woman had to reach out and touch his cloak. The possessed man had to approach him, as did others. Even the dead girl was commanded to “arise.”
On the other side of the coin, Obama doesn’t provide free healthcare either. It comes at a cost. The Affordable Care Act is administered by the government, not the President. And very few citizens get it “free.”

“Obama is not Jesus.”

Much more accurate.

Posted by: inforodeo | July 14, 2013

Zimmerman Not Guilty

I am frustrated with those whining war-mongers who want to turn everything into a race issue.

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Posted by: inforodeo | July 3, 2013

Pro-Abortion Activists: Soldiers of the Destroyer

Only a few weeks after the grotesque trial of an abortion doctor who murdered living babies by snipping their spines with scissors, anti-abortion activists are chanting “Hail Satan”, telling a politician they hope his daughter gets raped, and having small children hold signs that say, “If I wanted the Government in My Womb I would F*** A Senator!”

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Posted by: inforodeo | January 15, 2013

Rodeo Reply to “Why I Raise My Children Without God”

I was working on homework today and made the mistake of reading a CNN iReport titled, “Why I Raise My Children Without God.” I’d hoped to avoid any distractions while I suffered through several pages of research on terrorist organizations. In the post, the author lists several reasons why she has chosen to raise her children to not believe in a higher power.

I like that we have freedom of speech in our country. I am also deeply grateful to God for helping me get through the roughest places in my life, and feel I have an obligation to defend Him and those who believe in Him to the best of my ability. I don’t agree with the things the author said in the post. I think that less damage is done to raise children to believe and then to let some fall away later … than to raise them not to believe and have them continue indoctrination as adults.

While I feel it is appropriate to allow all people to voice their views, I am in disagreement with the author of this iReport. I have maintained the headings of each section, and written my own comments beneath each. I have tried not to personally attack the writer, and offer my apologies if it comes across that way. This post will be a little different than most InfoRodeo posts because I am expressing my true beliefs rather than dancing around in some conspiracy.

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Posted by: inforodeo | November 12, 2012

More Thoughts on Same-Sex Union

A friend of mine posted a quote on a social networking site today that said, “Denying another group of people equal rights because of your religious beliefs is still bigotry.” 

It looks like that argument is not going away any time soon.

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Posted by: inforodeo | November 5, 2012

Why The Lesser Evil Doctrine Makes Sense

Who cares if the captain wears a different brand of shoes? If the ship is going down, there is nothing admirable in refusing to bail it out.

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Posted by: inforodeo | August 5, 2012

Sikhs Are Good Americans

This morning’s shooting in a Sikh temple reminds me of the morning of September 11th, 2001, when I was working with Sikhs in a major U.S. City.

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