Fact Checking the Presidential Debate: Both Candidates Get Failing Grade

By Calvin Woodward. President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney spun one-sided stories in their first presidential debate, not necessarily bogus, but not the whole truth.

Here’s a look at some of their claims and how they stack up with the facts:

OBAMA: “I’ve proposed a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. … The way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 in additional revenue.”

THE FACTS: In promising $4 trillion, Obama is already banking more than $2 trillion from legislation enacted along with Republicans last year that cut agency operating budgets and capped them for 10 years. He also claims more than $800 billion in war savings that would occur anyway. And he uses creative bookkeeping to hide spending on Medicare reimbursements to doctors. Take those “cuts” away and Obama’s $2.50/$1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases shifts significantly more in the direction of tax increases.

Obama’s February budget offered proposals that would cut deficits over the coming decade by $2 trillion instead of $4 trillion. Of that deficit reduction, tax increases accounted for $1.6 trillion. He promises relatively small spending cuts of $597 billion from big federal benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid. He also proposed higher spending on infrastructure projects. Read more from this story HERE.

Deficit Math Doesn’t Added Up For Either Candidate

By Thomas Eddlem. The first presidential debate of the 2012 post-primary election season revealed that both Democratic incumbent President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, would increase the national budget deficit more than advertised.

Both candidates claim to have put forward tax and spending plans that would bring the federal budget closer to balance. However, according to the independent analysis of the Congressional Budge Office, both candidates’ plans would actually increase the $1 trillion deficits the federal government is expected to run next year.

President Obama criticized Governor Romney’s tax proposal, charging that he would increase deficits through a “$5 trillion tax cut” and a $2 trillion increase in military spending. “It’s math,” Obama charged, echoing the words of former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. “It’s arithmetic.”

But the math applied by Obama was based on Romney’s proposed cumulative tax cuts and military spending increases over the next 10 years. The 10-year figures are deliberately exaggerated figures since much of the money involved would be in the final few years of the 10-year period, when Romney wouldn’t even be eligible to serve as president even if elected to two terms. Romney countered that “I’m not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I’ve said is I would not put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit.” Romney outlined five goals he’d seek if elected as president, the fourth of which is to “get us to a balanced budget.”

Despite Obama’s deceptive exaggerations, Romney’s proposals would not only fail to get the federal government to a balanced budget, it would increase the federal deficit immensely. Romney has failed to propose spending cuts that would match his substantial tax cut proposal (which includes cutting income tax rates 20 percent across the board) and proposed increases in military spending (some $200 billion in 2016 alone). Read more from this story HERE.

Sex trafficking now an ‘epidemic’ in US

Six months ago, Barbara Amaya said she was watching a story on television about teenage girls being trafficked for sex in her Northern Virginia neighborhood when she realized that she, too, had been the victim of sex trafficking — four decades earlier.

“I didn’t know I had been trafficked,” she told an audience during a panel discussion on human trafficking sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women’s Federation for World Peace at The Washington Times. “I viewed myself as a prostitute.”

Ms. Amaya, now 56, said she was a 13-year-old runaway from Fairfax when she was sold into sex trafficking at 14th and Eye Streets in the District and later was taken to New York City where she was trafficked for eight years. Like a lot of girls forced into sex trafficking, she said she had been abused as a child and at 12, began running away from home.

“I was a walking target,” she said. “I didn’t have low self-esteem, I had no self- esteem.

“I was raped so many times, I can’t remember. I became addicted to heroin and numb to what happened to me,” she said, adding that her trafficker dumped her when she was “no longer valuable to him.”

Read more from this story HERE.

FBI: Russian Agent Living as Texas Businessman, Sending Advanced Electronics to Russian Military for 10 Years

A reputed Houston-based agent for the Russian government is accused of leading an operation that clandestinely shipped sensitive cutting-edge microelectronics from the United States to Russia’s military and intelligence agencies.

Alexander Fishenko, who owns Arc Electronics and other companies linked to the charges, was among 11 people accused in an indictment unsealed Wednesday for their alleged roles in a “Russian military procurement network.”

The microelectronics involved are subject to U.S.-government controls, as they could be enlisted for a wide range of military applications, including surveillance, missile guidance and detonation triggers, according to U.S. authorities.

Eight people were arrested in Houston. Three are fugitives believed to be abroad. The ring operated from 2008 until it was derailed by U.S. federal agents making arrests, and searching homes, businesses and bank accounts.

“In this day and time, the ability of foreign countries to illegally acquire sensitive and sophisticated U.S. technology poses a significant threat to both the economic and national security of our nation,” said Stephen L. Morris, head of the FBI’s Houston Division, which led the two-year investigation.

Read more from this story HERE.

Lawsuit: EPA Senior Officials Using Secret Email Accounts to Hide Communications From FOIA Requests

Environmental Protection Agency officials are keeping mum today about a potential landmine of a lawsuit that claims senior executives there have used secret email accounts to conduct public business without being subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

The suit was filed last week by the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s senior fellow, Christopher C. Horner, Hans Bader, CEI’s counsel for special projects, and Sam Kazman, the conservative think tank’s general counsel.

Ih the suit, CEI asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to order EPA to produce “certain records pertaining to ‘secondary,’ non-public email accounts for EPA administrators, the existence of which accounts Plaintiff discovered in an Agency document obtained under a previous FOIA request.”

EPA Head, Lisa JacksonAccording to the CEI suit, the internal EPA memo, which was referenced in a Government Accountability Office report in 2008, described the secondary accounts as known only to “few EPA staff members, usually only high-level senior staff.”

Many such officials would be either presidential appointees or politically appointed members of the federal civil service system’s Senior Executive Service. The agency’s current boss, Administrator Lisa Jackson, was appointed by President Obama.

Read more from this story HERE.

Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires

Al-Qaeda has been blamed for a recent series of forest fires across Europe, as the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service claimed they were set by arsonists as part of the group’s low-cost attack strategy.

Deadly fires have swept through forest land in EU countries such as Portugal and Spain.

“One should note that setting fires to forests in the countries of the European Union is a new tendency in al-Qaeda’s strategy of a ‘thousand cuts’,” Alexander Bortnikov said, according to state news agency RIA Novosti, at a meeting of heads of security agencies.

“This method allows (al-Qaeda) to inflict significant economic and moral damage without serious preliminary preparations, technical equipment or significant expenses.”

In linking al-Qaeda to the deadly wildfires, Mr Bortnikov pointed to calls to launch a “forest jihad” by various extremist websites which he said also publish detailed instructions about how and where to best carry out arson.

Read more from this story HERE.

Obama Admin. Arguing It’s Legal To Track Citizens’ Every Movement Without A Warrant

The Obama administration told federal judges in New Orleans yesterday that warrantless tracking of the location of Americans’ mobile devices is perfectly legal.

Federal prosecutors are planning to argue that they should be able to obtain stored records revealing the minute-by-minute movements of mobile users over a 60-day period — in this case, T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers — without having to ask a judge to approve a warrant first.

The case highlights how valuable location data is for police, especially when it’s tied to devices that millions of people carry with them almost all the time. Records kept by wireless carriers can hint at or reveal medical treatments, political associations, religious convictions, and even whether someone is cheating on his or her spouse.

“It’s at a point now where the public awareness about this specific issue is growing,” says Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who will be arguing the pro-privacy side before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this morning.

Today’s oral arguments are remarkably timely: on Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, vetoed (PDF) a bill that would have required law enforcement to obtain location warrants. And last week, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat representing Silicon Valley, introduced pro-warrant federal legislation.

Read more from this story HERE.

Videos: Obama’s 2007 Speech Praising Jeremiah Wright, “Fundamentally Dishonest, Racist”

The following videos of Obama’s 2007 Hampton University Speech are marked by “fundamental dishonesty” and “appeals to race,” according to Newt Gingrich, whose interview with Fox News appears below.

The videos also reflect Obama using not just words he later denies, but also a style of speech that differs from what he uses now.

But first, here’s a shortened clip of Obama’s warm praise for Jeremiah Wright. It begins about 45 seconds into the video, where Obama gives a “special shout-out to my pastor”:

Here’s a longer clip of the same speech:

Finally, listen to Newt Gingrich break it all down:

Video: Jon Stewart Skewers Obama Over His Response to Benghazi

Jon Stewart pretty much tells it like it is in this video hammering Obama’s response to the Benghazi attacks.

He goes through the sequence of contradictory statements from the administration and concludes with Obama still refusing to admit the attacks were terrorism, not reactions to a two-bit pornographer’s video, the Innocence of Muslims.

Stewart finishes the collage with this assessment: “Two things apparently have become clear. The attack on our embassy was planned and coordinated. The response to it, ahhh, not so much.”

Whistleblowers: Benghazi Consulate Was Attacked 13 Times Before 9/11, Repeatedly Asked for More Security

Two House Republicans say they have been informed by whistleblowers that the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and threatened 13 times before the incident last month that killed four Americans.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter on Tuesday that detailed the whistleblowers’ allegations.

“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012,” Issa and Chaffetz wrote. “It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest.”

The congressmen said the consulate asked for more security to deal with the growing threat but was turned down by the administration.

“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Videos: Two Hilarious Political Comedies Featuring Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, others

After justifiably getting beat up by many of our loyal subscribers over posting the Paul Ryan “lip reading video,” we’ve taken it down.

The video that was originally posted featured a “video-shopped” Paul Ryan saying a number of sometimes humorous things. As one subscriber noted, however, it also included some profane stuff that we had not caught originally, so we took it down.

What we found interesting (and disturbing) was how it was exceptionally difficult for the average viewer to see that Ryan was not actually saying what the video creators had dubbed in. In other words, seeing isn’t necessarily believing.

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We’ve left the next video up but, if you are overly sensitive about your candidate, please don’t watch it.

It’s a recent production that matches up the GOP primary candidates in a “Mortal Kombat” type mock up: