Paul Krugman Rips Politifact Over “Lie of the Year: Republicans Voted to End Medicare”

Paul Krugman rips Politifact over “Lie of the Year” claim. I knew when GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann started saying Politifact was vouching her claims, that they were on their way out as a source for political fact-checking. Now, they may have outdone themselves with the “Lie of the Year 2011: Republicans voted to end Medicare.”

Paul Krugman writes: “This is really awful.  Politifact, which is supposed to police false claims in politics, has announced its Lie of the Year — and it’s a statement that happens to be true, the claim that Republicans have voted to end Medicare.”

How is this not an end to Medicare? And given all the actual, indisputable lies out there, how on earth could saying that it is be the “Lie of the year”?

The answer is, of course, obvious: the people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other. So they’ve bent over backwards to appear “balanced” — and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.

Steve Benen writes:  “This is simply indefensible. Claims that are factually true shouldn’t be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.

It’s unnerving that we have to explain this again, but since PolitiFact appears to be struggling with the relevant details, let’s set the record straight.

Medicare is a single-payer health care system offering guaranteed benefits to seniors. The House Republican budget plan intended to privatize the existing system and replace it with something very different — a voucher scheme. It would still be called “Medicare,” but it wouldn’t be Medicare.”

 Paul Krugman Rips Politifact Over Lie of the Year: Republicans Voted to End Medicare

Tom Engelhardt’s Al-Jazeera Op-Ed Column: "Let’s Forget 9/11" & "Remove it From Our Collective Consciousness"

Is it time for us to stop commemorating the terrorist attacks on September 11th? Apparently Tom Engelhardt, a fellow at the liberal-leaning The Nation Institute and a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, would like us to do just that. In an op-ed on Al-Jazeera.com, he said it’s time for the United States to “bag” remembrance of the September 11 attacks. Does he really think that’s fair to all those people who lost their lives in those unspeakable acts of violence? What about the family members left to grieve the demise of their loved ones at the hands of terrorists? Here’s an excerpt from the op-ed:

Let’s bag it.

I’m talking about the tenth anniversary ceremonies for 9/11, and everything that goes with them: the solemn reading of the names of the dead, the tolling of bells, the honouring of first responders, the gathering of presidents, the dedication of the new memorial, the moments of silence. The works.

Let’s just can it all. Shut down Ground Zero. Lock out the tourists. Close “Reflecting Absence”, the memorial built in the “footprints” of the former towers with its grove of trees, giant pools, and multiple waterfalls before it can be unveiled this Sunday. Discontinue work on the underground National September 11 Museum due to open in 2012. Tear down the Freedom Tower (redubbed 1 World Trade Center after our “freedom” wars went awry), 102 stories of “the most expensive skyscraper ever constructed in the United States”. (Estimated price tag: $3.3bn.) Eliminate that still-being-constructed, hubris-filled 1,776 feet of building, planned in the heyday of George W Bush and soaring into the Manhattan sky like a nyaah-nyaah invitation to future terrorists. Dismantle the other three office towers being built there as part of an $11bn government-sponsored construction programme. Let’s get rid of it all. If we had wanted a memorial to 9/11, it would have been more appropriate to leave one of the giant shards of broken tower there untouched.

Ask yourself this: ten years into the post-9/11 era, haven’t we had enough of ourselves? If we have any respect for history or humanity or decency left, isn’t it time to rip the Band-Aid off the wound, to remove 9/11 from our collective consciousness? No more invocations of those attacks to explain otherwise inexplicable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our oh-so-global war on terror. No more invocations of 9/11 to keep the Pentagon and the national security state flooded with money. No more invocations of 9/11 to justify every encroachment on liberty, every new step in the surveillance of Americans, every advance in pat-downs and wand-downs and strip downs that keeps fear high and the homeland security state afloat.

It is absolutely amazing at the how little regard people like Tom Engelhardt have for the victims of these attacks. We commemorate a whole hosts of events that brought pain and suffering to innocent Americans, so why take offense to 9/11? No matter what your political affiliation or ideology, it is just plain wrong to ask or even entertain any thoughts of obliterating the events of 9/11 from our memories. You just can’t wipe it out of your mind. What he wrote is far more destructive and divisive than the mess Paul Krugman wrote in his short column. I agree that both the Republicans and Democrats have publicized this tragedy ad nauseam, but is it fair to ask Americans to forget and wipe it from our collective consciousness?

Paul Krugman Says Former President George W. Bush & Rudy Giuliani "Fake Heroes of 9/11 Rushing to Cash In" on Terrorist Attacks

Paul Krugman pens scathing column, “The Years of Shame,” calling former President George W. Bush and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani “fake heroes” of 9/11 terror attacks, who rushed to “cash in on the horror.”

 Paul Krugman Says Former President George W. Bush & Rudy Giuliani "Fake Heroes of 9/11 Rushing to Cash In" on Terrorist Attacks
Paul Krugman “Years of Shame” after 9/11

Paul Krugman wrote a scathing column, “The Years of Shame,” criticizing former President George W. Bush & former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, “fake heroes” of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He claims both men “rushed to cash in on the horror.” I wouldn’t say both men rushed to cash in on what was one of the worst days in America’s history but I do think that the love-affair people developed with Rudy Giuliani, calling him “America’s mayor” was misguided at best. Any other mayor in a similar position would have reacted the same way. That was a part of his job. He couldn’t run and hide. He had to be visible.

The Years of Shame

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons. Source: NY Times

This isn’t the time to point fingers at who cashed in and who didn’t. Many innocent lives were lost at the hands of people who wanted to hurt us in the worse way. This isn’t an occasion for shame, but to be proud of all those first responders who died doing their jobs. It is an occasion to be proud of those passengers who  stopped the terrorists from carrying out their plans by downing that plane in Pennsylvania. Paul Krugman has clearly missed the mark in his commentary on those “fake heroes” of 9/11. My maternal grandmother always said, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything. Mr. Krugman, that applies to you as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the Republicans, including President Bush and VP Dick Cheney, rammed down  our throats the events of 9/11 and tricked many who would have voted for John Kerry to vote for their party out of fear of another terrorist attack. Bush and his team used the events as political capital leading up to the 2004 elections. They also used fear-mongering to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq, with no end in sight years later. The same fear-mongering was used to force Americans to support President Bush’s largely unpopular agenda, that has left this country mired in debt and a hot mess. Yes, I do agree that the Republicans have used 9/11 as a fear-mongering tool, but can we just have one day to commemorate the lost lives and honor the victims and survivors alike?