Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fact checking and broken promise

A couple of items from The first is a simple fact check:
In an interview with Novaya Gazeta , a Russian newspaper, President Barack Obama was asked what caused the economic crisis. Obama answered that oil imports were partly to blame.

"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he said in the July 6, 2009, interview. "We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before."

Obama said the same thing on February 24, 2009, during his first address to Congress.

But . . . crude oil and petroleum imports have actually declined in recent years after peaking in 2005 and 2006. . . .

In two decades, imported oil will be down by about 20 percent, according to a March 2009 EIA report.

And in April 2009, the American Petroleum Institute said that imports have fallen to their lowest levels in three years.
The second is a broken promise:

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said several times that he intended to negotiate health care reform publicly. In fact, he said, he'd televise the negotiations on C-SPAN, with all the parties sitting at a big table. That way, Americans would be more engaged in the process and insist on real change.

That's what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process. . . ."

I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.

We were able to find four additional instances where he made the same promise during public appearances in 2007 and 2008. And in one case, he said he'd do it in his first 100 days.

[S]o far, substantial negotiations on health reform have been held behind closed doors. These include two agreements with the drug industry and hospitals to reduce costs over the next 10 years. In Congress, some of the committee bill writing sessions have been open, but negotiations are also taking place behind closed doors. That's routine in Congress. Much of the difficult negotiations take place in private sessions, before bills come to committee or the House or Senate floor.

No comments: