On politicians and lies

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
On politicians and lies story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The polls have been working overtime since the first Presidential debate kicked off Wednesday night.

Most give a victory to Governor Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama.

The consensus seems to be that Romney was aggressive but still pleasant, had style and great command of the facts.

They thought Obama knew the facts as well, but seemed distant, uninvolved and maybe a little unprepared.

However, neither of them were able to escape the scrutiny of the fact checkers.

Tom Van Howe has more in tonight's Tom's Corner.

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I'm not sure when it happens, but there comes a time when we grow comfortable with people not telling us the truth.

Not to suggest we like it, or embrace it. We just grow to accept it.

Not entirely unlike coming to realize that our sports heroes aren't without flaws.

We learn to accept them, even after, for example, we find they lied to us, to their teammates, sometimes to Congress, even to themselves, about whether they at one time in their lives ingested performance-enhancing drugs.

After all the dust settles, we're apt to apologize for them—as in, 'say what you want about the guy, he had incredible hand-eye coordination.'

In Detroit, Matty Moroun, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, has been and is throwing around tens of millions of dollars to fund a disinformation and misinformation campaign to get you to vote yes on his two amendment proposals on this year's ballot.

Both are urging us to vote yes on amendments that would make it harder, if not impossible for the construction of a new bridge between the U.S. and Canada.

He's not telling the truth when he says it'll end up costing Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars.

He's lying—to protect his bridge.

But people seem willing to accept that we live in a hazy world of deception.

In last night's debate, both Romney and Obama said a number of things things that the fact checkers and truth squads now say were sort of like half-true.

Some things were true, some were not. Many things fell into the ambiguous category of—you know—sort of true, sort of not.

Here's a paragraph from the Associated Press: "Obama's claim that Romney wants to cut taxes by five trillion dollars doesn't add up. Presumably, Obama was talking about the effect of Romney's tax plan over ten years, which is common in Washington. But Obama's math doesn't take into account Romney's entire plan."

Of course, no one has a clue what Romney's entire plan consists of.

It's all about political gamesmanship. About saying whatever a candidate or a bridge owner—who donates millions to state politicians, by the way—thinks ought to be said to get a vote.

We have long since grown to accept that promises made on the campaign trail are not really promises at all.

What do we do? We shrug our shoulders.

And that may be the most unacceptable thing of all.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.
On politicians and lies
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Business News

Last Update on April 17, 2014 17:08 GMT

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits last week rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. Jobless claims continue to be near pre-recession levels despite the slight increase.

The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 312,000. That is the lowest four-week average since October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession started. The average has fallen by 53,500 applications over the past 12 months.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The current level of claims suggests that employers are holding on their workers with the expectation of stronger economic growth ahead.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by severe winter weather.

MORTGAGE RATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering over the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have held back some potential home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.

EARNS-GOLDMAN SACHS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investment bank Goldman Sachs says its first-quarter earnings fell as fixed income trading slumped.

The bank earned $1.9 billion in the quarter, down 11 percent from the same period a year earlier when it made $2.2 billion.

The earnings were equivalent to $4.02 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $3.49 a share.

Revenue totaled $9.3 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier, when the bank generated revenue of $10.1 billion. The latest quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion.

Goldman's stock rose $2.78, or 1.8 percent, to $160 in pre-market trading.

EARNS-PEPSICO

NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo reports a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as the company slashed costs and sold more snacks around the world.

The company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana, says global snack volume rose 2 percent while beverages were even from a year ago.

In its closely watched North American beverage unit, PepsiCo Inc. says volume was even. Growth in other drinks offset a 1 percent decline in sodas.

For the quarter, the company earned $1.22 billion, or 79 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 83 cents per share, above the 75 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share.

Revenue edged up to $12.62 billion, higher than the $12.39 billion analysts expected.

EARNS-MATTEL

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Toy maker Mattel says weak sales of Barbie and markdowns to clear out excess inventory left over from a sluggish holiday season led to an unexpected first-quarter loss.

Toy makers are facing a weak environment globally due to the uncertain economy and popularity of electronic gadgets.

The largest U.S. toy maker says its net loss for the three months ended March 31 totaled $11.2 million, or 3 cents per share. That compares with net income of $38.5 million, or 11 cents per share last year. Analysts expected earnings of 7 cents per share.

The company which makes Disney Princess dolls and Hot Wheels cars says revenue fell 5 percent to $946.2 million. Analysts expected $947.6 million. Barbie revenue dropped 14 percent.

TARGET-SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

NEW YORK (AP) -- Target is vastly expanding the goods that are available to order by subscription as it fends off its biggest non-traditional retail rival, Amazon.com.

The nation's second-largest discounter first dabbled with subscriptions last September, trying to win over haggard parents with 150 baby care products.

That program has been expanded more than tenfold this week to nearly 1,600 items across a much wider array of consumer goods. Everything from beauty products and pet supplies, to home office supplies like printer ink, are now available through subscription.

Target, based in Minneapolis, is playing catch up in the subscription arena, which has exploded as companies test consumer appetites for almost every niche, from socks to razors, to clothing and entertainment.

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