Printed letters, October 10, 2013

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Congressman John Dingell (D-MICH) – the longest-serving incumbent in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives – has long insisted that Republicans are “skilled liars”.

This attribute became apparent when failed Republican 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IOWA) falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) established “death panels” that could “pull the plug on grandma”.

Republican lies multiplied exponentially during the 2012 Romney-Ryan “etch-a-sketch” presidential campaign, reaching a crescendo during 2013’s orchestrated misinformation barrage targeted against “ObamaCare”.

The most recent evidence of just how deeply “skilled lies” have penetrated the Sentinel’s local readership is today’s letter from Jim Daniels (“President, other Democrats resort to scaremongering”) – which has its facts completely backwards.

Despite the expanding majority opinion of better informed Americans, Daniels believes that President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are “responsible for the government shutdown” – because “they turned [the House Republican budget] down in favor of their egos and partisan ideology”.  Of course, the facts are otherwise.

As of March 23, 2013, both houses of Congress had passed budgets—which differed, and therefore required a conference committee.  Republican Speaker Boehner refused to appoint House conferees for six months, while Senate Republicans are still filibustering Reid’s appointees.

Both houses have also passed “Continuing Resolutions” to keep the government open.  While the Democratic-controlled Senate accepted the House Republicans’ budget figures, the “Tea Party” faction initially insisted on provisions that would repeal, de-fund, and/or delay the ACA – knowing in advance that such provisions were entirely unacceptable.
Thus, had Daniels been armed with more accurate facts, he might well have concluded that Repugnicans’ “intransigence and disdain for fairness are appalling”.  Moreover, even as Daniels accuses President Obama of “scaremongering” for warning of the dangers of default, Fidelity Investments is dumping its short-term U.S. government debt securities!

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