Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Wow...watch the candidates and nail them on their mistakes

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wow...watch the candidates and nail them on their mistakes

I had just read a great-catch diary this morning by NWTerriD where she nailed John McCain on a rather large misinterpretation of the Constitution during a speech at Wake Forest and his campaigns attempts to cover it up.

Less than an hour later while watching MSNBC, I found myself in a laughably similar situation.

In a West Virginia speech, Hillary Clinton claimed that state had "the most Veterans per capita" than any other state.


In a Portland Oregon speech, John McCain, trying to be the "Green Republican," discussed how a National Park in Alaska built a viewing and visitor's center for a glacier, but now that glacier is "gone."


Both of these claims caught my attention as I was watching MSNBC this morning. The reason I noticed them is that neither of them are true.

The state with the most Veterans per capita = Alaska. Per the Veterans Administration, we have 74,500 Veterans in the state (closer to 80,000 after a number of our troops came home from Iraq and Afghanistan) and our state population is 663,661 (2005). That is approximately one Veteran per 8.9 people. (If we stick with the figure still on the website--71,552--that's still 1 veteran per 9.3 folks. If we go with the newest 80,000 estimate, that's 8.3)

Per their VA Office, there are approximately 180,000 veterans in West Virginia. With a population of 1,816,856 (2005) that means they have one veteran per 10.1 people in the state.

Alaska wins.

Secondly, Sen. McCain claims that a glacier is "gone" are also not true. It is likely that he is referring to this New York Times article from 2005. It talks about the Alaska glaciers and how they are receding at an alarming rate. It talks specifically about Portage Glacier:
For tourists, it can mean a thrill at seeing a landscape more dynamic than any place on earth - global warming on hyperspeed! - or disappointment that something so wild and massive is, well, shrinking.

Both reactions were evident at Portage Lake, about 50 miles south of Anchorage. Tour buses packed the parking lot of the big, well-staffed Begich, Boggs Visitor Center. This is where people come by the thousands to see Portage Glacier, one of the most accessible of Alaska's frozen attractions. Except, you can no longer see Portage Glacier from the visitor center. It has disappeared.

The most persistent question to rangers at the station was: Dude, where did Portage Glacier go? A display inside showed that just 11 years ago, the glacier descended down to the end of the lake. But now it is around a distant corner and at the back of the lake, completely out of sight from the center.

First off, we could talk about why Senator McCain's people are depending upon an article from 2005...lazy Googlers, perhaps? Alaska is the center for global warming research so more recent data is easily available.

Secondly, I just saw the glacier last year so I knew it wasn't gone completely and I'll be taking the kids out there again this summer. He could have talked to me or practically anyone else from South-Central Alaska. In my brief check-up on Alaska glaciers, I didn't find any cases where the glaciers were completely "gone," just not easily visible from some of the other visitor centers. There are also plenty of people to call to verify information.

Someone needs to fire their campaign fact-checkers.

I speak straight from the gut, okay? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." -- Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent's Dinner


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