Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!

February 14, 2009 at 3:33 am | Posted in House of Representatives, politics straight up, senate | Comments Off on Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire!
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Republicans have accused the President of the United States — their sacred Commander in Chief — of lying.

On February 10th it was widely reported that President Obama would be visiting a Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Illinois the next day with CEO Jim Owens.

On February 11th It was widely reported that “President Obama said Cat CEO Jim Owens told him if the stimulus plan passes Caterpillar would be able to rehire some of those laid off employees.”

In one instance, the language of the reporting was modified slightly:

(Crookston Times) Owens will pledge to Obama that Caterpillar will begin recalling laid off employees if an acceptable economic stimulus package is approved and enacted quickly.

The bill was “acceptable” to Owen on Tuesday when he spoke to the President or on Wednesday when he traveled with the President to East Peoria. The stimulus bill was not significantly different on Tuesday and Wednesday than when the House and Senate voted on it today.

13 am  President Barack Obama is introduced by Caterpillar Chief Executive Officer Jim Owens as he visits the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

AP - Yesterday, 01:13 am President Barack Obama is introduced by Caterpillar Chief Executive Officer Jim Owens as he visits the Caterpillar plant in East Peoria, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Peoria Journal Star)Owens, who will fly into Peoria on Air Force One with the president this afternoon, will encourage passage of a “significant stimulus package” in the United States and will offer his and Caterpillar’s encouragement for other stimulus packages being considered in other countries around the world, said a source familiar with the plans for Obama’s visit to Peoria.

Owens, the source said, “will emphasize that these economic stimulus packages are a critical step toward global economic recovery.”

If the packages are adopted and enacted quickly, it would give Caterpillar the opportunity to begin recalling those employees who already have been laid off since early December.

Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan declined to confirm any of the information. “We are not pre-releasing anything about the visit or the chairman’s remarks.”

The coy hedging of the Caterpillar spokesman went unremarked except possibly by some who wondered at what a self-important ass Caterpillar had for a spokesperson. It’s such a common attribute of the spokesperson that it was ignored. Especially given that only a short time later Owen and the President would be together in East Peoria and the spokesperson’s confirmation would be unnecessary.

In fact, when Obama made the remarks in question, with Owens standing right next him, Owens did nothing to correct or amend those remarks.

Abraham Lincolns supporters are portrayed as radicals and eccentrics of various stripes. The satire is loosely based on an anti-Fremont cartoon from the previous presidential race, The Great Republican Reform Party (no. 1856-22), also issued by Nathaniel Currier. Here Lincoln, sitting astride a wooden rail borne by Horace Greeley, leads his followers toward a lunatic asylum. Greeley instructs him, Hold on to me Abe, and well go in here by the unanimous consent of the people. Lincoln exhorts his followers, Now my friends Im almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted. At the head of the group is a bearded man, arm-in-arm with a woman and a Mormon. He claims to represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles. The woman looks at Lincoln, saying Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction every time I see his lovely face. The Mormon adds, I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality. They are followed by a dandified free black, who announces, De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect I want dat understood. Behind him an aging suffragette says, I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority. Next a ragged socialist or Fourierist, holding a liquor bottle, asserts, I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property. At the end of the group are three hooligans, one demanding a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco. The second, a thief, wants the right to examine every other citizens pockets without interruption by Policemen. The last, an Irish street tough, says, I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please.  (Published 1860)

Abraham Lincoln's supporters are portrayed as radicals and eccentrics of various stripes. The satire is loosely based on an anti-Fremont cartoon from the previous presidential race, "The Great Republican Reform Party" (no. 1856-22), also issued by Nathaniel Currier. Here Lincoln, sitting astride a wooden rail borne by Horace Greeley, leads his followers toward a lunatic asylum. Greeley instructs him, "Hold on to me Abe, and we'll go in here by the unanimous consent of the people." Lincoln exhorts his followers, "Now my friends I'm almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted." At the head of the group is a bearded man, arm-in-arm with a woman and a Mormon. He claims to "represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles." The woman looks at Lincoln, saying "Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction' every time I see his lovely face." The Mormon adds, "I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality." They are followed by a dandified free black, who announces, "De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect' I want dat understood." Behind him an aging suffragette says, "I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority." Next a ragged socialist or Fourierist, holding a liquor bottle, asserts, "I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property." At the end of the group are three hooligans, one demanding "a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco." The second, a thief, wants "the right to examine every other citizen's pockets without interruption by Policemen." The last, an Irish street tough, says, "I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please." (Published 1860)

After the news was confirmed by their appearance together, during which the President repeated what he had been told by Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar — that passage of the stimulus bill would improve the company’s business — “shares of Caterpillar closed Wednesday [February 11] at $31.13, up 21 cents.”

But it is now being widely reported that President Obama is a liar.

Why?

Because after the President returned to Washington DC from his visit to the East Peoria Caterpillar plant, Owens fell in with some bad company.

(ABC) Obama has said twice in the past two days that Caterpillar CEO James Owens indicated his company would be able to rehire some of the 20,000 recently laid-off employees.

“Yesterday, Jim, the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off,” Obama said today in Peoria.

But when asked today if the stimulus could do that, Owens said, “I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again.”

Here’s the video. To provide proof positive that the President is a liar, ABC takes a clip of Obama speaking at the Caterpillar factory, which is innocently absent any sign or indication that Owens was standing just feet away, and appends to it a second clip, this one of Owens making the statement which is now being paraded around as the “rebuttal” which proves the President a liar.

Owens was not asked if he told the President that passage of the stimulus bill would mean some laid-off workers would be rehired. He was asked whether with passage of this stimulus bill Caterpillar would be able to rehire 22,000 recently laid-off employees.

By removing the modifying “some,” they not only say that the President is a liar but that he exaggerates his lies in order to manipulate the public into supporting the stimulus bill.

So here we are, the day of the final House and Senate votes on the stimulus bill:

(ABC)’Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., who represents the town of Peoria, Ill., where the president touted the stimulus Thursday, said employees from Caterpillar asked him to oppose the bill.

Obama made comments at the Caterpillar plant Thursday that the stimulus plan would mean that the company could rehire the employees it had laid off, a comment that the chairman and chief executive of Caterpillar rebutted.

Well, there you go. Proof positive: the President of the United States is a lying, exaggerating, manipulative politician and nothing he says is to be trusted.

What could explain Owens’ willingness to participate in this kind of chicanery? Is he afraid of House and/or Senate Republicans? Did someone promise him something?

What would compel the CEO of a company to go along with a fraud perpetrated by members of a political party which is so far in the minority that bills can be passed even if every single one of them votes against them?

I suppose, after suffering through eight years of the latest Republican maladministration, it might take some people a bit of time to recover from their Stockholm syndrome. But that explanation is unreasonable to attribute to a person like Owens. After all, he runs a company that earned $48 billion in 2008.

Lies were told but not by the President.

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