FUBAR

FactCheck’s record of errors, corrections

FactCheck.Org, the self-proclaimed purveyor of truth on the Internet, has a checkered history of getting things wrong and often has to correct its own mistakes in reports about the purported false claims of others.

A random check of stories published by FactCheck.Org since Jan. 1, 2008 found at least 11 articles where the organization was forced to correct its own errors and admit it either reached a false conclusion or simply got it wrong.

Just one day after claiming Capitol Hill Blue is a web site with a history of retracting stories and apologizing to readers, FactCheck.Org retracted one of its own stories and apologized to its readers — the latest in a series of errors and corrections that come at a rate higher than Blue or other web sites that FactCheck judges by its own harsh and hypocritical standard.

Americans: Going nowhere

One of the defining characteristics of Americans has always been their willingness to pack up and move in search of better places and better times. The recession has radically changed that.

Last year, 11.9 percent of the population, 35.2 million people, moved, down from 13.2 percent, or 38.7 million, the year before. That was the sharpest drop in mobility since the dot-com bust of 2000 and the lowest percentage in 60 years, since the Census bureau began measuring it in 1948.

The dark side of Internet journalism

No one can deny that the Internet is a life-changer. As a social networking tool, it is nonpareil. Many married couples would never would have met but for the Internet. Employers find employees and vice versa from around the globe — people whose paths never would have crossed but for the magic of cyberspace.

Forget torture: Just kill them

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the mastermind behind the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001. If U.S. intelligence operatives had spotted him in a remote area of Pakistan and killed him with a Predator missile, most people would have said: "That’s justice."

Maybe I’ll become a conservative

I do not wish to shock you today but I am thinking of becoming a conservative. What else is a contrary fellow to do? Being a liberal was fun back when it wasn’t the "in" thing, but in the Obama era more and more people are leaning liberal to the point where it has become socially acceptable. Frankly, the old liberal magic of being universally reviled has faded for me.

Top Bush officials promoted torture

Top US officials, not a "few bad apples" of low rank, were behind harsh military interrogation tactics that spread from Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan to Iraq, a new Senate report said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s 261-page report, the fruit of its investigation into US treatment of "war on terror" detainees, is likely to stoke the ongoing debate over US techniques widely seen as torture.

Torture: The Energizer Bunny debate

No wasting time digging up the past? So much for that.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his attorney general would determine whether anyone from the Bush administration broke the law by crafting a legal rationale for drastic, demeaning interrogations of terror suspects. On the surface, it was a pragmatic call: Let the Justice Department lawyers check it out.

The politics of torture

President Obama says the government will not prosecute CIA interrogators who used harsh interrogation techniques amounting to torture but left the door open to prosecuting the top Bush administration legal officials who authorized them.

Obama should drop the talk of prosecutions. If bad legal advice were a crime, the prisons would be packed. And the hubris and disdain for the American tradition and international law of those officials is disheartening, but nothing has shown any other motive than a desire to protect their country and incarcerate those who attacked it.

Playing to win in the influence game

Not many financial companies saw an opportunity in the economic meltdown. But large insurers did, and now they’re using it to lobby for a lucrative change they’ve sought unsuccessfully for years.

Industry estimates suggest a rather obscure change in federal law could be worth billions of dollars annually to insurers. Key lawmakers and Obama administration officials say they’re open to it, and industry lobbyists see the drive to overhaul financial rules in the wake of the meltdown as their best chance in a long time to achieve it.

The ignorance of liberals

Liberal commentators were recently having a great, big if indignant chuckle at the expense of all those tea party yo-yos who didn’t get it that President Obama had a tax cut in mind for them, and that, hey, it was conservatism that brewed the current mess.

There was a lesson in this, namely that at least some if not all pundits of leftist stripe are not infrequently outthought by people of far less pretentiousness, by men and women who understand, for starters, what’s headed our way under Obama’s agenda.