Reality Checking My Facebook Friends

Despite popular belief, I have not finally driven myself insane being a Democrat in Alabama. I’ve just a brief little sabbatical and now I’m back and better than ever. To be quite honest, there’s really not much going in that is truly “newsworthy” in my opinion. I mean I could write about the ex-LA cop that went on a shooting spree and led to a huge manhunt, or the Pope resigning, or even the cruise ship that broke down and had to be towed in to Alabama, but all of that has literally been on the news non-stop. I figured me writing about it would just be overkill. So when deciding on what write on, I turned to the trusty social media to get my inspiration. There’s so much stuff going on in the world of Facebook and Twitter that you can never really run out of things to talk about. So, consider this post my official “reality check” to social media rumors.

First on the list of ridiculousness I’ve come across is this notion that President Obama ordered flags to be flown at half mast for Whitney Houston but refused to do so for Chris Kyle. To start with, facts are facts and the fact is President Obama did not order any flags to be lowered for Whitney Houston. Also a fact, he did not order any flags to be lowered for Chris Kyle. Flags can be lowered on order of the POTUS or by the governors of states. When Houston died, Chris Christie (Republican governor of New Jersey) ordered the flags in his state to be lowered to half mast in honor of her. No other states lowered flags. When Chris Kyle died, a Texas native, Rick Perry (Republican governor of Texas) did not order flags to be lowered. Why isn’t there some outrage there? Secondly, I understand that Kyle was a great sniper. I understand that he can be labeled a hero. But I am willing to bet that, before this ridiculous story, most Americans had no idea who he was (outside of those who have read his book or served in the military). I’m not trying to say that he wasn’t deserving of recognition, but if the president singled out every military member that died, that’s all he would be doing.

Second on the list of ridiculousness somewhat ties to the first. Again, facts are facts and the fact is that no one is trying to come and take all your guns away from you. I get so sick and tired of post after post of people saying “Obama’s coming for our guns, stock up!” Let’s cool it with the radical nonsense and state the truth. The president wants 100% background checks on gun sales, eased restrictions on mental health records to be included in those checks, limits on ammunition sales, and a ban on assault weapons. These are all things that a majority of Americans support. These are all very very moderate changes. I still have yet to understand why America is so up at arms (get the pun?) over this.

Third on the list is a fairly recent one. There’s a new image going around saying that with the election over, President Obama is announcing cuts to Medicare to fund Obamacare. The right is screaming that this was coming during the election and no one listened! Well, actually we were listening, and we knew they were coming too. The difference is, the arguments are taken completely out of context. Yes, Medicare cuts have been made to paid for Obamacare, that’s a fact. However, here’s a fact that (shockingly) isn’t mentioned in the argument: medicare benefits are NOT being cut…not one penny. The Medicare cuts are to Medicare Advantage profits, which is a private insurance and costs more than Medicare alone, and cutting costs by paying less on things such as HMO expenses. These are cuts that will not affect 99% of us. It’s not going to hurt any seniors on Medicare. Using it as a scare tactic is childish.

Lastly, is the crazy idea that President Obama is pushing to eliminate the 22nd amendment to the US Constitution and serve as President for a third, or fourth term. I honestly can’t believe that many people are actually buying into this but, it’s been all over my news feed for a few months. But as I have before, here are the facts. In the last 20 years, 23 bills have been introduced by Congressmen wanting to eliminate the 22nd amendment…all have obviously failed. Most recently, a New York Congressman introduced a bill to do so, totally independent of the president. However, not one time has any of the bills even come up for a vote. They have all been referred to committees and died there. This will do the same. But let’s pretend for a second that it actually does get voted on. It’s an amendment to the US constitution so it would not only have to pass both houses of Congress (something rare these days) but would have to be signed by the President AND be ratified by 3/4 of the states. It’s not going to happen, period.

In closing, I just want to say that if America wants to be successful, we must have an educated populace. If people aren’t going to take the time to learn the facts, form their own opinions, and do what is right, then our government will fail. The 112th Congress is proof of that. However, as terrible as the 112th Congress was, most of them are still serving in the 113th Congress. Proof that America hasn’t learned a lesson yet, because they refuse to educate themselves. They will believe everything they read on social media sites such as Facebook, rather than researching things for themselves.

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