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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Official "Campaign" Slogan of This Blog: #Question

Designed by Pachyderm Pride

Why "Question?" Where does this come from? And why the similarities to the Obama "Forward" logo? All this will be explained. 

First, let me explain one of the original reasons I titled the blog The Elephant in the Room. As a sub-30 year old republican living in Maryland, I'm certainly a rare breed. Naturally, many of my friends (and yes, this definitely extends to Facebook) are democrats. Heck, my wife is a democrat, and I don't fault her for it. :-) Because of that, I'm obviously outnumbered not only in my age group, but in my social circles as well. I'm okay with this. I chose the screen name and web address "Loudmouth Elephant" because I care about politics and economics, and in order to be heard, that's what I have to be. Regardless, I tend to be the "elephant in the room" when it comes to political discussions.

One thing I've noticed from the left, especially because I see/hear it a lot more due to this sheer outnumbering of wills, is the spread of unchecked information. It seems that many democrats/liberals tend to simply repeat what they hear without fact checking the information themselves. To explain this further, let me show you a recent exchange on Facebook. All personal information will be removed.

Yesterday, I posted this on my Facebook wall: 

     - "More lies. See this ad:

It's not just the Obama campaign, but the left and the media in general. For example, Elizabeth Warren on CBS This Morning: “Mitt Romney
 and the Republicans have SAID, ‘We’re gonna cut taxes for the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations, increase taxes on the middle class, and stop making the investments — or, sharply reduce the investments in education, roads and bridges, the sorts of things it takes to build a future.’ President Obama says ‘No, that’s not the right approach....’” - Of course, the media never questioned this at all.

But looking at what Mrs. Warren proclaimed, it's important to highlight a key word: Said. Said?! Mitt Romney SAID this? He SAID he wants to raise taxes on the middle class? Are we sure? There is no evidence of him every saying anything close to this. Ever. Hmmm. In fact, the above ad claims it gets its information from the Tax Policy Center. Looking at the Tax Policy Center's analysis, they firmly claim, "(We do not score Governor Romney’s plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail, nor do we make assumptions regarding what those components might be.)"

If that's not enough... they actually answer the question about Mitt Romney's intentions themselves. Just check the FAQs:

Q: Did you say that Governor Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle-class?

A: NO. We said that simultaneously achieving all five of the tax goals stated above would result in lower taxes for high-income households and thus – because of the revenue-neutrality constraint – would require raising taxes on other households.

Hmmm. Someone tell the left to stop lying. See the analysis:"

It seems pretty simple. I confront a pro-Obama ad's lie with some fact, going right to the source the ad itself cites, and show, at the end of the road, their claim, according to the data THEY use, is a lie.

I then received the following response: 

It's a blog post that claims Mitt Romney told 533 lies in 30 days... Crickets.

Naturally, I had to respond. Don't worry; I maintained professionalism and respect, and I think the following shows WHY I am now promoting "Question" as the theme of this blog's the presidential campaign going forward. Bold texts are key pieces of information (if you find this long, just scroll down to them). I know, I know... it is lengthy, but it's important: 

     - "Good afternoon, [personal info omitted]! I'm looking forward to another fantasy hockey season with you. - If there is a season. I can't believe we're back already.

Since I find myself being one of the few "righties" in my social circle, and upon seeing thou
sands and thousands of parroted pro-Obama or anti-Romney posts coming across my news feed, I feel compelled to fight back... which is why I've been posting a lot recently. I will admit, as with the case here, it seems I'm often met with a "I know you are but what am I" response (nothing personal against you, of course). I'm trying to understand if that lends validity to the original claim(s), seeing that they aren't refuted and in fact often replied to with a "but your guy does it, too" response. Oh well... going forward: 

To start, the "theme," if you will, of my postings has been "question" or "it's okay to question." Like I said, it seems that many people post or re-post parroted information without any attempt to verify it. My first question, and this isn't anything facetious against you but, did you read that blog post? Did you verify any of the claims? Or was this a simple "Mitt Romney lies" Google search? Again, I'm not getting personal (and I never would... I can separate friendship and respectful debating and disagreement); I'm just pointing some things out. Allow me to explain.

First, what I do when I blog or when I write on Facebook are primary source refutations. This means that when I conduct any study, or when I hear anything I want to challenge, like with this post, I go right to a primary data source. For this one, I challenged the claim of "Mitt Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class" by going to the actual study the democrats cite in their ad. What did I find? Well, I made the case above. The democrats, Elizabeth Warren, and the mainstream media are lying. Plain and simple. I stick to this type of analysis... primary source analysis, because it's the end of the argument. I go right to the source, and, as you can see, I'm not sure how anyone can get around the report's own words. I read the entire report, so if anyone would like to debate, I'm game. :-) I do this with all things, and I don't talk about something unless I know the truth behind it. When analyzing whether the democrats' claim of "Mitt Romney probably paid a lower tax rate than you (the middle class)," for example, I questioned it. I didn't take some pundit's word; I went straight to a data source: the IRS. What did I find? Not only are the democrats telling a disgusting lie, but they're not even close. IRS data shows that Mitt Romney's final effective tax rate of 13.9% was MUCH higher than the rate the average American paid. When faced with parroted, pro-democrat claims, I simply ask, "have YOU ever looked at the data?" 100% of the time I received a resounding "no," and all responders admitted they received their information from the "news."

Why is this significant? Well, I think this (your rebuttal) is another example. I used primary data, made a point, and was met with a counter point. First, I asked if your response (the blog post) and its claims were read by you? If they were, you would notice a common theme. NONE of the claims in there, none of the links of the alleged Romney "lies," cited primary data. In fact, to list a few, many cite the Washington Monthly, a blog who, if you go through its link trails, uses itself as its own citation. I think whoever writes that blog just hopes the reader won't actually do what I did. Going further, to name a few more of the "citations," Rachel Maddow's blog (that's like asking Barack Obama himself if he can show he disagrees with Mitt Romney) comes up a lot, so does the New York Times, etc. None of these list primary data sources. What does this lead to? Parroting. This is the difference between that link you put up and the post I put up. I'm sorry, but I cannot find that the blog alleging Mitt Romney told 533 lies in 30 days with no primary examples to back its claims to be credible. In all honesty, it leads me to ask the same theme:

What if everything the American people have been told has been a lie? What if it has been spun? We have people now walking around and talking as if they're experts on tax data and economic policies quoting information about Mitt Romney's tax rate versus the tax rate of the middle class, and what they're spouting simply is not true. We have 18 year olds who have barely finished high school claiming to be experts on trade policy and the federal reserve because some pundit behind a desk on TV or some random, uncited blog tells them information they don't question. We have a nation of young people who take what they're told, without any fact-checking (a recent "buzz" word) or verification of their own... without looking at data or facts, and simply believe it. What if, since the suppliers of that information are so disgustingly one sided (you know... they're supposed to be reporting news, but yet they report subjective opinions and spin), they can simply propagate information commensurate with their views, leaving out main data and truth in order to spread whatever they want because they know that the people who will spread it further will simply post it on Twitter and Facebook as if it were gold? Wouldn't that lead to a dangerously ignorant society? What if Mitt Romney actually never lied, but because the media told people he did, that's what people blindly believed?

I find this to be the case with about 98% of the political posts I see on Facebook. They often lack primary sources, and they're often a simple re-post of some other person's "information." This is exactly what the "Mitt Romney told 533 lies" post is. By the time a reader attempts to verify the source of the source of the source, going through one blog citing itself for one, then to Rachel Maddow's blog for the other, then finding her secondary source before getting to anything that resembles primary data or fact, you're stuck so deep in the telephone game (you know, that whisper in each other's ear game we played as kids) that by the time you're finished, you have to start questioning the next lie we've been told.

In summary, because mannnnnnn this is long... it is okay to question the information you receive. It's okay to question Obama. It's okay to question the mainstream media. :-) Again, nothing personal at all, just my response :-) I know it was a long diatribe, but I do like to write. It's probably 3 words short of a manifesto, but hey... I gotta help the people see truth, no matter what side they're on. And yes, I'm definitely outnumbered. :)"

I think that sums it up. There are more examples of this that I could take directly off my Facebook wall, but I don't want to bore readers with mundane details. If you'd like me to send you these, please email me at

Just remember; it's okay to question. Yes, question me... question this blog. When you do, I do think you will find, however, that as I said, I get straight to the primary source of data/information. I wish more people would do this; it would certainly keep our political difference debates centered on fact over rhetoric. You can debate the re-parrotting of Bill O'Reilly or Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity or Ed Schultz... but, when discussing an analysis based on direct, cited, and linked IRS data, I choose to leave little room for deviation as we debate strictly data and facts. I don't want everyone to be republicans, though that would be cool... I simply want people to realize that, in the face of an uncontrolled, unchecked, unbalanced media power, the information they might be receiving my not be entirely free from opinion, spin, and falsehoods.

What do you think? Do you like "Question?"


  1. Already on Facebook Thank you!

  2. Hi LME - Great accurate write-up!

    I really began to mistrust the MSM in all forms in '08. It was then that I started watching/listening to Glenn Beck (and other conservative talkers) and learned to 'Question - with Boldness'(Beck's wording) anything and everything spouted as a fact, no matter WHO says it, but particularly - politicians and their MSM ilk.

    For example, after Ryan's speech at the RNC, Chris Wallace from FoxNews, called him out on the Jamesville GM plant statement. I wanted to believe that Ryan wouldn't lie - but, Wallace works for Fox...!

    I looked it up on several different sites - lo and behold... Ryan was accurate in his statement. What Wallace (and later Rachael Maddow and others) failed to do was LISTEN to what Paul Ryan had said; they jumped on the FACT that the plant was slated to close BEFORE Obama was inaugurated... ALL TRUE as far as it went.

    What they did was misquote what Ryan had actually SAID: that Obama had visited the plant, during the campaign (TRUE) and Obama had made the statement THEN that if HE was elected, the plant would REMAIN open and would thrive for 100 years.(It's TRUE that Obama SAID that).

    Obama WAS elected and the plant STILL closed. The point being that THIS INCIDENT was just one in a series of campaign promises that Obama ended up breaking...

    The MSM - and even Wallace! HEARD what they WANTED TO HEAR and scrambled like a fox in a hen-house to make Ryan out to be a liar.

    Paul Ryan DID NOT lie - but the MSM STILL claims that he did.

    Thanks for the reminder - Question with Boldness...EVERYTHING

  3. So long as the need to question and not simply accept anything you hear/see as fact is applied to all sides (and I know you openly encourage this as well), 100% agreed here. :)

    1. Must be a tough read when you are a democrat and you only want to see the world as YOU See it. In case you missed it, this article proclaimed "Just remember; it's okay to question. Yes, question me... question this blog. When you do, I do think you will find, however, that as I said, I get straight to the primary source of data/information. I wish more people would do this; it would certainly keep our political difference debates centered on fact over rhetoric."

    2. That was needless ad hominem. But you're wrong; I'm not a Democrat nor am I blind to facts. I think that would be obvious by the fact I even bother to regularly visit a this blog. :P

    3. PaulRyanFannnn - I have to agree with RKen here. Sometimes, we have a choice to take a higher road or a lower one. Why not default to the higher one? Let's just say for a minute because this post was insanely long, RKen didn't feel like reading it all. I can completely understand why. Sure, his comment implies that maybe he thought my post was calling for us to question ONLY the left. Now yes, I do agree, that since the right is vastly outnumbered within the mainstream media (Fox News vs. MSNBC, ABC, CNN, CBS, WAPO, NYT, LA Times, etc...), we might have to do a little more questioning, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't question all information, regardless of side. And yes, I advocate for this. But say RKen didn't catch that. Why reply in the way you did? Why take a nasty tone? Why insult? Can't you just say something like "RKen - I think you might have missed it (because it was a long post), but that is the case being made here... maybe, maybe not... nothing personal, I just wanted to make sure that was understood" or something like that. No attacks, no nastiness... covering for the fact that maybe RKen knew, maybe he didn't... but regardless, the big point is: no attacks. I don't condone them if they go right to left or left to right. And yes, it might seem silly to harp on this one case when there are soooo many others, but I feel we all should harp on every case we can. We should strive for civil discussions instead of nasty, acid-tongued ones.

      And PaulRyanFannnn - this is nothing personal against you, and I hope you come back. I just want you to know I truly care about civil debate... especially in this blog. Thank you.

  4. Great page, and you are absolutely right. Question, question, question! Get to the source, check the facts. I run into so many people that just repeat their parties talking points, then you ask them for the facts and they do not have any. When this happens, they will usually attack you personally for disagreeing with them. I do not watch the main stream media anymore, they have too many biased opinions and not enough real news.

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