CNN did a Fact Check on the Presidential Debate. Here is a summary.

Of the 10 facts they checked, Trump made seven that were either false, misleading or lacked context. He made none that were true. Biden made two that were true and one that was misleading in that one element was true and the other was untrue.

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Six in 10 debate watchers said former Vice President Joe Biden did the best job in tonight’s debate, just 28% say President Donald Trump did, according a CNN Poll of debate watchers conducted by SSRS. 

Fact check: Trump claims Biden wants to shut down the country

This is false

EVIDENCE

Biden said in an August interview with ABC that he would shut down the country if scientists told him it was necessary — but he has not himself advocated a shutdown or introduced a shutdown plan.

Additionally, he clarified his comments after the interview

Fact Check: Biden claims eliminating Affordable Care Act would take away health insurance for 20 million people

Would Biden’s health care plan eliminate private insurance?

This is true

EVIDENCE

Health care experts say this figure is roughly accurate. It is an estimate from the Obama administration as to how many people gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act. 

Some 12 million newly eligible, low-income adults have obtained coverage under…

Fact check: Trump claims Biden called him xenophobic for travel restrictions

This is lacking context

EVIDENCE

It’s not clear Biden even knew about Trump’s China travel restrictions when he called Trump xenophobic on the day the restrictions were unveiled; Biden has never explicitly linked his accusation of xenophobia to these travel restrictions.

Fact check: Trump’s claim on Hunter Biden receiving money from Russians

This is lacking context

EVIDENCE

Hunter Biden denies the allegation. His lawyer, George Mesires, told CNN that Hunter Biden was not an owner of the firm Senate Republicans allege received the $3.5 million payment in 2014.

“Hunter Biden had no interest in and was not a ‘co-founder’

Fact check: Trump claimed “military people” died because of Biden’s Senate record on healthcare

This is misleading

EVIDENCE

Trump seems to be referencing findings from a 2015 inspector general report that examined a backlog of health care applications at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The report found more than 307,000 records that remained pending in a VA enrollment…

Fact check: Biden claims US trade deficits with China and Mexico increased under Trump

Have US trade deficits with both China and Mexico increased under Trump?

This is misleading

EVIDENCE

Biden was wrong on China, but correct on Mexico.

He would have been right on China in 2018, when the goods and services trade deficit with China hit $380 billion, but it’s no longer true, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

Fact check: Trump claims Biden called African Americans “super predators”

Did Biden refer to African Americans as “super predators”?

This is false

EVIDENCE

Then-first lady Hillary Clinton used the term “super predators” in a 1996 speech in New Hampshire in support of the 1994 crime bill. Biden did warn in a 1993 speech of “predators on our streets” who were “beyond the pale” in support of the crime bill…

Fact check: Biden’s claim about Trump’s jobs record

Would Trump be the first President to oversee a decrease in US jobs while in office?

This is true

EVIDENCE

This is correct looking at the last 67 years, but the government data doesn’t go back far enough to compare all presidents’ jobs performance in history.

Since President Harry Truman, who left office in 1953 – 67 years ago – every President has added jobs…

Fact check: Trump claimed “military people” died because of Biden’s Senate record on healthcare

Did 308,000 veterans die because Biden couldn’t provide them health care?

This is misleading

EVIDENCE

Trump seems to be referencing findings from a 2015 inspector general report that examined a backlog of health care applications at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The report found more than 307,000 records that remained pending in a VA enrollment…

Fact check: Trump’s claim on Hunter Biden receiving money from Russians

This is lacking context

EVIDENCE

Hunter Biden denies the allegation. His lawyer, George Mesires, told CNN that Hunter Biden was not an owner of the firm Senate Republicans allege received the $3.5 million payment in 2014.

Sheriff disputes Trump’s claim of endorsement

From CNN’s Andy Rose

President Trump’s claim tonight that he is being supported by the sheriff in Portland was disputed by the sheriff himself. 

You really can’t buy that kind of publicity.

The risks associated with across-the-board tax cuts in the next Federal budget

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Is likely to bring forward his tax cuts. Those earning less than $200,000 a year will be paying no more than 30 cents for every dollar they earn.

Mr Frydenberg has floated the idea of bringing forward planned income tax cuts by two years, in a bid to kickstart spending by putting “more money into people’s pockets”.

However, last time there were tax cuts, people did not spend it, they used the money to reduce debt, their mortgages and their credit cards.

Bernie Fraser, who served as Reserve Bank governor in the early 1990s, and Michael Keating, former secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, argued such a plan would not stimulate the economy as hoped because most of the beneficiaries would simply keep the money in the bank.

This is how it works, or doesn’t, as the case may be.

This causal loop diagram shows how the tax cuts go into mortgage reduction and there is no economic stimulus. If history repeats itself will be no increase in discretionary spending and discretionary spending is what increases economic stimulus.

Bernie Fraser, who served as Reserve Bank governor in the early 1990 says “Pensioners aren’t getting any pension increase from the usual adjustment mechanism — pensioners are a pretty deserving people, and spend the money they get.”

This is how it works,

Welfare payments and pensions generally do not go into mortgage reduction

Informed opinion appears to be that tax cuts are not going to be the best economic stimulus.

Unfortunately, the government has probably locked itself into this policy option.

At a time when Australia is increasing its debt and deficit, there seems to be little logic to the Government reducing its revenue stream.

Outsourcing and privatisation: two nasty chickens that always come home to roost

Here is an extract from yet another of Ross Gittins’ excellent articles. It was printed this morning in THE AGE

If you do health admin on the cheap, don’t be amazed if things go wrong

Outsourcing is hugely fashionable in business as well as government. In my experience, it’s always about saving money in the fond hope any loss of quality won’t be noticed. Often, the saving comes from ending the good wages and conditions you pay your own workers by sacking them and sending them down the road to work for some contractor on lower pay and worse conditions. It’s a way of side-stepping successful unions.

They’ve given us government on the cheap because they believed we’d prefer a tax cut to decent service. They could have striven to give us better government – including government that was big on accountability and where lines of responsibility were clear – but they settled for cheaper government.

They’ve spent decades cutting corners in a hundred ways, hoping we wouldn’t notice (or do no more than grumble about) the slow decline in quality. Now the pandemic has caught them out. Pity so many lives were lost in getting the message through.

The parable of the lawyer who defended paedophile priests who meets Saint Peter at the Gates of Heaven

“How have you spent your life, my son? asks St Peter.

“I have defended many people who were wrongly accused,” replies the lawyer.

“Did you defend paedophile priests? asks St Peter.

“Yes.”

“Wrongly accused?”

“Some were found not guilty. So they were wrongly accused in the eyes of the law. Besides, their confessions were heard, their sins absolved and forgiven.”

“Their sins were not forgiven,” said the keeper of the keys.

“Have you thought,” asks St Peter, “of the lives of the victims who have had no justice?”

“It was a question of “Reasonable Doubt” in the eyes of the law,” said the lawyer.

“There is no reasonable doubt in this final judgement,” said St Peter as he locked gates and turned away.

Boris and the Moonshot. He really should be careful about his metaphors

Boris Johnson’s ‘moonshot plan for mass coronavirus tests that don’t exist could cost £100billion. Apparently that’s nearly 60% of the NHS budget.

But in a typically ham-fisted way Boris has chosen a very bad metaphor for his ham-fisted project.

I won’t choose an appropriate picture for this because this a family-oriented blog.

Urban Dictionary: Moonshot When at the brink of male ejaculation, you or a friend inserts their finger or foreign object into the male’s anal cavity causing extreme pressure and force during the ejaculation, shooting your ejaculation to the moon.

Instead, I’ll just put in a picture of Boris.

This is Boris trying to think of a better metaphor than moonshot

Surely, one of Boris Johnson’s media advisors must have had a moonshot at some stage in their life or known someone who had had one or given one or read about one or seen a picture of one.

Isn’t that what media advisors are for?

Or is Boris just a loose cannon firing off cannonballs in all directions?

Inquiry finds Mr Gumpy responsible for hotel quarantine fiasco.

Mr Gumpy is the hero of John Burningham’s wonderful Mr Gumpy series.

In this particular case it’s Mr Gumpy’s Motorcar which bears a striking similar to the saga of DHHS and the Hotel quarantine.

His car has a charming resemblance to a DHSS organisational chart with the added advantage of clarity.

This is further enhanced when it is crammed full of the disparate group of travellers.

They set out on a journey but soon encounter bad weather.

The car become stuck in the mud. It becomes necessary for everybody to get out and push.

The response of the passengers is much like the response of the politicians and bureaucrats to the questions of responsibility Hotel Quarantining Inquiry.

“Not me,” said the goat.

Not me,” said the calf.

Not us,” said the chickens.

Not me,” said the sheep.

Not me,” said the pig.

Not me,” said the dog.

Not me,” said the cat.

Not me,” said the rabbit.

Not me,” said the girl.

Not me,” said the boy.

In the long run, it would have been quicker, less expensive and more entertaining and probably just as informative to have had me read Mr Gumpy’s Motorcar to the inquiry.

Just saying.

With all the sound and fury about hotel quarantine, let’s not forget the main game.

There is no doubt that the Victorian public is justifiably angry about the monumental ineptitude of the Andrews government’s handling of the hotel quarantine.

As a result, Victoria as had just over 20,000 cases, compared to NSW 4200, Queensland 1100 and all the other states far less than 1000.

Victoria has had 708 deaths, rest of the country has had 94.

It’s an appalling record.

But at least Andrews has called an inquiry which, as it has turned out, has not shown him or his government in a good light.

But there are two graphs we need to focus on.

Victoria is on target to reopen, possibly before the end of October, if the current trajectory continues.

We also need to keep in mind what is happening in the rest of the world.

New cases in France are already twice what they were in the first wave

New cases in the US are rising again
New cases in the UK are now rising sharply and above previous levels

The situation the northern hemisphere will be exacerbated by the onset of the northern winter. Whereas the arrival of summer in the southern hemisphere will make control of the pandemic in Australia and New Zealand, where the numbers have declined to nearly single digit levels, much easier.

We do need to keep some perspective, some balance.

We don’t need Dan Andrews to resign.

We do need to have a clearheaded assessment of his government’s performance of management of the hotel quarantine arrangements.

We also need to keep some perspective on how Australia is performing on the global stage.

At present, we are amongst the better performers.

This is what keeps Premier Dan Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton awake at night.

It’s not what they know, it’s what they don’t know and this diagram explains it.

Each day, they announce the Known New Cases and we see the falling 14 day average. It’s all good news. The new cases are likely infections from the stock of Known Cases.

This is shown by the little feedback little arrow from the stock of Known Cases to the inflow Known New Cases.

What must be worrying is that there could also be infections from a stock of Unknown Cases shown by the straight red arrow connecting the stock of Unknown Cases and the inflow Known New Cases.

Even with the 14 day average of Known New Cases down to 0, there is always the risk of Unknown Cases triggering a third wave of the pandemic.

This is what keeps Premier Dan Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton awake at night.

It’s not what they know, it’s what they don’t know and this diagram explains it.

Each day, they announce the Known New Cases and we see the falling 14 day average. It’s all good news. The new cases are likely infections from the stock of Known Cases.

This is shown by the little feedback little arrow from the stock of Known Cases to the inflow Known New Cases.

What must be worrying is that there could also be infections from a stock of Unknown Cases shown by the straight red arrow connecting the stock of Unknown Cases and the inflow Known New Cases.

Even with the 14 day average of Known New Cases down to 0, there is always the risk of Unknown Cases triggering a third wave of the pandemic.