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    Overheard on the Web, and other Web links
    From The Herald's Research Editor


    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    Factchecking the debate, again 

    Trees or oil?
    Were you puzzled, as I was, about the discussion of taxes on small businesses? John Kerry said George Bush would be considered a small business because of his timber company involvement and Bush acted as if he'd never heard of it...'What timber company?'
    Factcheck.org looked into it and says,
      "President Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business owner" under the Republican definition, based on his 2001 federal income tax returns. He reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise."

    But then, Factcheck corrects itself and says the company was really "an "oil and gas production" concern, the Lone Star Trust. We were confused because The Lone Star Trust currently owns 50% of another company, "LSTF, LLC", described on Bush’s 2003 financial disclosure forms as a limited-liability company organized "for the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales." So, Bush does own part interest in a tree-growing company, but the $84 came from an oil and gas company and we should have reported it as such"

    Reaction:
    So far the polls seem to be showing the President and Sen. Kerry about even on this debate, with a slight lead to Kerry. But I'm seeing another reaction, on the President's demeanor: Kevin Drum, at Political Animal, says Bush came off angry and shrill: "It's one thing to be passionate, but it's quite another to look like you're off your meds and need to be restrained.". There are lots and lots of comments on this posting. Also, Michaal Tomasky in the American Prospect thinks Bush turned off women voters with his swaggering. (One blogger, Digby, call's Bush America's ex-husband.) In contrast, the instant voter surveys held by the networks last night showed several women who said they'd decided on Bush after the debate. However, the Gallup Poll does show a huge gap between men and women on this debate, with the women much stronger for Kerry.
    (Added later:) Miami blogger Mustang Bobby at Bark Bark Woof Woof also remarks on Bush's behavior, saying "...at times it seemed that if the red light hadn't come on, he would have ended his statement with "neener neener."" And even Andrew Sullivan calls Bush's demeanor "not presidential". (Via South of the Suwannee.)


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    Elisabeth Donovan


    Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at Herald.com in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to the field.


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