The Reality App
For the 2012 Presidential Election
Obama won the popular vote by
65.9 million to 60.9 million — by 5 million.
51.06% to 47.21% — by 4%
And won the electoral vote 332 to 206.

Final Story: The Wrap-Up
(Bipartisan support,
consumer and business confidence, jobs.)
Check zFacts for more recent facts.
The Reality App
Stop the Lies; Defeat Republicans
Set the Record Straight — Tap a Topic
What really happened ...
“The Reality App” shows you amazing facts you will find nowhere else. It focuses on the election and on exposing the alternate reality that Republicans have been selling for 30 years. >>>
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(These were the lottery rules).

The Lottery Is Over. Emilio won.
These were the rules:

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How to win a "Second Prize"

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The Lie: We Were Better Off
The facts: Four years ago, as Obama took office, the economy was crashing and the world was in economic panic. We had:

Remember this: the economy was not just horrible, it was getting worse on all fronts, and the speed of collapse was increasing. So things were bound to get worse while Obama slowed, then stopped, the destruction of jobs and values.

The Lie: Obama's Chair Was Empty
The facts: Obama moved with force and speed. For two years the Republicans could not stop him and complained he did too much. Then they took control of Congress, stopped him and said he did too little.

The Plot 1
The Lie: Republicans Want to Help
The Lie: Repubicans wanted to make the economy boom under Obama.
The facts: Here’s the Plot line
  1. Republicans hand Obama a wrecked economy and out-of-control debt
  2. Obama turns both around – in spite of Republicans
  3. Republicans gain enough power in Congress to stop any bill
  4. They make defeating Obama their #1 goal
  5. They plot to defeat Obama – create chaos in Congress and block his jobs bills
  6. They demand we fire Obama because he didn't clean up their mess fast enough

The key point: Starting in 2011, Republicans blocked Obama’s jobs bills because they knew the programs would work. Had they thought the programs wouldn't work, letting them pass would have proved their point and helped them defeat Obama. They prolonged the recession to stop his success, not to prevent his failure.

The Plot 2
The Lie: Republicans Want to Help
The Lie: Repubicans wanted to make the economy boom under Obama.
The facts: Mitch McConnell told us (on Fox News) that the #1 goal of all Republicans was "a sour economy, bad economic numbers," in order to defeat Obama.
Background Below

Sabotage 1
The Lie: Tea Party Wants to Help
The facts: The Tea Party has been passing laws to score political points and attempting a government shutdown. They want to take over by keeping the economy sour and blaming Obama.

Sabotage 2
The Lie: We Forgot We Passed It
The Lie: Repealing Obamacare 34 times shows how hard the Tea Party is working.
The facts: It shows the Republican House puts political stunts above the needs of the country.

Jobs 1
The Lie: Republicans Create Jobs
The Lie: Republican tax- and regulation-cutting policies make the economy boom.
The facts: Since at least 1929, job growth increased every time the Dems took the White House and decreased every time Republicans did. No exceptions.
Notes & FAQs Below
Jobs 2
The Lie: Obama Lost 2.5 Million Jobs
The Lie: "Under President Obama, America has lost more than 2.5 million jobs." —Romney, Sept. 8, 2011
The facts: First, Jobs were down only 1.5, not 2.5 million when Romney lied. But Romney knew the losses were caused by Bush who handed Obama an economy losing jobs at the rate of 10 million a year.
Notes & FAQs Below
Jobs 3
The Lie: Obama gave GM to the UAW
The Lie: "They gave General Motors to the UAW." —Romney, Nov. 10, 2011
The facts: A trust owned by the United Auto Workers received a 17.5% ownership stake in GM in return for taking over the health care costs of blue-collar retirees and other concessions. That stake declined to about 10% as GM went public. US News
Notes & FAQs Below
Energy 1
The Lie: Obama Doubled Gas Prices
"Gasoline prices have doubled under the president." —Romney, Oct. 3, 2012
The facts: Bush tanked the economy and drove down the price of gas as he left office. Obama led a recovery, people used more gas and the price went up. A stronger world economy, not Obama, raised the price of gas.
Oil Drilling Sets All-Time Record
Notes & FAQs Below
Energy 2
The Rigs Struck Oil
Biggest Jump in Oil Output in 40 Years

Energy 3
US Gasoline for China
Gasoline Exports Are Way Up
Notes & FAQs Below
Wealth 1
The Lie: A Rising Tide Lifts All
The Lie: Two versions: (1) Help the Rich (the so-call "job creators") and the wealth will trickle down. (2) A rising tide lifts all boats the same amount.
The facts: Trickle-down economics has been tried for 30 years, and it didn't work.
Notes & FAQs Below
Wealth 2
Romney's Promise to the Rich
Romney says: "I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people."
What he means: I am going to reduced their tax rate, if the rich get richer.

Romney is sending a coded message to the very rich. Here's how it works.
  1. In the second debate, he explained that "not reduce" means their share will stay the same.
  2. Say the rich now get 15% of all income and have a tax rate of 20%.
  3. Say they get richer and capture 30% of all income.
  4. At the same 20% tax rate, they would pay twice as much in taxes.
  5. So Romney promises to keep their "tax share" the same.
  6. That means cutting their tax rate from 20% to 10%.

  7. In fact the top 1% did double it's share of income from 10% to 20%. And it is paying more taxes. The rich have been complaining about this, and Romney is taking care of them.

    Wouldn't you like to know that if you get richer your tax bill will stay the same?
    Notes & FAQs Below
    • Romney is talking about the top 5%, not the top 1%, so the increase in income share will be less.
    • In the first debate Romney said: "I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. ... I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. ...I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans."
    • In the second debate Romney said: "The top 5 percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent of the income tax the nation collects. So that'll stay the same. ... The top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent, as they do today."
    • According to the Supplemental data to Congressional Budget Office, Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007 (October 2011), the income share of the
    • This point made in the Christian Science Monitor

Debt 1
The Lie: Democrats Caused the Debt
The Lie: The Debt is from Democrats, and mostly Obama
The facts: The debt came down until Reagan/Bush doubled it. Clinton tamed it. Bush set the all-time records, then handed the mess to Obama, who is taming it.
Republicans Borrow-and-Spend
Notes & FAQs Below
Debt 2
National Deficit
The Deficit Is Down, Under Obama
Notes & FAQs Below
Debt 3
The Lie: Obama Spend Like Crazy
The Lie: "Obama spends like a drunken sailor" and this has caused the debt.
The facts: The deficit is almost half from lower tax collections and both spending and lower collections ramped up during Bush's last budget year over which Obama had almost no control.
Notes & FAQs Below
Social Security
The Lie: A Social-Security Crisis
The Lie: Social Security is running on empty.
The facts: The Social Security Trust Fund is the biggest ever. Eventually changes will be needed. This has always been true.

Business 1
The Lie: Obama's Bad for Business
As Business Gains Confidence Stocks Go Up

Notes & FAQs Below
Business 2
The Lie: Dems — Bad for Business
Obama Comes in First

Notes & FAQs Below
Business #3
The Lie: Romney's a Venture Capitalist
The Lie: Romney is a venture capitalist, not a private-equity capitalist
The facts: “There’s a real difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism, Venture capitalism we like. Vulture capitalism, no.” —Rick Perry told Fox News (1/11/20112)

The Lie: Obama “robbed” Medicare
The Lie: “There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.” —Romney, August 14, on 60 minutes.
The facts: The $716 billion is how much Obamacare cuts costs — not benefits!
Notes & FAQs Below
The Lie: Bigger Government
The Lie: Obama is greatly expanding government employment. (This was said repeatedly during the census hiring.)
The facts: Relative to the US poplulation, federal employment has fallen a bit under Obama.
Notes & FAQs Below
Five Romney Lies
  1. Obama "robbed" Medicare. —Romney No, he cut Medicare costs.
  2. Obama caused huge job losses. —Romney No, Obama stopped Bush's losses quickly.
  3. Romney is a venture capitalist. —Romney No, Bain doesn't start new companies.
  4. Obama doubled gasoline prices. —Romney No, drilling and oil production are way up.
  5. Obama gave GM to the UAW. —Romney No, he saved GM, and got little.

Hot New Facts
New = Not available elsewhere
  1. Which party has created jobs twice as fast? Actually, more than twice
  2. Who set the record of $1 trillion in 100 days? Actually, $1.1 trillion
  3. Who gets the “Drill-Baby-Drill” prize? Not Sarah P.
  4. Who improved business confidence most? So they call him a socialist
  5. When was Social Security richest? And they say it's bankrupt

Hot New 1
Which Party Creates More Jobs?
Which party has created jobs twice as fast?

Democrats have created 2.6 times more jobs since Truman took office in 1949.

And every time the Democrats have held the White House, they've beaten every time the Republicans did.

Two bonus facts about jobs

Hot New 2
Worst Month Since WWII?
When was the biggest one-month job loss since WWII?
January, 2009, the month Bush handed over the White House to Obama. (See graph.)

Bush had just broken the memorable benchmark rate of 10 million jobs a year.

Now the Repubicans say Obama didn't clean up their mess fast enough. Talk about chutzpah.

Next bonus fact

Hot New 3
Broke Record: Total Jobs Lost?
Who broke the 1949 record for total jobs lost?
Bush broke the 1949 record in June 2009, three months before the end of his last budget year.

By then, Obama had slowed job losses from 10 to 5 million a year.

Hot New 4
$1 Trillion in 100 days
Who set the record of $1 trillion in 100 days?
The Gross National Debt* went up $1.1 trillion from July 30, 2008 to Nov. 7, 2008, under George W. Bush. That's the all-time record.

That's a rate of $4 trillion per year!

Two bonus facts about debt

* The Gross Nation Debt, is the measure of debt preferred by Republicans. It includes the debt owed to the Social Security Trust Fund.

Hot New 5
Lowest National Debt
When was the debt at its lowest since 1932?
Right when Reagan said it was the highest ever — at the start of his first budget year, September 30, 1981.

Then he doubled it.*   (See graph)

His "mistake" was to "forget" about inflation, population growth, and economic growth.

Next bonus fact

* No, this was not due to a Democratic Congress (a common Republican lie). Democrats only controlled Congress 3 out of 8 years, and even then passed smaller budgets than Reagan requested. Full details here.

Hot New 6
Reagan's Debt
How much did Reagan increase the debt?
Counting the way Reagan did (dollars) he increased it 186%. But counting sensibly, he increased it "only" by 77% compared to the size of the economy.

In doing so, he wiped out 20 years of gains in just 8 years. (See graph.)

Hot New 7
Who Drilled, Baby, Drilled?
Who gets the “Drill-Baby-Drill” prize?
Obama. Drilling for oil has gone through the roof since 2009.   (See it to believe it)

He did not make this happen, but contrary to Republicans, it has happened and Obama has not interfered.*

Bonus fact about oil

* The data is from a private supplier of drilling equipment.

Hot New 8
When did oil output rise?
When did oil output rise most since 1981?
After declining steadily since 1970, oil production shot up starting in 2009. (See graph.)

This helps reduce the price of gasoline (slightly). So high prices were not caused by lack of drilling or oil production as the Republicans say. (They know this is a lie, they can see the data, too.)

Hot New 9
Who's Best for Business?
Who improved business confidence most?
Obama. Stock prices reflect confidence in future business conditions. They've gone up 15% a year under Obama. Compare that to 6% a year under Reagan.

Hot New 10
How's Social Security Doing?
When Was Social Security Richest?
The Social Security Trust Fund had the most money ever in June 2012. But the economy has been growing, and compared to the economy it was slightly larger in 2011.

Talk about a reality distortion. (more info)

Bipartisan vs. Republican

Romney Surrogate Praises Obama
"The federal government’s response has been great. The folks at FEMA have been excellent. The president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit. He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it. It’s been wonderful." —Gov. Christie
But Romney suggested FEMA should be stopped. When asked in a primary debate, "Fema's about to run out of money ... maybe the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that? Romney replied,
"Absolutely ... We should take all of what we're doing at the federal level [e.g. FEMA] and say "what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do." And those things, we gotta stop doing."

Does that make any sense? Consider an example:
  • FEMA had already sent 139 ambulances to New York by Monday.
  • If the states had to be completely self-reliant, they would each need their own fleet of emergency ambulances.
  • FEMA is actually a kind of national defense.
  • Some things work better when we work together.
  • That's why we have a United States of America.

Christie politics: Politico suggests that he figured out "a long time ago Obama was going to win re-election." But also note that he is saying these things on Fox News, and that Christie gave the keynote address at the Republican convention. This is an extremely potent news story.

Consumers vs. Romney
Consumer Confidence — 5-year High
Consumer confidence just hit a five-year high, after hitting a 30-year low four years ago.
  But Romney says Obama made the economy worse! American consumers say he's full of it.

Republicans have done their best to wreck the recovery so their candidate could win. They came close when they tried to force a government default in August 2011 — see the graph.

There's good reason for confidence now. In September:
  • Unemployment dropped from 8.1% to 7.8%
  • Car sales were up 9.3% from a year ago.
  • New housing starts were up 35% over the year.
  • House sales were up 11%
  • House prices were up 11.3%.

Today's Nonsense Debunked
Romney's Subsidized Olympics
"At the Olympics, I learned to deal with the federal government, because the support there was extraordinary. They provided over $400 million to us ..." —Romney (Youtube at 1:33)
Without the subsidies Romney gained, there would have been no "profits" from his Olympics.

Out of the $1,900 million cost of his Salt Lake Olympics, 30% was government funded, and 18% ($342 million) was from 18 federal agencies. About $208 million of that was from Congressional earmarks. (Download GAO Report PDF)

Today's Nonsense Debunked
Solyndra—a Red Herring
Republicans count on big-number confusion to scare people about Solyndra.
The Bush economy lost $10 trillion in stock value—that's the big red square. The Obama economy has gained almost all of that back, but it lost $0.0005 trillion in the Solyndra debacle; that's the nearly invisible black square.
And compared to the Iraq war, no lives were lost nor soldiers maimed.

Presidents are responsible for big decisions—like the Iraq war, but they cannot check every little decision.

Today's Insight
To Know Him Is to ???!
Five out of five of Romney's home states are surprisingly anti-Romney.
Romney won Massachusetts by 5% in 2002, but he now trails Obama there by 18%. That’s a 23% drop — after they got to know him.

According to U.S. News, he’s losing in 4 out of 5 of his home states (MI, CA, NH, and MA). The fifth, Utah, is one of the most Republican states and by far the most Mormon. But even there, the leading newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, says:

In his servile courtship of the tea party ... and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee … Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"

Today's Outrage (10-19)
The Market Loves Socialism?
Republicans call Obama a socialist. Outrageous. He’s pro-business and saved the auto industry.
Are Republicans lying? They say socialism is bad for business. So ask the stock market. If capitalists are pessimistic about business, stock prices go down; up if they’re optimistic.

Annual Rate of Stock Price Increase
Obama 15% Business most optimistic
Clinton 13% Business very optimistic
Reagan   6% Business neutral
Bush I 3% Business pessimistic
Bush II –8%   Running for the exit

Money talks, and the capitalists are calling the Republicans liars. (See graph.)

The Most Accurate Prediction
Obama could win the electoral college and lose the popular vote. That would weaken Democrats politically for years. So vote no matter where you live!!
    Most accurate numbers? A strong claim, but this is the only site that combines the astonishing brilliance of Nate Silver's polling analysis with the best human intuition money can buy—data from the betting markets.

Obams's Chances
Nate Silver:   90.9% Nov. 6
Betting Sites:   85.6% Nov. 6
Best estimate anywhere:  88.3% Nov. 6
Yesterday:  84.4% Nov. 5
A week ago:  73.5% Oct. 30

  Romney has had no momentum since Oct. 13, and has been sliding rapidly backwards for the last week. But Romney still has a 12% chance of winning.

Nate Silver himself recommends this combination of his stats and the betting markets.

Nate Silver is likely the best statistician in the business, and the only one playing with a full deck. He uses all the stats from all the polling companies going back decades, so he can check their past peformance and learn their biases. He also includes economic data. He runs a huge model and puts this together daily.
Silver has analyzed various predictors and gives this advice: "take the average between [his] model and the consensus betting lines." He names BetFair and Pinnacle as the two top lines. I average them and then average the result with his model. Economists trust betting data because you put your money on the table, look closely at the odds, weigh your chances, and then bet to win — not to make a political statement. Plus, bettors have some extra information, like "the big bucks will buy Romney air time in the last week."
How to Install This App

Install this App on your Home Screen
so you don't lose it before the election.

Note: This is a "web app." It's just an advanced (HTML5) web page. It cannot access your data like a "native" app.
Help & Tech Stuff
Why was The Reality App created?

“The Reality App” focuses on the election and on exposing the alternate reality that Republicans have been selling for 30 years — with increasing success.

This App has taken a huge amount of work, and its success depends on people like you using it to counter the lies used to create the reality distortion.

But I also need your help with suggestions for how to broaden its appeal. I’ve done my best to make it easy and fun to use, but I’m better at the technical part. To improve the chance of this App's success and to reward those who pitch in, I’ve created a lottery to reward Facebook “Likes”.

Using The Reality App

1. Install it on your Home page to keep it handy.

2. Pass it on for one of several reasons:

  1. “You might like this.”
  2. “Thought you might know who could use this.”
  3. “What do you think of this?”
How to pass it on: There's a SharePage button at the bottom of every page. Or ... Email a friend

3. Correct reality distortions such as the following:

Help with navigation & technical stuff

Produced by Steve Stoft ([email protected]) with a lot of help from his friends ... Dan, Tom, Arlin, Steve, Sandy, Dave.

Help with iPhones
H e l p

To "Install" App on Home Screen:
  To install from Safari (best):
  1. Touch "Home" at upper left of this App.
  2. Touch your iPhone's "Share" button
    • (bottom center box with arrow jumping out), not the app's Share button in the upper left.
  3. Touch "Add to home screen"
  4. You've got it!

Help with Androids
H e l p

To "Install" App on Home Screen