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Published: Friday, Dec. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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E Sam
Provo, UT

The Federal government has approximately 2.75 million employees. At any given time, a few of them are likely to make mistakes. And when they do, it takes a little while for their supervisors, and their supervisors' supervisors to figure out what happened and what to do about it. So let's not label honest mistakes as purposeful deception.
Case in point: Benghazi. In a tremendously chaotic and difficult day, there was initially considerable confusion as to what was going on when our mission in Benghazi was attacked. It took a few days to sort everything out. That's what happened, and that's all that happened.
Fast and Furious; same thing.
Some employees in the IRS office in Cincinnati asked for extra documentation for some organizations, left and right, seeking tax exempt status. That's all that happened there.
The President may have slightly oversold the ACA. He's apologized for it.
I assume you're equally upset with politicians who compared the ACA to slavery, or the Holocaust, or made up silly nonsense about 'death panels'?

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Joyce,

IRS, Fast & Furious and Benghazi are among the most demonstrably _dishonest_ claims that conservatives are pushing these days.

Re the ACA, ok, yes, I suppose the president should have said, "If you like your health insurance you can keep it... provided that it's not a junk catastrophic-care-only policy that your insurance company would rather cancel than bring up to the minimum levels necessary to actually cover basic healthcare."

Your commitment to honesty is commendable. We should insist on honest behavior and speech from _all_ of our elected representatives.

If I searched the archives of this paper's opinion section will I find letters from you also decrying the rampant dishonesty of the Reagan and Bush administrations?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

When I read the title and first sentence of this letter, I thought it was about John Swallow. Anyone else have that happen to them?

Then, I read the rest of the letter. Silly me! Of course we wouldn't read anything negative about Swallow! Of course we gotta go back to 6 month old radical right wing talking points attacking the President. The very same talking points that even Mitch McConnel said were, "ridiculous."

Thanks for the letter. Lets keep our focus on DC while ignoring everything that happens in Salt Lake. We can just "trust" in our reps to do the right thing.

Ranch
Here, UT

Joyce Ericson says:

"some Americans don’t think it matters if our elected officials purposely deceive us."

And then she goes on to "purposely decieve us" by neglecting half the story. The IRS also investigated liberal groups that were trying to create "social welfare" organizations; leaving out that part is deceit by ommission. She then ignores that the "witness" for the Bengazi incident lied about his "witnessing" it. Another deceit by ommission. How many people really "liked" those plans that were cancelled? They covered pretty much nothing. Another deceit by ommission.

Joyce, do you know what hypocrisy means?

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Joyce Erickson

I'm afraid the main response you're going to get from the usual suspects is, "Because Bush." And that's shameful. In a democratic republic, the best way to get honesty from our leaders it to first be honest with ourselves.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

If the election was held today, Romney would lead Obama, 49% to 45%, among registered voters in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. The findings are within the poll's margin of error, but pollster Gary Langer notes that, "Obama's support among registered voters now is actually 6 points lower than his showing in the poll".
Voters do care about honesty and integrity and will take care of business beginning in the 2014 mid-terms!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Yes, honesty and integrity count. There are posters who agree with that concept. They think that whatever happens, when their candidate is in office, is proper. They use no measuring stick to compare his actions with is expected duties.

Benghazi is a case in point. Some would say that things were too chaotic for Obama to know what to do - as Commander in Chief. Were things so chaotic that his only way to handle the situation was to play cards in another room, or, are we to suppose that those Secret Service agents who played cards with Obama lied and that assigning the "cause" to an unknown film was the proper thing to do?

The IRS is another case in point. Obama's brother's "fund raising" organization was approved and 30 months of "back receipts" allowed when hundreds and hundreds of conservative organizations were harassed by the IRS with the IRS demanding information about prayer, about abortion, about contributors.

Dishonesty cannot and must not be acceptable, whether that dishonesty is in Washington or whether that dishonesty is here in Utah, committed by citizens who promote and applaud those dishonest elected officials.

KJB1
Eugene, OR

More right-wing whining. Guess it's easier to keep shouting "Benghazi!" or "Fast and Furious!" instead of actually putting forth new ideas and, you know, governing.

And Mountainman? Romney lost, and all the wishing thinking on Earth won't change that. It's time to move on.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

KJB1. Yes, I know Romney lost but most of America lost with him, especially the middle class who's median income has declined by more than 9% since Obama took office, according to the US Census Bureau. The "poor" are doing better as food stamps and welfare entitlements have doubled and so are the rich doing better under Obama.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's true that our form of government is based on the belief that the majority of the people won't intentionally pick dishonest leaders. But how can the voting public know what's really going on when the media and the government are working together?

The government in Washington is so far away from the people... that there is literally no way for us to know what they are actually doing without it being told to us by the media. If the media won't tell us when the President lies or there are dirty dealings in Congress or the other agencies of government... we don't know, so we don't know we need to unelected them.

TV is the source of information most Americans use to know what the government is actually doing. When they are working together and cover for each other (as I think they often do today)... the people MAY unintentionally elect dishonest people and not even know it.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Unlike this writer, I am not a mind reader, so I can't tell if the president is a deliberate liar. However I suspect he was talking in large strokes when he said "you can keep it." I know that I myself and 95% of Americans are "keeping" it. The small percentage who aren't was probably not in his head at the time. As for Benghazi, Mr. Clinton did not say "what does it matter at this point?" in regard to her response to the attack. She was talking about the motives behind the attack.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Talk about partisan blinders. The writer failed to mention Bushco at all! How about the lies and corporate welfare and trillion dollar wars? How many American and innocent Iraqi citizens died?

The next President will be a Democrat too. Our country is headed back from the brink of disaster created by Republicans, Bush, Cheney and the majority of Utah voters.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If honesty were the principal criteria by which our leaders were judged, Jimmy Carter would now be remembered as the greatest president of the post-war era.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

2 bits:

When you castigate the "media," I presume you are including the Wall Street Journal, Deseret News, Fox News, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and the other right-wing talking heads.

Or is it only the media sources you disagree with?

Long live the 1st amendment, which permits the media to present their "news" and "opinion" in any way they choose, and leaves it to the citizens to sort out what is incredible, biased, slanted, inaccurate, or manipulative. That some citizens fail to exercise diligence and common sense is not the fault of the media.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Should we "excuse" Mr. Obama because other elected officials were dishonest? Is that the measure that we want to use?

Most of us accept the fact that the media failed to "vet" Mr. Obama. They failed to perform their duty as the "4th Estate". They failed to tell us about his personal business dealings. They failed to tell us who he associated with and why those associations should cause concern. They failed to do their job. So, we have a President who "fooled" the people.

Should we "excuse" Benghazi? Are the four Americans who were killed "expendable"? Does the administration really think that covering up the facts is justified when Americans died?

Should we "excuse" the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, the Solyndra scandal, or the ObamaCare scandal?

Should honest Americans excuse inept behavior? Should honest Americans excuse "misrepresentations"?

Bush did not control Obama's actions. There is no valid argument that would allow anyone to excuse Obama's actions because of Bush or any other President.

Each of us will answer for our own thoughts and for our own actions. Dishonestly will not be accepted when we answer for our lives.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Curmudgeon
When I castigate the "media," I am including the Wall Street Journal, Deseret News, Fox News, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, etc. Although I don't consider the ones towards the end of your list to be "News" sources (and they don't consider themselves to be "journalists" or "News" sources). They are very open about being opinion and commentary.

When I'm looking for real "News" (not opinion)... I go to the network news. But they seem to be covering for the Government today instead of being the watchdog. Today they seem to FOLLOW the news stories, not exposing them. Meaning once something has been exposed by another source... they will grudgingly report on it, but they won't BREAK the story. And if there's a way to minimize it.. they'll do it (where they used to be tough adversaries of the administration, doing their "duty" to expose ANY wrong doing).

I get some news from the internet... but I don't believe it until I can confirm it. Most of these sources have an agenda. I HOPE the networks don't have a political agenda.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Todays winner is Mike Richards. He said it best. All you Obama defenders are just confirming what Joyce, the letter writer, was talking about in the first place. Thanks for making her case.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "Blue" actually those things are not just a conservative ploy to make Obama look bad.

If Eric Holder is as innocent as he claims regarding the Fast and Furious operation, then why did he have to be protected by Executive Privelage?

If Obama was honest about Benghazi, then tell us where he was during the attack? The first media reports were that he was asleep, then later he was reported to be in the situation room, another report has him playing cards. Where was he and why won't he come out and tell us? He first said that Benghazi was a result of a protest about a YouTube video that nobody watched. How many people go to protests with RPGs?

The IRS scandal is another case where people within the government refuse to tell the truth. At first it was claimed to be a local office issue, but then we found out that some involved were frequent visitors to the WH.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Applying that principle to recent events, would the majority of Americans have voted for John Swallow if they had known before the 2012 election that he was lying about ... well, everything? Sadly, the answer is probably "yes."

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Face it.

We really don't want the truth.

We only want to hear what underscores our beliefs.

We don't have the patience, capacity or desire to deal with a complex reality, facts and "truth."

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