Prosecute the torture.

March 28, 2015

Joe Sestak Walks Across Pennsylvania (UPDATED)

In case you missed it, Joe Sestak has been walking more than 400 miles across Pennsylvania for (as his website puts it) "accountable leadership in the US Senate."

Yesterday, he was in Coraopolis:

He started the walk on March 4:
Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak formally launched his long-expected challenge to Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey Wednesday, setting up a possible rematch in one of Democrats’ best pick-up opportunities.

During an announcement outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Sestak said he is running to “restore the trust deficit,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. After showing up in a pair of old sneakers, Sestak vowed to walk across the state in a pair of Army boots — to walk symbolically in the shoes of Pennsylvanians.
Apart from anything else, kinda shows a deep level of commitment if a Navy guy can walk start a 400+ mile walk [See update below] wearing a pair of Army boots.  (As I have zero military experience perhaps I am making too much of this military detail.)

The walking trip was punctuated by 2 dozen stops along the way, each with a different topic of discussion.  For example, yesterday his talk in Coraopolis centered around the environment and green energy.  On March 16, he was in Cumberland County discussing education.  On the 9th it was Chester County discussing women's issues.  And so on.

Yesterday's discussion was with a dozen or so potential supporters.  Though I have to add that Sestak, with a sincere grin, also welcomed to the room a guy named Ollie, who he said was the tracker assigned to cover the event by the Toomey campaign.  Nice guy - after the event, he and I joked about how it was snowing outside.  If yesterday's discussion is any indication, Sestak is looking to contrast his record with Senator Toomey's.

And the phrase "Hold me accountable." was repeated a number of times.

For example, Sestak spent a large chunk of his time contrasting Toomey's assertion that "we all want clear air and clean water." with, for example Toomey's cosponsoring of legislation which, according to Sestak's campaign material, "prohibits the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change."

This would be Senator Inhofe's Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.

In order to dispel any ambiguity, here's the first sentence of the bill:
To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.
And it defines "greenhouse gas" as any of the following:
  1. Water vapor. 
  2. Carbon dioxide. 
  3. Methane. 
  4. Nitrous oxide. 
  5. Sulfur hexafluoride. 
  6. Hydrofluorocarbons. 
  7. Perfluorocarbons. 
  8. Any other substance subject to, or proposed to be subject to, regulation, action, or consideration under this Act to address climate change. 
Which is pretty much everything.  That's the legislation Senator Toomey cosponsored.

Sestak also pointed out something we've already blogged on - Toomey's contrasting votes on climate science:
  • Toomey voted for an amendment that said that Climate Science was not a hoax
  • Toomey voted for an amendment that said that "human activity contributes to climate change."
  • Toomey voted against an amendment that said that "human activity significantly contributes to climate change."
Note: For whatever political cover Toomey has gotten from these votes, he's still a climate science denier.

Given some recent poll data from Franklin and Marshall:
Senator Toomey currently leads Democrat Joe Sestak by a five point margin, 34% to 29%, although most voters (37%) are still undecided about this race. Joe Sestak’s name recognition is relatively low, with nearly two in three (63%) of the state’s registered voters saying they do not know enough about Sestak to have an opinion of him.
And some recent reporting:
Anxious about a candidate considered to be an unreliable maverick and a political liability, Democratic Party leaders have undertaken a quiet, intensive search in recent months to recruit a serious primary challenger to former Rep. Joe Sestak, the party's Senate nominee in 2010 who is again running for Pennsylvania's Senate seat.

The effort has involved former congressmen, state senators, county leaders and, recently, even a prominent district attorney. Their anxieties are being driven by party officials, who are concerned that Sestak could cost Democrats a must-win state in 2016.
It seems to me that by walking across the state, Sestak is looking to establish two things; solid grassroot support for his campaign (for both the primary and Senatorial) and to show how utterly different Senator Sestak's record would be from Senator Toomey's.

I'll leave you with a question: who walks 400+ miles in a month in Army boots but someone who's really really serious?

UPDATE: After a phone conversation with the campaign, I have a clarification regarding the boots.  Sestak only started the walk with the Army boots.  Along the way he's worn sneakers, hiking boots, snow boots and so on.  I was going by what I read at RollCall.  My apologies but mostly because it kinda kills my joke.  I did get some more info on the walk itself.  Sestak walked the complete 422 miles over the 25 days.  If he had to stop for some reason (for example to travel to a radio station for an interview) a marker would be put down in order for him to return to the same spot on the route that he left.  Army boots or no, that's still impressive.

March 26, 2015

More On Ted Cruz And How He Gets Galileo Wrong

If anything it proves two things; Ted Cruz knows nothing about science and Ted Cruz knows nothing about the history of science.

First let's look at what Cruz said (from Talking Points Memo):
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) likened himself to Galileo as he defended his position as a climate change denier in an interview Tuesday in New York City with the Texas Tribune.

Cruz, the first Republican to announce his 2016 presidential candidacy, spoke about climate change and defended his stance in the interview with Tribune political reporter Jay Root.

"I'm a big believer that we should follow the science and follow the evidence," Cruz said. "If you look at global warming alarmists, they don't like to look at the actual facts and the data. The satellite data demonstrate that there has been no significant warming whatsoever for 17 years."
Ah, yes. The cherry picked data.

If one (for example the Junior Senator from Texas) were to actually follow the science and follow the evidence, that person would understand that it's a myth to say that there's been no warming for 17 years.  From Politifact:
Cruz said, "Satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there's been zero warming."

Cruz does have a point: There’s been little global temperature change since 1998, and the temperatures measured are lower than what many computer models had predicted.

However, focusing on that period essentially means cherry-picking a timeframe that starts at an extremely warm year and ignores that the first decade of the 21st century -- even as it’s been stable -- has been the warmest on record. While scientists don’t deny that there’s been a recent "pause" in warming, they expect it to be a temporary trend. Not only is one anomalous period not enough to undercut longer-term projections, but other types of measurements do show evidence of continued global warming over the past two decades, including rising ocean temperatures and shrinking sea ice.

Cruz’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.
Someone who actually followed the evidence would know this.

But let's get to his Galileo metaphor.

Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) was an Italian mathematician, physicist, and astronomer who got into a little bit of trouble with the Roman Catholic Church for daring to assert that the Earth was not at the center of creation.

So here's where Cruz is definitely NOT like Galileo; Cruz is using cherry picked evidence to argue against a well grounded scientific theory based on mounds and mounds of scientific evidence and Galileo was using actual scientific evidence against a religious bureaucracy that had no evidence at all to support its unscientific dogma.

So what was Galileo's dispute with the Church?

He said that according to his evidence, the Earth moved around the sun.

The Church said that was impossible because The Bible says (for instance):
[T]he world is established; it shall never be moved (1 Chronicles 16:30).
And that at the Battle of Jericho, God did this:
The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day (Joshua 10:13).
See the problem for Galileo?  The Bible clearly says (multiple times, in fact) that the earth does not move.  The Bible did not say that God commanded the earth to stop spinning in order for the sun to remain in the same place in the sky but for the sun to stop moving across the sky.

The earth does not move, according to The Bible, the sun does.  And if you take your Bible literally and believe that it's literally true, you have to as well.

As for Senator Ted Cruz, he misunderstands the story he's using to support his own scientific illiteracy.

March 25, 2015

More On Right-Wing Eligibility Hypocrisy

The Houston Chronicle reported:
Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, according to his senior advisers, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington.

Cruz, scheduled to speak Monday at a convocation ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia, will not form an exploratory committee but rather launch a presidential bid outright, said advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.
And this is going to be a big problem for our friends in the birther crowd.  Even Joseph Farah at World Net Daily offered up an opinion on the issue in a few years ago (kinda).  While clinging, as only he can, to the lie that Obama's not eligible to be president he starts with another falsehood:
I know many members of Congress personally. Almost all of them know the truth. But they fear talking about it because of what the media will do to them. They know the facts about Obama will never get a fair hearing in the establishment press. Even some of the media are cowed into silence. It’s just a subject they know you can’t talk about without being pilloried and ridiculed with the vilest name-calling by Obama’s Palace Guard and the defenders of Obama who dominate the press.

Then Ted Cruz comes along.

And what happens?

Every media outlet in the country is questioning his constitutional eligibility.
He wrote that August 22, 2013 and by that point this was published (a week earlier) at CNN:
The question about eligibility has always been with regard to children of U.S. citizens born overseas, like Ted Cruz, and Republican presidential candidates John McCain and George Romney before him. The Supreme Court has held that foreign-born children are U.S. citizens only to the extent that a law passed by Congress makes them so. As the child of a U.S. citizen mother, Ted Cruz was born a citizen by virtue of the Immigration and Nationality Act. But did that make him a natural born citizen?

The United States has citizens, not subjects; we are a nation of free people, not ruled by a hereditary sovereign. Therefore, the English concept does not translate directly to the American context. Instead, the question is who is a natural member of the political community.

Most immigration and citizenship scholars, including me, believe that the answer is that any person who is a U.S. citizen at birth is naturally a part of the political community and hence eligible to be president. [Emphasis added.]
So Farah started with a lie.  In any event Farah, only four months later (January, 2014), showed the birther community the way out of their own hypocrisy
So if anyone has the right and the duty to weigh in on Ted Cruz’s eligibility, it’s me – even though no one is asking.

My answer is, “I don’t care.”
And in defending his newly found apathy, he reasserts all the birther lies that have maggot squirmed out of WND for years:
I don’t care because the Constitution was not written and ratified to be applied to some and not others. If no one cared about Obama’s questionable eligibility, despite his shocking lack of transparency and thin paper trail, then they have no business questioning Ted Cruz...
While I'm not here to assert that Cruz is ineligible, I am here to say that if we were to accept the birthers' criteria for eligibility (the ones they incorrectly say invalidates the Obama presidency), he'd definitely not be.

In 2008, this showed up at World Net Daily:
The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to help the nation avoid a constitutional crisis by halting Tuesday’s election until Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama documents his eligibility to run for the top office in the nation.

Democratic attorney Philip Berg had filed a lawsuit alleging Obama is ineligible to be president because of possible birth in Kenya, but as WND reported, a federal judge dismissed the complaint claiming Berg lacks standing to bring the action.
Well we all know that Obama was born in Hawaii - but if the criteria for eligibility include WHERE on the planet a presidential candidate was born (even if one parent is an American citizen), then that would have to mean that Ted Cruz is ineligible because (again as we all know) he was born in Canada (regardless of his mother's citizenship status).

For the record, I'm not saying anything about Cruz' eligibility.  What I am saying is this: If we follow the criteria for establishing eligibility that the birthers look to impose, then by their own standards, Cruz is ineligible.

Let's see them scream as loudly now against the conservative Republican Senator from Texas has they screamed against the NON-conservative NON-Republican former Senator from Illinois.

Either that, or they're just a bunch of spineless hypocrites.

March 21, 2015

I Noticed Something Silly At The Tribune-Review

A few days ago Steven Benen at MSNBC wrote:
As last week progressed, and the scope of the fiasco surrounding the Senate Republicans’ letter to Iran became more obvious, many GOP officials on Capitol Hill furiously tried to think of excuses. The scramble was understandable: Republicans had tried to sabotage American foreign policy, and the stunt hadn’t gone well.

Over the course of three days, congressional Republicans came up with at least four different excuses, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blaming a D.C.-area snowstorm the week before. None of the arguments was particularly persuasive.

But National Review’s Deroy Murdock yesterday presented the most amazing excuse yet: the 47 Senate Republicans shouldn’t be criticized for sending a letter to Iran since they didn’t literally, physically “send” anything.
Guess where this silly ended up?

Here at The Trib:
Contrary to popular hysteria, he did not “send” it to Iran; it was an open letter posted on his Senate website.
And how do we KNOW it's silly?

Take a look at this tweet from Senator Tom Cotton:
See? Silly. Silly. Silly.

Meanwhile, Outside...

From Live Science:
This winter may have brought a deep freeze to much of the northeastern United States — including record-breaking snowfall in Boston — but it was the planet's warmest winter on record, climate scientists announced yesterday (March 18).

The average global temperature from December to February was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit (0.79 degrees Celsius) higher than the 20th-century average of 53.8 degrees F (12.1 degrees C), according to a newly released report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center.
And here's the important part of that NOAA report:
Together, the record warm December, second warmest January, and second warmest February made the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for the December–February period (austral summer / boreal winter) the highest on record for this period, at 0.79°C (1.42°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F), surpassing the previous record warmth of December–February 2006/07 by 0.04°C (0.07°F). The Northern Hemisphere had its warmest winter on record and the Southern Hemisphere had its fourth warmest summer.
But how can that be?  Science expert Senator Inhofe actually found enough snow in Washington DC in February to make a snowball.

So when NOAA writes this:
In February 2015, cooler to much-cooler-than average conditions overtook the entire eastern half of the United States and the eastern third of Canada, with some record cold pockets seen around the Great Lakes region and part of northeastern Canada near Hudson Bay. The majority of the world's land surfaces, however, were warmer than average, with much-warmer-than average temperatures widespread across Central America, northern and central South America, Australia, most of Africa, and much of Eurasia, including a broad swath that covered most of Russia. In stark contrast to the eastern United States, the western United States was encompassed by record warmth.
They're completely wrong, right?

I mean Inhofe's winter snowball and a reference or two to Genesis 8:22 are so much more scientifically valid than say, science, right?

March 19, 2015

Tracking Teh Crazie (Joey Farah and The Clinton Wars)

All this week at Birther Central, Joseph Farah has been doing his best "guilt by (near) association" argument to rewrite some recent and not-so recent history.

As part of his argument he tries to dissuade us of the notion of the "vast right wing conspiracy" of the Clinton years, not knowing that in telling his story he's merely inviting us to look again at all the obvious evidence of that conspiracy.

And I'm not sure he realizes his errors.  Oh well.  Not my problem.

His problems starts at the beginning of his first column which starts with this:
Four years ago, I wrote a column called “Obama’s enemies list” predicting Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service would subject his domestic political adversaries to politically motivated audits.

How did I know it was coming?
The only problem with the beginning of his series is that it starts with something that just isn't true.  From Reuters:
The FBI is not planning to file criminal charges involving the Internal Revenue Service's extra scrutiny of the Tea Party and other conservative groups, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing law enforcement officials.

The newspaper quoted officials as saying that investigators probing the IRS actions, which unleashed a political furor in Washington, did not uncover the type of political bias or "enemy hunting" that would constitute a criminal violation. The evidence showed a mismanaged agency enforcing rules it did not understand on applications for tax exemptions, the Journal reported.
And yet Farah is using it to connect Obama's IRS to Clinton's.

In his second part, writes:
At some point in 1995, Bill and Hillary Clinton had what I describe as “a prophetic nightmare.”

If you were conscious in the 1990s, you probably remember Hillary talking about this bad dream in a television interview in which she explained that her husband’s problems were all manufactured by “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” Around the same time, she invented a phrase even more paranoid in its delusions – “a right-wing media conspiracy.”

That’s where I came into the picture.

In 1995, I had been in the news business for 20 years. It’s the only business I ever worked in as an adult. I began my career as a reporter in the New York area, where I grew up and went to college. In 1979, I moved to Los Angeles where I worked for what was one of the largest papers in America at the time, the L.A. Herald Examiner. By 1981 I was directing the news operation of the paper, a job I held for the next six years. In 1987, I became editor in chief of an L.A. suburban daily and a chain of weekly and twice-weekly papers. During this period, I served as a journalism adjunct instructor at UCLA. In 1990, I became editor in chief of the Sacramento Union, where I also started a tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation called the Western Journalism Center to foster independent investigative reporting and train young journalists in the mission and best practices of American journalism.
It was the Western Journalism Center's tax exempt status that obviously triggered investigation.  Let's see if we can imagine why.

According to the US Code, a 501(c)3 are those:
Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. [Emphasis added.]
Hmm...they can't carry out propaganda or participate in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for office.

Now let's take a look at what Farah and the Western Journalism Center was doing in the 90s.

They were part of the so called "media food chain" that spread the (oh, please can I say it?  Can I?  CAN I??) propaganda that Vince Foster did not commit suicide.  From January 1995 - The Telegraph in the UK:
THE SCOPE of the inquiry into the mysterious death of the top White House aide Vincent Foster has suddenly been broadened, casting doubt on the original verdict of suicide.
The seemingly minor issue of where the body was found could turn out to be of critical importance. A journalist for the *Pittsburgh Tribune-Review*, Chris Ruddy, has been fighting a lone crusade for several months seeking to establish that the Park Police misreported the location of the body.

Ruddy is convinced that it is the key to exposing a cover-up that allegedly involves the police, the White House, and even elements of the FBI.

If Ruddy is right, it suggests a political scandal of colossal proportions.
Interesting that every where you look at the right wing conspiracy, you see my dearly departed friend, Richard Mellon Scaife and his "news" paper, the Tribune-Review.  But let's get back to 1995:
The Ruddy article was republished as a full-page advertisement in the *Washington Times* on Friday, paid for by a conservative media watchdog in California called the Western Journalism Center.
And there it is - more or less exactly how the Commerce Department described it in the mid-90s:
The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce refers to the mode of communication employed by the right wing to convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media. This is how the stream works. Well funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the Western Journalism Center, the American Spectator and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Next, the stories are re-printed on the internet where they are bounced all over the world. From the internet, the stories are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) The story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media (i.e. the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and New York Post) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media. After the mainstream right-of-center media covers the story, Congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a "real" story.
And specifically:
The controversy surrounding the death of Vince Foster has been, in large part, the product of a well-financed right-wing conspiracy industry operation. The "Wizard of Oz" figure orchestrating the machinations of the conspiracy industry is a little-known recluse, Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife uses his $800 million dollar inherited Mellon fortune to underwrite the Foster conspiracy industry. Scaife promotes the industry through his ownership of a small Pittsburgh newspaper, the Tribune-Review. Scaife's paper, under the direction of reporter Chris Ruddy, continually publishes stories regarding Foster's death. The stories are then reprinted in major newspapers all over the country in the form of paid advertisements. The Western Journalism Center (WJC), a non-profit conservative think tank, places the ads in these newspapers. The WJC receives much of its financial backing from Scaife.
So it's hardly surprising that someone would want to make sure that Farah's Scaife-funded propaganda unit was clean, right?

It's actually kinda funny that Farah playing down the "right wing conspiracy" part (which is true) while playing up the "IRS was illegally spying on the tea party" part (which isn't). 

But that's the right wing conspiracy for ya - some very well funded people with a frighteningly tenuous connection to reality.

March 18, 2015

Happy Birthday!

I discovered a very interesting coincidence today.

As some of you may know, I was born on October 5.  It's a birthday I share with (among others)
  • Larry Fine (of the Three Stooges) - 1902
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (host of Cosmos) - 1958
  • Chester A. Arthur (President of the United States of America) - 1829
It's that last guy that leads to the coincidence.  Chester A. Arthur was the 21st President, serving from September 19, 1881 (upon the death of James Garfield - who was shot the previous July) to March 4, 1885 when Grover Cleveland, was inaugurated to be the nation's 22nd President.

Grover Cleveland was born March 18, 1837.

You know who ELSE was born on March 18?

Maria, the OPJ.

Guess what, Maria.  You share a birthday with:
  • George Plimpton (founder of the Paris Review) - 1927
  • Reince Priebus (Chairman of the Republican National Committee) - 1972
I still got one of the Three Stooges.


March 15, 2015

Um, So WHO'S Lying? (HInt: It's The Trib Editorial Board)

From today's Tribune-Review Op-Ed page:
On Capitol Hill, minority Democrats — who gave liberalism such a bad name that they now are forced to operate under the conscripted banner of “progressivism” — are pushing majority Republicans for higher taxes and more spending.

Never mind that the national debt of $18 trillion (yes, that's trillion with a “t”) continues to act as the world's largest Jake brake, the party of “Gimme!” wants to add the world's largest parachute to the economy — not to “save” it and make for a soft landing but to further retard it and to make ever larger its regressive footprint.

And ever Orwellian, diving deeper into taxpayer pockets and exponentially increasing spending is called an “investment.” But numbers from the Congressional Budget Office expose that “investment” as the tar pit that it is. Another decade of this kind of “progressive” spending will turn that $18 trillion debt into a $24 trillion debt, the CBO says.
Let's ignore the editorial board's partisan blather and start with the numbers.  Where did they get them?  The Braintrust says the Congressional Budget Office.

Presumably, it's this report (and a question to my braintrust friends: did you think no one was going to check or were you just hoping no one would?) and there's a summary here.

Once you read it, you'll see that the real liars are on the editorial board.

From the report:
This report by the Congressional Budget Office presents an analysis of the proposals in the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2016. The analysis is based on CBO’s economic projections and estimating models (rather than on the Administration’s), and it incorporates estimates of the effects of the President’s tax proposals that were prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).
And this is what they do in the analysis:
In conjunction with analyzing the President’s budget, CBO has updated its baseline budget projections, which were previously issued in January 2015. Those projections largely reflect the assumption that current tax and spending laws will remain unchanged; they thereby provide a benchmark against which the President’s proposals and other potential legislation can be measured.
So they're comparing two things: what probably will happen if the budget is implemented and what probably will happen if nothing changes.

And they find out that:
According to CBO’s current baseline projections, under current law, the federal deficit will be $486 billion in 2015 and the cumulative deficit over the 2016–2025 period will total $7.2 trillion. The deficit is projected to be 2.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, to decline to 2.4 percent of GDP in 2016 and remain at about that level for the next two years, and then to increase relative to the size of the economy, reaching 3.8 percent of GDP in 2025. [Emphasis added.]
That's if nothing changes.  If the president's budget is enacted (now pay attention, guys), this is what the CBO wrote:
For 2015, the deficit would total $486 billion, equal to the deficit projected under current law. Under the President’s policies, the deficit would fall to $380 billion in 2016 and then increase (in nominal dollars) in each subsequent year of the 10-year period, growing to $801 billion in 2025.
Measured relative to the size of the economy, the deficit would equal 2.7 percent of GDP in 2015. It would then dip to around 2.0 percent of GDP for the next few years before increasing in the last half of the decade to 2.9 percent; it has averaged 2.7 percent of GDP over the past 50 years.
And finally:
Deficits would be smaller than those in CBO’s baseline each year from 2016 through 2025. In all, deficits would total $6.0 trillion over that period, $1.2 trillion less than the cumulative deficit in CBO’s baseline. By 2025, the deficit relative to GDP under the President’s budget would be nearly 1 percentage point lower than the deficit in CBO’s baseline. [Emphasis added.]
So you can see where the braintrust gets it's "$24 trillion" number (start with $18 trillion add $6 trillion and you get...$24 trillion!) and you can also see the depth of their deception.

So compared to doing nothing, the president's budget would actually be reducing the debt by more than a trillion dollars, reducing the yearly deficits by billions of dollars (See the chart below) and reducing the size of the debt as a percentage of the GDP.

Somethings the braintrust decided its readers did not need to read.  And by doing so they're leaving their audience with an incomplete picture of reality.

So, who's lying, again?