Editor's note: After we published this report, the staff at Cruz's office gave us more information to consider. We considered that evidence in a separate report, but it did not change our initial findings or our ruling. Our original report remains below. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who is gaining a reputation for bold statements, is backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to reject a major expansion of Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor. Under the new health care law, states can get federal dollars to enroll their uninsured residents in Medicaid. ...>> More
Ted Cruz: "Expanding Medicaid will worsen health care options for the most vulnerable among us in Texas."
Facebook posts: A new law "requires the USDA to approve the harvest and sale of crops from genetically modified seed even if a court has ruled against the crop as being dangerous to public safety or the environment."
Have you heard of the Monsanto Protection Act? That’s the name critics have assigned to a section of the continuing resolution which Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed on March 20, 2013, that keeps the federal government operating through the end of the fiscal year. Tucked into Section 735 of the law is a provision relating to the regulation of genetically engineered crops that has food safety activists up in arms.
Fred Thompson: Says that under President Barack Obama’s health care law, "your insurance" premiums could go up by 200 percent and cost "as much as a new Explorer."
As District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order, former Sen. Fred Thompson was always ready with a wisecrack. In a recent Twitter post, the Tennessee Republican offered a pointed barb about President Barack Obama’s health care law: "Report: Obamacare could raise ins premiums by 200%. It's the ‘A-Ford-able Care Act’ -- your insurance costs as much as a new Explorer." As we looked into whether Thompson’s comparison was accurate, we found a trail of facts twisted into a misleading narrative. Here’s how the tale was constructed, piece by piece. Why premiums will go ...>> More
Mark Kelly: Says "94 percent of (Marco Rubio's) constituents support a universal background check."
Former astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of Arizona shooting victim Gabby Giffords, said that while "gun control" doesn’t poll very well, there’s "incredible momentum" to pass a universal background check law. Never mind five Republican senators, including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who say that they’re going to filibuster any new "Second Amendment restrictions." "I would say to Marco Rubio that 94 percent of his constituents support a universal background check," Kelly told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on March 31, 2013. National polls this year show strong support for universal background checks, ...>> More
Kids are at the center of marriage, argue supporters of California’s same-sex marriage ban. But infertile opposite-sex couples can get married, opponents point out — so why not same-sex pairs? Men stay fertile till their deathbeds, said an attorney arguing against rights for same-sex couples. Confused? Consider the actual debate before the Supreme Court on March 26, 2013, in Hollingsworth vs. Perry. Justice Elena Kagan compared a ban on marriage licenses for couples over age 55 with a ban on marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Couples over 55 are unlikely to produce children, ...>> More
Sal Albanese: An annual income of $500,000 "in Manhattan, believe it or not, is middle class."
How much can you make and still be middle class if you live in Manhattan? Sal Albanese, a Democratic former city councilman running to succeed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, raised eyebrows with his thoughts on the number during a televised forum on March 24, 2013. Albanese made the claim as he was criticizing a municipal tax proposal offered by one of his rivals, Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller. "I disagree ...>> More
Wayne LaPierre: Says New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says "we can only have three bullets" and "the NRA wants firearms with nukes on them."
Who makes "ridiculous" claims about guns? The other side, of course. National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre appeared on Meet the Press on March 24, 2013, after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "It’s insane the stuff he says," LaPierre said of Bloomberg, a co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns who’s spending millions on ads in support of stricter gun controls. "We have people all over, millions of people, sending us $5, $10, $15, $20 checks saying stand up to this guy that says we can only have three bullets, which is what ...>> More
Michael Bloomberg: "If you go back to 1999, Wayne LaPierre testified on behalf of the NRA that background checks were appropriate and should be done."
In back-to-back appearances on Meet the Press, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre went another round in their duel over proposed gun legislation. Bloomberg is pushing for universal background checks on all firearm purchases. LaPierre opposes expanded background checks. Both are working hard to discredit the other. During Bloomberg’s segment, he told host David Gregory that once upon a time, LaPierre was in favor of the background checks he’s now fighting.
Tweets: While the sequester is in effect, the federal government is still funding a study on duck penises.
Sequestration is serious business. Jobs are on the line. Day care for poor kids is under the ax. Yet even in this budget climate, your federal government still has the money to pay for -- please disregard our blushing -- a study examining duck penises. You read that right: duck penises. This waterfowl kerfuffle erupted earlier this week, when the conservative website CNSNews.com published a story pulling back the curtain on a ...>> More
Is the Air Force preparing to spend precious taxpayer funds as it faces sequester-driven budget cuts on a fantasy football league ? On blogs and on Twitter on March 20, 2013, people buzzed that it was the case, with a link to back it up. "What sequester? Air Force wants taxpayers to fund fantasy football league," read a headline at WashingtonExaminer.com. "Spared by the Sequester, So Far: Air Force Fantasy Football Program," said another at NationalReview.com. "Forget Budget Cuts," said Wired.com. " Air Force Is Ready for Some (Fantasy) Football." ...>> More
Ted Cruz: "We have a federal government that thinks they have the authority to regulate our toilet seats."
Toilet seats just got political. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a constitutional lawyer recently elected to Congress, says they’re an intimate example of federal overreach. He name-dropped the familiar fixtures in his March 16, 2013, speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. "We have a federal government that thinks they have the authority to regulate our toilet seats," he said. Does the long arm of the law extend into your bathroom? Yes. But some constitutional scholars say that’s too far. Plumbing the Constitution Cruz, a Republican, is no ...>> More
During a recent floor speech, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., touted his chamber’s role in cutting the deficit. "In the last two years," he said, "we have reduced the deficit by $2.5 trillion." This claim struck us as odd, since the annual federal deficit has hovered around $1 trillion for the past three years -- and we knew from all the rhetoric about America’s deficit crisis that we hadn’t suddenly surged into a budget surplus. So we checked into it. First, some background on the deficit. A "deficit" refers to the amount by which ...>> More
Michele Bachmann: "Scientists tell us that we could have a cure in 10 years for Alzheimer's" were it not for "overzealous regulators, excessive taxation and greedy litigators."
Are bureaucrats, high taxation and trial lawyers keeping America from tackling Alzheimer’s disease? Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said they are during a speech to CPAC, the annual conservative conference. After recalling the history of vaccinations against polio, Bachmann said, "We have another disease ... that's hurting us today. It's called Alzheimer's. ... There is no known treatment for Alzheimer's on the horizon. … Scientists tell us that we could have a cure in 10 years for Alzheimer's, if we'd only put our mind to it. So ...>> More
Sarah Palin: "Seven of the 10 highest-income counties in the country ring the city" of Washington D.C.
Supersize soda in hand, Sarah Palin rallied the CPAC crowd with barbs at "liberal media folk," jokes about President Barack Obama’s background and even a shout of "You lie!" Her speech at the annual meeting of conservative activists emphasized the need to rebuild the country -- not the Republican Party -- with an anti-Washington focus. "The permanent political class is in permanent campaign mode. So where do we go from here?" Palin said. "... At a time when Washington ...>> More
Frank Keating: "In the United States, 50 percent of social services are provided by the Catholic church."
Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a Republican, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press just days after the selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina to be the new pope. In praising Pope Francis’ "life of humility," Keating said that judging by his selection, the church was poised to focus on caring for the poor and vulnerable. In his remarks, Keating offered a statistic to demonstrate the depth of the church’s commitment to charity. "In the United States, 50 percent of social services are provided by the Catholic church," said Keating, who now serves as president ...>> More
Michele Bachmann: Of every "three dollars in food stamps for the needy, seven dollars in salaries and pensions (go to) the bureaucrats who are supposed to be taking care of the poor."
Federal bureaucrats are a favorite target at CPAC, the annual conservative conference that was held March 14-17, 2013. And in her address to the conference, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., served up a doozy. How does it help the poor, she asked, when "of every dollar that you hold in your hands, 70 cents of that dollar that's supposed to go to the poor doesn't. It actually goes to benefit the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Seventy cents on the dollar. That's how the president's caring works in practice. So three dollars in food stamps for the needy, seven ...>> More
Paul Ryan told a boisterous CPAC crowd that without action on the budget, "the debt will weigh down our country like an anchor." Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman and former Republican vice presidential candidate, rose to prominence for budget proposals that dramatically cut spending and made structural changes to Medicare to achieve more savings. This week, Ryan released the 2014 version, which follows much the same blueprint -- and makes the same dire warnings about the nation’s debt. "Our debt is already bigger than our economy," he said at CPAC on March 15, ...>> More
Rand Paul: Says the federal government is supporting a study in Hawaii to "develop a menu for when we colonize Mars."
A Hawaii research project to choose cuisine for astronauts? Count us in! During a speech to the conservative CPAC conference, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made fun of a number of scientific research projects funded by the federal government, suggesting that they were a waste of taxpayer money. Here’s one of them: "For any of you college students looking for jobs, Uncle Sam’s got a job for you," said Paul during the March 14, 2013, speech. "The pay’s $5,000, all expenses paid. The study is in Hawaii. But the requirements are onerous. Only ...>> More
Virginia Foxx: "There are 3.6 million jobs sitting vacant, in part because there aren’t enough qualified applicants to fill them."
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., recently took to the House floor to tout a bill she’s sponsoring that would change the structure of job training programs. She warned that the economy faces a paradox -- despite historically high unemployment rates, many jobs are going vacant. "There are 3.6 million jobs sitting vacant, in part because there aren’t enough qualified applicants to fill them," Foxx said in the March 12, 2013, speech. To check Foxx’s claim, we turned to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government’s scorekeeper on employment data.
On news of the stock market hitting an all-time high, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it’s time to raise the minimum wage. In a news conference on March 7, 2013, Pelosi, D-Calif., announced her support for a bill raising the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. "If we are to honor our commitment to a middle class, which is the backbone of our democracy, we have to reflect ... that intention in our public policy," she said. Then she added, "It ...>> More
Rand Paul: "When (John) Brennan … was asked directly … ‘Is there any geographic limitation to your drone strike program?’ Brennan responded and said, ‘no, there is no limitation.’"
When Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., staged his historic filibuster over 13 hours on March 6, 2013, he said he just wanted answers. He wanted President Barack Obama’s administration to definitively say whether the use of armed drones could ever be justified on American soil. During his epic stand on the Senate floor, which only ended with the inevitable call of nature, Paul cited several statements made by administration officials that concerned him -- including one by CIA Director nominee John Brennan. "When Brennan, whose nomination I am opposing today, was asked directly, 'Is there any ...>> More
Dianne Feinstein: "We have no regulation of drones in the United States in their commercial use."
So, the government can’t use a weaponized drone to strike down a U.S. citizen who’s "not engaged in combat," says Attorney General Eric Holder. But can paparazzi use camera-laden drones to violate Hollywood’s privacy? U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein says so. Feinstein, chair of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, chatted with Hardball host Chris Matthews the day after Sen. Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster over U.S. drone policy. Paul was concerned about a March 4, 2013, letter from the attorney general that didn’t appear to rule ...>> More
Jeb Bush was for it before he was against it. And now he’s for it again? That’s the refrain these days on where the former Florida governor stands on creating a process for people in the U.S. illegally to eventually become American citizens -- or something secondary to that, such as legal residents. Since his new book Immigration Wars was released this week, Bush has been accused of changing position. "@JebBush a flip-flop-flip on immigration? Wow. I fashioned you more of a baseball player than a gymnast. My bad.>> More
Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster on March 6, 2013, expanded from the Senate floor to Twitter, where he, among other things, accused President Barack Obama of "advocating a drone strike program in America." The Republican from Kentucky spoke for nearly 13 hours until the early morning on March 7 to keep senators from voting on the nomination of White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan for CIA director. The subject of Paul’s concern: a letter from the attorney general that didn’t appear to rule out drone strikes against U.S. citizens on American soil.