Thursday, April 24, 2014
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The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Newt Gingrich says shutdowns are ‘normal’ process, with 12 shutdowns under Tip O’Neill and two under Gingrich

Newt Gingrich knows a thing or two about government shutdowns. When he was speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995 and 1996, the Georgia Republican was involved in two of them. In fact, they were the most recent examples of a federal government-wide closure before the one we’re experiencing right now. On a recent edition of CNN’s Crossfire, where Gingrich is now one of the hosts, he drew on this experience to put the current shutdown into historical context. “Tonight there is an amazing amount of hysteria and vitriol over what is a normal part of the constitutional …

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Bloggers: "Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 3 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | ‘Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month,’ bloggers claim

The headline flew around the conservative blogosphere: “Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month.” The fact that it came from a website, National Report, known for Onion-like satire, didn’t stop some bloggers from reporting it as news. The piece was packed with fake details designed to press anti-Muslim buttons: President Barack Obama held a news conference to make his declaration. He said Muslims “are not all bad. In fact, most of them are good.” His announcement was hailed by a “member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.” He said he would work with Congress to …

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Bernie Sanders: "(Texas Republicans) believe in abolishing Social Security, abolishing V.A. health care."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On October - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Sen. Bernie Sanders says Texas Republicans want to abolish Social Security, V.A. health care

There have been no shortage of claims about Obamacare in the build up to the health insurance marketplaces opening on Oct. 1. On MSNBC, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called the effort by some Republicans to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the government “nickels and dimes” in comparison with other stances they take. “What Mr. (Ted) Cruz and his Republican friends think in terms of health care is that we should voucherize Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid and ignore the fact 48 million Americans have no health insurance at all,” he said Sept. 25. He used the Republican …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling assails “sweetheart” deal for lawmakers, staff under Obamacare

In the wee hours of the morning of Oct. 1, 2013, as the House was engaged in a futile ping-pong match over averting the federal government shutdown, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, took to the floor to decry a “sweetheart deal” on health insurance for members of Congress. “Mr. Speaker,” Hensarling said, “we are debating should members of Congress get a better deal than every other American in Obamacare? House Republicans say, ‘No, that’s not fair. That’s not equal protection under the law.’ Yet, our friends on the other side of the aisle (Democrats) are now saying, ‘No, no, no.’ They’re …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Barack Obama says new health law offers average American more than 50 plans

A central goal of Obamacare is to promote competition among insurance companies. This produced the online health insurance exchanges, now called marketplaces. In theory, these marketplaces will make it easier for people to shop for the best deal, just as they would buy home appliances or anything else sold on the Web. During a speech in Maryland, President Barack Obama touted the success the marketplaces had achieved in providing individuals with options. “In states where the federal government helps run these marketplaces, the average American will have more than 50 different plans to choose from, with different levels of coverage,” …

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Ted Cruz: "A strong bipartisan majority" in the House of Representatives "voted to defund Obamacare."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Ted Cruz says ‘a strong bipartisan majority’ in the House of Representatives ‘voted to defund Obamacare’

Where the showdown over a government shutdown is concerned, the blame game runs both ways. Congress and the White House are at loggerheads over what to do with President Barack Obama’s health care law. Major aspects of the law are set to go live on Oct. 1, the same day as funding for the federal government runs out. But efforts to keep the funding flowing have floundered on the demand of some Republicans to defund or delay the law, while the president has refused to eliminate or pare back his signature legislative achievement. We noticed two similar, but opposite, claims …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Barack Obama says “Democrats and Republicans” in the Senate “acted responsibly by voting to keep our government open”

As the United States government hurtles toward a shutdown, the blame game is well under way. Congress and the White House are at loggerheads over what to do with President Barack Obama’s health care law. Major aspects of the law are set to go live on Oct. 1, the same day as funding for the federal government runs out. But efforts to keep the funding flowing have floundered on the demand of some Republicans to defund or delay the law. The president, for his part, has refused to eliminate or pare back his signature legislative achievement. We noticed two similar, …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | Saxby Chambliss says Obamacare is biggest entitlement U.S. taxpayers have ever seen

Part of the argument made by critics of President Barack Obama’s health care law is that the law imposes big financial commitments in perpetuity, particularly for subsidizing health insurance for Americans who otherwise couldn’t afford it. On CNN’s Crossfire, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., argued that the nation simply can’t afford this sort of ongoing entitlement. “We’re fixing to get hit with the biggest entitlement program the American taxpayers have ever seen — $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years,” Chambliss said. (For those who aren’t familiar with this particular southernism, “fixing to” means “about to.”) Is Obamacare …

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Robert Reich: Under economic sanctions, "now Iran is suffering 30 percent inflation, 20 percent unemployment."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 27 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Robert Reich says under sanctions, ‘Iran is suffering 30% inflation, 20% unemployment’

An Iranian president says he’s ready to resolve the nation’s nuclear standoff with the West — what gives? Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich gives at least partial credit to economic pain orchestrated by the United States and international allies. While the United States must still be “very cautious,” he said on ABC’s This Week, “one of the big lessons here is that economic sanctions do seem to work. “Right now Iran is suffering 30 percent inflation, 20 percent unemployment,” he told a roundtable including CNN’s Newt Gingrich, ABC’s Jonathan Karl and PBS’ Gwen Ifill. “I mean this …

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Barack Obama: "Up to half of all Americans have a pre-existing condition."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 27 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Obama says half of Americans have a pre-existing condition

The Obama administration is trying to rebut critics who have labeled Obamacare one of the most destructive laws in the nation’s history. At an event in Maryland on Sept. 26, 2013, President Barack Obama highlighted the program’s benefits. High on his list was the new rule about pre-existing conditions, health problems that insurance companies use to deny coverage to would-be new customers. Under the Affordable Care Act, no insurer will be allowed to turn someone down due to a pre-existing condition. This, Obama said, will make a big difference. “Up to half of all Americans have a pre-existing condition,” …

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Bernie Sanders: "One out of four corporations doesn't pay a nickel in (federal income) taxes."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Sanders: One out of four corporations pay no taxes

The taxes paid, or not paid, by corporations is a perennial topic in Washington. There is broad agreement that the current rules should be changed but no consensus on what those changes ought to be. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pulled out a dramatic statistic during a Sept. 24, 2013, back-and-forth with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on CNN’s Crossfire. “One out of four corporations doesn’t pay a nickel in taxes,” Sanders said. The two senators were talking about federal income taxes, and we decided we should check to see if Sanders’ claim is accurate. In the context of his debate …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Ted Cruz says policy change by UPS left employees’ spouses “without health insurance”

During his marathon Senate floor speech opposing President Barack Obama’s health care law, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, cited an example of an employer cutting back on health coverage as a result of the law. Cruz said: “Just a few weeks ago, UPS sent a letter to some 15,000 employees saying, ‘We are dropping spousal health insurance because of Obamacare.’ That is 15,000 UPS employees who had insurance for their husbands and wives, and suddenly those husbands and wives are left without health insurance and being told, ‘Go on an exchange with no employer subsidy.’ ” We thought we’d check …

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Newt Gingrich: "(Obamacare) is a bill which has never once had a majority of Americans favor it."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 26 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Obamacare “has never been favored by a majority of Americans,” Gingrich says

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made waves this week with his 21-hour Senate speech against Obamacare. While he’s the only one reading Green Eggs and Ham to his colleagues as a form of protest, he’s far from alone in his criticism of the law. CNN Crossfire host Newt Gingrich referenced public opinion on the Sept. 24, 2013, show while criticizing President Barack Obama’s health care reform. “It is a bill which has never once had a majority of Americans favor it,” he said. Gingrich’s claim comes while Congress evaluates Republican-written legislation that proposes funding the government only if Obamacare …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Tom Graves says Obama has changed the Affordable Care Act 19 times

The Republican effort to defund Obamacare threatens a government shutdown at the end of the month. U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., is one lawmaker who believes the dangers of the health care law justify extreme measures. Over the summer, Graves called the Affordable Care Act “destructive” and a “job killer.” “We need to make every effort to ensure Obamacare is never implemented,” he said. Graves said President Barack Obama’s actions highlight the law’s terminal flaws. “Something very important has happened since the president did win the election,” Graves said on ABC’s This Week. “He himself has amended, delayed, …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: True | Bill Young says military pay would be delayed during government shutdown

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., and other House Republicans oppose Obamacare and recently approved a measure to fund the government only if President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act,  is defunded. But while addressing the House on Friday, the longest-serving Republican in Congress called the House plan a “painful and inefficient way to govern,” and cautioned his peers against a government shutdown. Young included impact on the military in his list of examples of what would happen should the shutdown come to pass. “All military personnel will continue to serve and accrue pay but …

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Mitch McConnell: "The president’s own advisers have said there’s a war on coal."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 23 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly False | McConnell links Obama to war on coal

The unveiling of proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants stirred up protests that the administration is waging “a war on coal.” Under these rules, newly built coal-fired facilities could not release more than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. The most advanced plant today releases over 1,600 pounds. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., faces re-election next year. Just before the announcement, his campaign posted an ad on the Web called “Stand for coal.” The ad uses excerpts from what sounds like a public speech by McConnell. Here’s how it begins: …

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Rick Perry: "Every engine manufacturer in the United States is now in the state of Texas."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Rick Perry says every engine maker is in Texas

At a time when everyone wishes the country were producing jobs faster than it has been, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is happy to talk about the track record in his state. “Thirty percent of all the jobs created in America were created in the state of Texas in the last ten years,” Perry said on CNN’s Crossfire. Perry listed some of the firms located in Texas. “Companies like Facebook, eBay, Apple — which is soon to be one of the largest employers in the city of Austin — Caterpillar,” Perry said. “Every engine manufacturer in the United States is …

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Newt Gingrich: Since 2007, "Texas has gained 440,000 people" while "Maryland has lost 20,000."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Martin O’Malley, Newt Gingrich face off over population statistics on “Crossfire”

EDITOR’S NOTE: We initially published our fact check of Gingrich’s comment on Sept. 20, 2013, with a rating of False. Soon after, CNN provided us with additional information. After we looked into their data, we rewrote and republished the story the same day, changing the rating to Half True. The original item has been archived here. A faceoff on CNN’s Crossfire between Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, produced a robust debate over how best to promote a state’s economic growth and quality of life. It also produced a blizzard of statistics …

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Betsy McCaughey: "Obamacare will question your sex life."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 19 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Betsy McCaughey says on next doctor visit, ‘Obamacare will question your sex life’

“Obamacare will question your sex life,” says a New York Post headline this week. The opinion piece underneath, written by former lieutenant governor of New York Betsy McCaughey, author of Beating Obamacare, begins: “‘Are you sexually active? If so, with one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?’ “Be ready to answer those questions and more the next time you go to the doctor, whether it’s the dermatologist or the cardiologist and no matter if the questions are unrelated to why you’re seeking medical help. And you can thank the Obama health law.” McCaughey then claims that …

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Eleanor Holmes Norton: "There are more guns than there are people in the United States."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 19 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Eleanor Holmes Norton says “more guns than people” in U.S., in Navy Yard reaction

In the wake of Monday’s Navy Yard shooting, Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., addressed national and civic security. Holmes, the nonvoting delegate to Congress representing the District of Columbia, praised the quick police response, but she also noted that no one is entirely insulated from criminal acts. “We understand that in an open and democratic and free society, you cannot make yourself impenetrable, especially when there are more guns than there are people in the United States today,” she said in a press conference. Are there really more guns than people? We wanted to dig into the data. Let’s pin down the …

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Chris Van Hollen: The employer mandate "affects only 5 percent of businesses in this country."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 18 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Mostly True | Van Hollen says employer mandate affects 5% of businesses

On Obamacare, Republicans generally fall into two camps. One group wants to defund it entirely and the other wants to delay putting it into action. President Barack Obama gave the delay group some ammunition in July when he made the surprise decision to hold off enforcing the employer mandate. That provision in the Affordable Care Act requires most firms with 50 or more workers to offer insurance or face a penalty of $2,000 per employee. There are some wrinkles, but that’s the gist of the mandate. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., defended the president’s move, arguing that it had little …

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The Truth-o-Meter says: Half-True | Crossfire’s S.E. Cupp cites CDC on armed citizen safety, gun control laws and buybacks

Did a report commissioned by the president find “some very inconvenient facts” about gun control? Conservative CNN Crossfire host S.E. Cupp broke it down in an episode last week: “The CDC issued a report commissioned by President (Barack) Obama just earlier this year, and it found some very inconvenient facts. Armed citizens are less likely harmed by attackers. Effectiveness of gun control laws is mixed. Gun buybacks don’t work. Shouldn’t we be looking at irrefutable evidence, irrefutable evidence?” Her liberal co-host Van Jones quipped, “Oh, now Obama’s CDC is irrefutable?” We’ve looked into the state of gun research, which …

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Bloggers: Warren Buffett recently said "Scrap Obamacare and Start All Over."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire! | Bloggers say Warren Buffett recently turned against Obamacare

Conservative Internet bloggers are turning up three-year-old quotes from Warren Buffett and casting them as fresh evidence that American support is dwindling for President Barack Obama’s health care law. But the quotes are not properly identified as three years old and do not reflect Buffett’s full thinking on the health care law. It’s unclear why or how the old quotes resurfaced. But we started seeing the Buffett quotes in Facebook feeds on the morning of Sept. 17, 2013, after the Weekly Standard linked to it, starting its blog post, “You …

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Van Jones: "1 percent of candidates that (the National Rifle Association) endorsed in 2012 won."

Posted by Politifact.com Truth-O-Meter rulings from National On September - 17 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Truth-o-Meter says: False | Van Jones says just 1 percent of NRA-endorsed candidates won in 2012

Both supporters and critics of the National Rifle Association have acknowledged that the pro-gun group flexes significant political muscle. But Van Jones, one of the hosts of CNN’s Crossfire, suggested in a recent show that the NRA’s reputation of invincibility is exaggerated. “The NRA is not popular on a big scale,” Jones said. “They can cherry-pick their focus. … 1 percent of candidates that they endorsed in 2012 won — 1 percent.” We wondered whether the NRA was really as ineffectual in 2012 as Jones suggested. Neither Jones nor the NRA responded to inquiries for this story, but we suspect …

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