Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Beyond the Truth-O-Meter

Has there been one school shooting per week since Sandy Hook?

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., earns Pinocchios for repeating a disputed statistic in an irresponsible way.

Carson Overlooks Russia’s Reserves

Ben Carson said the United States has more oil and natural gas than Russia. Not so.

Fact checking the Obamacare rhetoric, pro and con

Moments after the Supreme Court upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, our inbox began to be flooded with statements from politicians either condemning or praising the 6 to 3 ruling. These e-mails were then followed by queries from readers asking for an explanation of the facts spouted in those statements. Here’s a guide to some of the rhetoric, much of which we have covered in the past.

SCOTUS Ruling Fallout

The Supreme Court upholds the ACA subsidies, and the political reaction is misleading.

Has Obama banned Confederate flags?

Has President Obama signed an executive order banning the possession and sale of Confederate flags?

Huckabee’s claim that ‘global freezing’ theories from the 1970s shows the science is ‘not as settled’ on climate change

Does this demonstrate the science “is not as settled” on the impact of man’s behavior on climate change?

Did the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign distribute a button featuring a Confederate flag?

The pictured button was not an official 2012 presidential campaign pin.

Did the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign distribute a button featuring the Confederate flag?

If it's real, it wasn't sanctioned by the campaign.

Sanders’ ‘Shocking’ Senior Statistic

Sen. Bernie Sanders has repeatedly claimed that 1 in 5 seniors "live on an average income of $7,600 a year." The reality is not quite so shocking.

Lindsey Graham’s zombie claim about no fugitive being arrested after a failed gun background check

Two years ago, we examined a similar claim by Graham and found it seriously deficient, giving him Three Pinocchios. And yet we find that he is still going on television and spreading this misinformation.

Muddying the Clean Water Act

Kentucky Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell misrepresented cases involving the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act.

Senators debate education spending, constant dollars, fairy tales

Once upon a time – last week really – senators were debating the state budget, which isn't usually the subject of fairy tales but can, on occasion, go down a rhetorical rabbit hole.

Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush on economic growth under Obama

Two statements, made just days apart, are good examples of how politicians can look at the same data and come up with completely different messages. How is it possible to have the slowest economic recovery ever — and replace jobs faster than the historical average?

Checking where San Diego’s Poorest Live

“El Cajon is the poorest city in the county,” said former state Sen. Wadie Deddeh in a June 9 Voice of San Diego op-ed. Is that correct?

Checking a meme critical of Jeb Bush

Are a social media meme’s “5 Things You Should Know About Jeb Bush” factually accurate?

Rand Paul’s ridiculous story of an elderly man imprisoned for ‘dirt on his land’

An elderly man sitting in prison for 10 years after being accused of racketeering and organized crime — just for putting dirt on his land?

Where Does Clinton Foundation Money Go?

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says that "so little" of the charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation "actually go to charitable works" -- a figure the Fiorina campaign later put at about 6 percent of its annual revenues -- but Fiorina is wrong.

Jeb Bush’s slam against Washington, D.C.

It is a time-honored tradition for politicians to attack Washington, D.C. But they need to get their facts straight when they do so.

Cruz Misses Mark on Endangered Species

Ted Cruz said that "one of the worst things that can happen to a species is to be listed on the Endangered Species Act." But the ESA has led to recovery of a number of species, and there is little evidence that listing harms animals and plants.

Could Jeb Bush Really Grow GDP At 4 Percent?

Jeb Bush's presidential candidacy announcement this week, after months of campaigning, came as no surprise. One small surprise that did pop up in his remarks, however, was a lofty goal he has set for himself as president — to grow the economy at a 4 percent rate if he's elected.