Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Obama on leave, Biden in stocks, Western threats in Syria: PolitiFact Oregon Roundup

At the White House Summit on Working Families, Vice President Joe Biden said he doesn't have stocks, bonds or a savings account.

Internet news sites typically offer users a choice between U.S. and world news.

That always leaves the crack staff at PolitiFact Oregon at a difficult crossroads. Syria? Or Virginia trains? Ukraine edging toward the European Union? Or the California nanny who refuses to leave?

You see our dilemma.

So for today’s PolitiFact Oregon Roundup, we’re dipping into both realms. It’s our roundup, after all, so why not? Let’s get going.

1. A (pregnant) pause for thought

President Barack Obama, ahead of a recent conference courting labor organizations and progressive groups, recently said that the United States is the "only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave."

PolitiFact National found that the lack of a federal government’s failure to mandate cash benefits for workers on maternity leave puts the U.S. at odds with the rest of the developed world. Because some workers in other countries don’t qualify for paid maternity leaves, Obama’s statement was rated Mostly True.

2. A claim starving for a little truth

A recent Facebook post decried the cost of the Iraq War, arguing that the amount spent fighting there would have ended world hunger for 30 years.

A majority of experts contacted for the check felt that the dollars spent on war would certainly have aided a larger battle against hunger, but the funds would still fall short of that goal. The claim was rated Half True.

3. Rick Perry grows apprehensive

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, said recently that a flood of immigrants from countries other than Mexico are being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. "These people are coming from states like Syria that have substantial connections back to terrorist regimes and terrorist operations," he said.

PolitiFact Texas found that less than 5 percent of "other than Mexican" apprehensions have taken place in the last two completed fiscal years. The governor walked away with his trousers aflame.

4. Biden his time on the way to the bank

Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his off-the-cuff comments. In a recent attempt to come across as Joe Average, the Veep brought up his finances, saying, "I don’t own a single stock or bond…I have no savings accounts. But I got a great pension, and I got a good salary."

Questionable grammatical usage aside, Biden was wrong to say that he doesn’t have a savings account because he shares one with his wife. It’s true, however, that he doesn’t have ownership over any stocks or bonds – those all belong to his wife. The claim was rated Half True.

5. Rep. Rogers hypes the numbers, but the threat is real

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., recently said there are "thousands of Westerners and Americans in both eastern Syria and Iraq who have Western passports" fighting with extremists.

The check found that Rogers may have hyped the numbers, but that he did not overstate the threat. Experts contacted agreed with his assertion that Westerners fighting in those areas present a legitimate security concern. His claim was rated Half True.

OK, we’re tired from all that travel, but still satisfyingly sated on a roundup diet of both world and domestic news.

Did we miss something? Thoughts of your own? Toss ‘em here now and let’s get the conversation started.