Marsha Blackburn: A recent Gallup poll found that 72 percent of Americans and 56 percent of Democrats "say the biggest threat to our nation's security is big government."
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., isn’t as well known nationally as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, or Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. -- two lawmakers who are weighing presidential bids in 2016. But like Cruz and Paul, Blackburn recently trekked to Manchester, N.H., to address the New Hampshire Freedom Summit, a gathering sponsored by the conservative groups Americans for Prosperity and Citizens United. In her speech on April 12, 2014, Blackburn -- like many of her fellow speakers -- took aim at the government and earned applause from the staunch conservatives in the audience. "Gallup did a survey recently," she said, "and ...>> More
Tax day has come around again, and with it a startling claim about the amount of time Americans spend doing their taxes each year. According to U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., it takes United States taxpayers a total of 6.1 billion hours to file their taxes. That adds up to more than 695,000 years. "6.1 Billion hours a year, just to figure out how much money the government is going to take," she said in a post on Twitter. We had to check to see if this number could possibly be accurate. According to Foxx’s office, the number comes ...>> More
The race for a U.S. Senate seat representing Colorado is one of the most closely watched of the 2014 election. And like other Democrats around the country, incumbent Mark Udall is taking heat for his vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act. In a Fox News interview on March 31, 2014, Udall’s likely Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, said Udall cast the vote that made the bill now commonly called "Obamacare" law. "And 335,000 Coloradans lost their health insurance, had their health insurance canceled because of Mark Udall's vote, a vote that decided Obamacare," Gardner told Fox host Neil ...>> More
Senate Majority PAC: Says the Koch brothers want to "protect tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas."
As we’ve noted, Democrats are hellbent on bringing up the Koch brothers as often as possible during this election cycle. They’ve sought to criticize the billionaire brothers and conservative backers on a number of issues — even when the connection appears to be a stretch. Such is the case with an ad from the Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic outfit going toe-to-toe on the airwaves with the Koch-supported Americans for Prosperity in a handful of heavily contested Senate races, including Louisiana. "Out-of-state billionaires spending millions to rig the system and elect (Louisiana Republican candidate for Senate) Bill Cassidy," ...>> More
Freedom Partners: Says Bruce Braley took "tens of thousands from his friends in the health insurance industry" and gave them "special favors" by voting for Obamacare.
A new ad by Freedom Partners -- a group that has served as a hub for funding by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch -- recently began airing ads against Democratic Senate candidates, targeting them for their support of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The group had been little known until the Washington Post reported in January that Freedom Partners had "raised $256 million from unknown sources, money that was then transferred to a complex network of LLCs and political nonprofits that do not disclose their donors." By airing the new ads against Democratic Senate candidates, it ...>> More
Senate Majority PAC: "Before Congress, (Tom) Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies and corporate interests."
This election cycle, we’ve seen vulnerable Senate Democrats attacked by the billionaire Koch brothers in costly TV ad spots. It’s safe to say, though, that Democrats are fighting back. Take the Senate Majority PAC, an outside group formed in 2011 to support Democratic Senate candidates. They launched a statewide ad in Arkansas attacking Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who’s up against Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor come November. "Corporate special interests are spending millions to smear Mark Pryor and elect Tom Cotton," the narrator said. "Why? Before Congress, Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies and corporate interests." PolitiFact wanted ...>> More
Senate Majority PAC: Says the Koch brothers "funded the fight to let flood insurance premiums soar ... Now they’re spending millions to buy a Senate seat for Bill Cassidy so he can fight for them."
Charles and David Koch, the deep-pocketed, libertarian industrialists, seem to be all over the airwaves these days. If it’s not campaign ads being run by such Koch-supported affiliates as Americans for Prosperity, then it’s ads run by Democrats attacking candidates favored by the Koch brothers. One ad from a pro-Democratic group, the Senate Majority PAC, attacks Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2014. The ad features images of storm devastation -- a hot-button issue for Louisiana residents, who faced several deadly hurricanes in the past decade. Here’s ...>> More
Jay Carney: "Who will raising the minimum wage actually help? … More than half work full-time. The average worker is 35 years old."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did his part last week to promote President Barack Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. In a tweet on April 3, 2014, Carney forwarded a meme created by the White House. It read: "Who will raising the minimum wage actually help? You might be surprised that: More than half are women. More than half work full-time. The average worker is 35 years old." We recently checked a similar claim about women and the minimum wage and found it Mostly True. But we thought it would ...>> More
Barack Obama: "More than 3 million young adults ... have gained insurance under (the Affordable Care Act) by staying on their family’s plan."
President Barack Obama touted the success of the Affordable Care Act after 7 million people enrolled in coverage on the marketplaces by the March 31 deadline. "Despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces," he said in an April 1 address from the Rose Garden. "7.1 million, that’s on top of the more than 3 million young adults who have gained insurance under this law by staying on their family’s plan." Since Sept. 23, 2010, young adults have been ...>> More
Michael McCaul: "When people enter the service, there’s not a mental health evaluation."
The second shooting at the Texas military base Fort Hood in less than five years has reopened wounds -- and old debates. During the Sunday morning political shows on April 6, 2014, typical questions over base security and concealed carry rules on military installations emerged in the wake of the deadly shooting last week, with politicians and pundits mostly assuming their party-line positions. But there was some bipartisan consensus that the military should take a closer look at the mental health of enlisted service members. On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Homeland ...>> More
The activities of Barack and Michelle Obama provide endless fodder for chain emails critical of the first family. A reader recently sent us one based on an event that occurred on Michelle Obama’s March 2014 trip to China. The email features a meme that’s based on a photo of the first lady. It shows her energetically waving two red flags, one in each hand. A superimposed caption reads, "Michelle Obama waves red communist flags on her taxpayer-funded visit to China. Anyone remember her ever waving an American flag?" The meme includes a Web address for Tea Party Nation, a Facebook-style ...>> More
Chain email: This is the first time since World War II that five nuclear-powered aircraft carriers were docked together.
A chain email says that President Barack Obama was irresponsible to order five first-line aircraft carriers into Norfolk Naval Base together -- purportedly the first time this had been done since World War II. Readers asked us to look into the email, which raised the specter of Pearl Harbor and implied that there may have been an ulterior motive on Obama’s part. So we decided to check it. (A hat tip to Snopes.com, the urban-legend website, which has also rated this claim.) Accompanied by a photograph of five aircraft carriers docked together, the email begins, "What’s wrong with ...>> More
Charles Koch: "EPA officials have commended (Koch Industries) for our ‘commitment to a cleaner environment’ and called us ‘a model for other companies.’ "
For several weeks now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has taken to the chamber floor to malign David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who contribute heavily to libertarian causes and bankroll ads critical of Democrats. On April 2, 2014, Charles Koch fired back in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, arguing that Reid’s comments were disrespectful and a bad sign for democracy. And he defended Koch Industries and their subsidiaries against attacks, including claims that they oppose environmental protections. "Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them ...>> More
Marco Rubio: Says the goal of the Affordable Care Act was to get 30 million people insured, but it only got 7 million.
The White House celebrated earlier this week when 7.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act marketplaces since they opened in October 2013. Predictably, the law’s critics were not as thrilled. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., spoke on Hannity Tuesday night about what he sees as the reform’s shortcomings. "I mean, the purpose of Obamacare was not to get 7 million people or 6 million people, or whatever the number now is, to sign up on a website," Rubio said. "The purpose of Obamacare, according to them, was to get more people insurance. And ...>> More
Following weeks of Democratic attacks -- including barbs from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. -- billionaire industrialist Charles Koch fired back with a response in the Wall Street Journal. In an op-ed on April 3, 2014, Koch called Reid’s comments disrespectful and a bad omen for democracy. He also defended the family company Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest privately owned corporations. Koch said the fundamental concepts of equality before the law and personal freedom were under attack by government itself. "That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity ...>> More
A group aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is airing a new ad in Kentucky that touts the Republican leader as a friend of farmers. The new 30-second spot, which began airing April 1, 2014, is part of a $1.8 million ad buy from the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which hopes to boost McConnell as he enters a primary challenge and re-election battle. It features a farmer who laments the impact of the "death tax," known officially as the estate tax, on family farms. "As a farmer there’s good years and bad," he says. "The last thing we ...>> More
Harry Reid: The Koch brothers are "the richest people in the world. Individually, they're only fifth. Put them together they're the richest in the world."
For weeks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been using floor speeches to target Charles and David Koch, the industrialist brothers with libertarian political views who have spent generously -- and gotten others to spend generously -- to support conservative candidates and issues. In an April 2, 2014, floor speech, Reid criticized a House budget proposal drawn up by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., saying it reflected the principles of the Koch brothers and would lower taxes on the wealthy. "Is $80 billion of personal wealth for the Koch brothers enough?" Reid asked. "I think most everyone would ...>> More
Organizing for Action: A Koch brothers group is "going to college campuses, giving away free booze to try to bribe young folks out of getting health insurance."
"This is some sick crap." So began an Organizing for Action fundraising email. The group attacked David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who support the tea party movement. "This should humiliate anyone who's ever been associated with the Koch brothers," the March 26 email continued. "One of their anti-Obamacare groups is going to college campuses, giving away free booze to try to bribe young folks out of getting health insurance." We wondered if such an education campaign, complete with free alcohol, really existed. The email referred to Generation Opportunity, a national political activist group made up of young conservatives. ...>> More
Facebook posts: Says President Barack Obama's acceptance of an "Islamic order and gold medal" was "unconstitutional."
In the run-up to President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, a reader sent us a Facebook meme that addressed a previous Obama visit to the kingdom. The meme features a pair of photographs of Obama, in what appears to be a Saudi palace, receiving an elaborate medal and necklace over his head. The text says, "Unconstitutional!!! Accepting an Islamic order and gold medal, 2/2011." The text of the meme goes on to quote the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office ...>> More
A Facebook meme argues that Americans are pretty two-faced when it comes to Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea. The meme says, "22 Countries Invaded by the U.S. in 20 Years. Russia Does It and Everyone Loses Their Mind," illustrating its point with a photograph of Heath Ledger’s Joker character from Batman movie The Dark Knight. A reader asked us to check this claim, so we did. Fortunately, the post that accompanied the meme listed the nations that had been "invaded," along with the years of the purported invasion. (We should point out the list is misnumbered and actually names 23 ...>> More