In a last-ditch effort to mobilize voters before Election Day, Democrats and their supporters are warning that Republicans will try to impeach President Barack Obama if the GOP wins the Senate. On Oct. 28, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote a fundraising letter for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee claiming that a "Republican House and Senate could go beyond shutting down the government — they could waste months of our lives on impeachment." In the South, a New York Times story noted the progressive civil rights group Color of Change echoed similar sentiments in a ...>> More
NARAL Pro-Choice America: "If Cory Gardner gets his way, you'd better stock up on condoms."
Even amid a torrent of campaign ads during the waning days of the 2014 midterm election cycle, a new television ad in Colorado’s tight Senate race certainly stands out. It addresses a topic -- abortion and birth control -- that have recurred often in the campaign between incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican Rep. Cory Gardner. But the imagery, and the claim, make the ad unusual. The ad shows footage of a young, partially dressed couple in a bed, with the man reaching for a condom on the night table. "Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys!" the narration says. ...>> More
Nothing animates political discussions like the appearance of hypocrisy. And for some critics these days, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., offers a tempting target. Warren, elected in 2012, has become a leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, decrying the excesses of Wall Street and income inequality. These efforts -- and the possibility that she could run for president in 2016 -- has made her a high-profile political figure. Here’s a social media meme we recently received: "Senator Liz Warren lives in a $5.4M mansion, claimed 'Native American' status to score a Harvard gig paying $350,000 to ...>> More
President Barack Obama has sought to assuage fears about Ebola in the face of panic and misinformation. In his Oct. 18 weekly address, he called on people to "be guided by the science and "remember the basic facts." "Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch," Obama said. "It's not transmitted through the air like the flu. You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus." That last line, repeated often by the administration in various forms, has caught the ire of critics, who believe the statement is too cavalier. It’s also at odds ...>> More
Facebook posts: Says the 1956 Republican Party platform supported equal pay, the minimum wage, asylum for refugees, protections for unions and more.
Liberals are getting nostalgic about the 1950s Republican agenda -- at least judging by the social media meme several readers recently sent us. The meme, created by the group Occupy Democrats, summarized a few planks from the 1956 Republican Party platform, followed by the wistful comment, "Share if you miss the good old days!" Here are the seven planks listed in the meme, which to today’s ear sound more like Democratic talking points: 1. Provide federal assistance to low-income communities; 2. Protect Social Security; 3. Provide asylum for refugees; 4. Extend minimum wage; 5. Improve unemployment benefit system so ...>> More
Don Young: Suicide comes from federal government largesse "saying you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing."
In mid October, long-serving Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, provoked a firestorm with a series of comments about suicide. It’s a significant issue in his home state: In recent years, Alaska has experienced suicide at roughly twice the national rate. The controversy began when Young spoke to more than 100 students and staff at Wasilla High School on Oct. 21, 2014, just days after a student at the school had committed suicide. Young, according to news reports, told an audience that suicide shows a lack of support from friends and family -- a claim that inspired an immediate negative ...>> More
Rand Paul: Ebola is "incredibly contagious," "very transmissible" and "easy to catch."
Count Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., among Republicans who don’t think the White House has taken the Ebola threat seriously enough. While campaigning for Republicans in New Hampshire on Oct. 16, Paul told Concord News Radio that President Barack Obama "has so tried to downplay the transmissibility of" the Ebola virus that it’s putting people at risk. "This is an incredibly contagious disease," Paul said. "People in full gloves and gowns are getting it. So really they need to be honest — this is a very transmissible disease." Paul added: "They’re still learning about this. We’re all still learning about ...>> More
Adam Kinzinger: <div style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: normal;">Says Rand Paul "has put out budgets to cut the military in half."</div> <div> </div>
Midterm elections are less than two weeks away, but the Sunday political shows were already peeking ahead to the 2016 presidential field. On ABC’s This Week, host Martha Raddatz asked a panel of pundits and politicians what impact Monica Lewinsky’s recent foray back into the national scene would have on Hillary Clinton’s chances. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who said he was a teenager when the Lewinsky scandal broke, didn’t bite and instead weighed in on the GOP hopefuls. "I think on 2016, by the way, I'd love to see Jeb (Bush). I'd love to see Chris Christie. I ...>> More
Darrell Issa: Says Thomas Eric Duncan came into the United States "with an elevated temperature."
How much airport Ebola screening is too much? That was the big question on the Sunday talk shows Oct. 26. Over the weekend, New York, New Jersey and Illinois upped their Ebola screening guidelines, quarantining anyone passing through John F. Kennedy, Newark and Chicago-O'Hare international airports who had contact with Ebola patients, even if they’re not showing symptoms. The guidelines surpass federal regulations and have been subject to criticism, particularly from administration officials, arguing that they are unnecessary. JFK, Newark and O'Hare already have screening processes, along with three other American airports, (more on that later) and people who >> More
Ted Cruz: "Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist (for surgeon general)."
The lack of a surgeon general -- the federal government’s top public health spokesperson -- has become a point of contention as the public panics about Ebola. Sen. Ted Cruz said President Barack Obama is to blame for the fact that the position hasn’t been filled. "Look, of course we should have a surgeon general in place," Cruz, R-Texas, said on CNN’s State of the Union Oct. 19. "And we don’t have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist." Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy in November 2013, ...>> More
Tom Cotton says Mark Pryor votes in lockstep with President Barack Obama, but Pryor says he’s one of the most independent senators. Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor, in a tight race that could decide which party controls the Senate. Like many other Republicans facing against incumbent Democrats, Cotton often attacks Pryor for voting in line with Obama’s policies more often than not. In the candidates’ first debate Oct. 13, Cotton said, "Sen. Pryor has said that President Obama doesn’t have a lot to offer rural America and states like Arkansas. ...>> More
Chain email: The Affordable Care Act says that "at age 76 when you most need it most, you are not eligible for cancer treatment. … Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age."
A reader recently sent us a years-old chain email that has morphed into something more timely. It now has the heading, "IMPORTANT ACTION INFORMATION FOR NOVEMBER, 2014 VOTE." For years before that, though, the chain email has floated around the Internet, making the scary claim that "at age 76 when you most need it most, you are not eligible for cancer treatment. Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age." PolitiFact Oregon gave this a rating of Pants on Fire when they looked at it in 2013. The email -- which has changed somewhat as it has zigzagged around social media ...>> More
Tim Murphy: Blocking travel from countries with Ebola should be possible<strong> </strong>because President Barack Obama "has sealed off Israel in the past."
Ebola was once again Topic A on the Sunday news shows. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace had an exchange with Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., over one of the most contentious Ebola-related issues -- whether to enact a travel ban from countries where Ebola is spreading, such as the west African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Here’s the exchange: Wallace: "I want to talk about the threats from those countries -- the ‘hot zone’ -- to this country, because one of the big issues, of course, is this idea of a travel ban. … Congressman Murphy, this is ...>> More
Cory Gardner: The CDC is "spending money on things like jazzercise, urban gardening and massage therapy" that could be redirected to Ebola.
As fears over Ebola reached a crescendo, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., took a shot at the federal government’s handling of the disease during a debate with Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. Gardner has been gaining ground in the closely watched Colorado Senate race, and that contest is just one of many around the country in which Ebola has become an issue. Gardner, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "Perhaps the CDC should quit spending money on things like jazzercise, urban gardening and massage therapy and direct that money to where it's appropriate in protecting the health of the ...>> More
Larry Pressler: "All four on Mount Rushmore, they were all independents at one critical point in their career."
Early in the election cycle, South Dakota was viewed as safely Republican in the 2014 midterms. But the emergence of a familiar face has left the outcome up in the air just weeks before Election Day. Larry Pressler was a Republican in the Senate for 18 years before losing to Democrat Tim Johnson in 1996. Now, as Johnson retires, Pressler’s back running as an independent, undercutting what was supposed to be a cakewalk for Republican Mike Rounds and giving hope to Democrat Rick Weiland. At a recent candidate forum, Pressler made the case for his campaign. He said South ...>> More
Readers recently forwarded us a claim they had begun seeing in their inbox -- and which their friends were believing. It was a link to a story headlined, "2014 Federal Tax Refunds To Be Delayed Until October 2015." This would be a pretty big deal if true. Is it? The short answer is: No. It turns out that the article was published in September 2014 on a website called the National Report. Here’s a portion of the article: "Normally when you file your taxes, whatever money is owed back to you is quickly repaid. The process of ...>> More
Tom Cotton: Under my platform, "I will make no changes to the current (Medicare) system for current retirees and anyone approaching retirement."
During a debate in the hotly contested Arkansas Senate race, Republican Tom Cotton and Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor squared off over the question of Medicare and how it would be affected by the Affordable Care Act, the health care law sometimes called Obamacare. A moderator kicked off the exchange by noting that TV ads in the race had made several claims about possible changes to Medicare and where the candidates stood on those changes. Pryor was asked, "What specifically would you change about the current system, if anything?" Pryor answered by parrying a charge that he had voted to cut ...>> More
Joni Ernst: "Iowa has the fourth fastest-growing personal income in the United States, while nationally, the real wage has decreased over the past eight years that Congressman (Bruce) Braley has been there by 2.7 percent."
During an Oct. 11, 2014, debate, Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley -- who are facing off in one of the nation’s most pivotal Senate races -- sparred over the economy. At one point in the debate, Ernst compared "Washington, D.C., ways" with "Iowa values." She pointed to "records of failure coming from this administration, and followers like Congressman Braley, versus our Iowa values and the way we have conducted business in the last four years. With my good supporter, (Republican Gov.) Terry Branstad, we have implemented strong economic policy here in Iowa -- lower taxes, reduced ...>> More
Alison Lundergan Grimes: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, "would help lift over a million Americans out of poverty."
The minimum wage is one area where Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes has gone on the offensive against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s race for U.S. Senate. Grimes, now the Kentucky secretary of state, backs a Democratic effort to raise it to $10.10 an hour. In the Oct. 13 Kentucky Senate debate, McConnell, running for a sixth term in office, explained his opposition to raising the minimum wage by claiming that a Congressional Budget Office report says "you will destroy between half a million and 1 million jobs (by raising the federal minimum wage)." "That’s not the way to ...>> More
Mitch McConnell: Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour "will destroy between half a million and one million jobs."
In the first and only debate of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, Sen. Mitch McConnell was peppered with questions about his opposition to a proposed minimum wage hike. In response, McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, said raising the minimum wage in already difficult economic times would hurt employment. He cited a Congressional Budget Office study that he claimed said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would "destroy half a million to 1 million jobs." "That’s not the way to grow our economy," he added. His Democratic challenger, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, countered that ...>> More