Facebook posts: "The House of Representatives just voted 300-131 to remove ‘country-of-origin labeling’ on chicken, pork, and beef sold in the U.S."
Thanks to a little-known congressional bill, it may soon be impossible to tell whether your Fourth of July burger is all-American Angus or beef imported from the Amazon, according to a Facebook meme. "The House of Representatives just voted 300-131 to remove ‘country-of-origin labeling’ on chicken, pork, and beef sold in the United States," the meme says. "Sorry but you don’t deserve to know where your meat is coming from." What beef could the House possibly have with the consumer-friendly law? We looked into the vote in question and found an interesting story of international trade ...>> More
Ted Cruz: The Supreme Court’s views "are radically out of step with public opinion" regarding its decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide isn’t what the American people wanted, says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Cruz, who is running for president, is an outspoken critic of the court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that overturned the country’s remaining same-sex marriage bans. In an interview on Morning Edition June 29, NPR’s Steve Inskeep talked with Cruz about how he and other Republicans will respond. "The concern of conservatives seems to be that the court was following public opinion," Inskeep said. "Same-sex marriage, for example, is much more popular than it used to ...>> More
Barack Obama: "By one leading measure, what business owners pay out in wages and salaries is now finally growing faster than what they spend on health insurance" for the first time in 17 years.
Even if you’re not a direct beneficiary of Obamacare, you’ve reaped its benefits, said President Barack Obama in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding elements of the Affordable Care Act. "By one leading measure, what business owners pay out in wages and salaries is now finally growing faster than what they spend on health insurance. That hasn't happened in 17 years," he said on June 25. Obama’s point is that employers have been spending more and more on health care, so they couldn’t increase wages. Now, he says, health care costs are reined in, which means ...>> More
Bernie Sanders: "We are the only major country on Earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people as a right."
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Obamacare subsidies kept the program rolling, and Sen. Bernie Sanders was totally celebrating. Still, the independent from Vermont who is running as a Democrat for president told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos that the nation was far from out of the woods on health care. "We still have 35 million Americans without insurance," Sanders said on June 28, 2015, during an interview on This Week. "We need to join the rest of the industrialized world. We are the only major country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee health care to all people as a right." ...>> More
Donald Trump: Public support for abortion "is actually going down a little bit," polls show.
Donald Trump, who in 1999 said he "was strongly pro-choice," says he's now against abortions and will nominate Supreme Court justices who share his stance. During an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Trump suggested his shift in position mirrors the feelings of the American public. "In terms of polling, the pro-choice (support) is going down a little bit," Trump said. "It’s very interesting." Is that true? The most recent polling we could find comes out of Gallup. In May of this year, the polling group found 50 percent of Americans identify as pro-choice, compared ...>> More
Bloggers: "Lincoln was fervently making plans to send all freed slaves to the jungles of Central America once the (Civil War) was over. … The only thing that kept this from happening was his assassination."
The debate over whether states should allow the Confederate battle flag in close proximity to their state capitol -- reignited by the June 17 killing of nine African-American worshippers in a historic church in South Carolina -- has intensified discussion of slavery and the Civil War on social media. A reader recently asked us to check out claims repeated in a variety of places on the Internet that offer a revisionist history of the Civil War, with a sympathetic spin on behalf of the Confederacy. Here, we’ll focus on one of ...>> More
Speaking at a black church near Ferguson, Mo., Hillary Clinton applauded efforts to remove Confederate flags before challenging America to own up to its racist past and confront "hard truths" about bigotry in the present. The shooting in Charleston, S.C., was no isolated incident, but an extreme manifestation of institutionalized racism, she said. "The truth is equality, opportunity, civil rights in America are still far from where they need to be," Clinton said on June 23. "Our schools are still segregated, in fact, more segregated than they were in the 1960s." The Supreme Court declared ...>> More
Cornell William Brooks: "We have at least 200,000 to 300,000 hate crimes in a given year."
After the Charleston church shooting, residents of the South Carolina city came together to rally behind the families of the nine victims. One notable moment came during suspect Dylann Roof’s arraignment, when a relative of one of the dead told him, "You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you. I forgive you." Some pundits see the response as proof that race relations in the United States are improving; others are more skeptical, with many pointing out that the number of hate crimes committed has remained stubbornly steady and worryingly high. NAACP President ...>> More
Chain email: "Under the Affordable Care Act, anyone on Medicare who is admitted to a hospital for observation will be responsible for the bill. Medicare won't pay a cent."
A reader recently sent us a chain email we hadn’t seen before. The lengthy missive, purportedly written by a "senior gentleman in Mesa, Arizona," details a visit to a hospital made contentious by Medicare payment rules. The anonymous author claims to have experienced "a medical situation that made it very clear that the ‘Affordable Care Act’ is neither affordable, nor do they care." The full email, which is lengthy, is accessible in its entirety here. But briefly, the author relates what happened after he sought treatment for a suspected urinary-tract infection. After collapsing in a local ...>> More
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s recent changes to the state’s education policy don’t exactly quell rumors that he plans to enter the 2016 GOP presidential field. On May 28, Christie announced the end of the existing Common Core standards in New Jersey. "It's now been five years since Common Core was adopted. And the truth is that it's simply not working," he said. "Instead of solving problems in our classrooms, it is creating new ones." This is not the first time critics have accused Christie of flip-flopping on Common Core -- the state-based educational standards aimed ...>> More
Jeb Bush: "The party in the White House" is responsible for "a massive tax increase on the middle class."
After six years with a Democrat in the White House, middle-class Americans face a bigger tax bill than they did before, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a speech launching his 2016 presidential campaign. "The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary, for a no-change election," he said in his June 15 remarks in Miami. "They are responsible for the slowest economic recovery ever, the biggest debt increases ever, a massive tax increase on the middle class, the relentless buildup of the regulatory state, and the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that ...>> More
Bill Clinton: Says Hillary Clinton "was completely exonerated, when I was in the White House" by an official inquiry on Whitewater.
Before the little blue dress and the tearful intern, there were 220 acres of prime Ozarks riverfront and a missing ledger of billing statements. While the Clintons’ Whitewater controversy often takes a backseat to the more notorious and sensational Lewinsky scandal, former President Bill Clinton remembers it well (and probably less wincingly). Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Clinton evoked Whitewater as an earlier instance when the American people were told his wife was untrustworthy, but it was then proven otherwise. "I remember when Hillary was completely exonerated, when I was in the White House, in ...>> More
Bill Clinton: After a federal inquiry corroborated Hillary Clinton on Whitewater, "the next day, there was nothing in the media about it."
Former President Bill Clinton said in a recent interview that questions over his wife’s trustworthiness have been put to rest in the past and will be again. Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Clinton compared the media frenzy over leaked emails, speaking fees, and Clinton Foundation donations with a 1995 Whitewater report that he said "completely exonerated" Hillary Clinton. Back then, the alleged exoneration didn’t get much traction in the news, he said. "The next day, there was nothing in the media about it. There was stunning nondisclosure," he said on June 14. "So, now we have ...>> More
Barack Obama: "Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel."
Ever since nine people were killed by a gunman at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., President Barack Obama has taken to various forums to discuss the issue of gun violence in the United States. In a tweet sent from his @POTUS account on June 20, 2015 -- three days after the killings -- Obama said, "Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel." The tweet clearly struck a nerve; within the first three days, Obama’s message was ...>> More
Barack Obama: "This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency."
After a gunman shot and killed nine worshippers in a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., President Barack Obama took to the White House podium the next day to "express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders." In his June 18, 2015, remarks from the White House, Obama said, "Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with ...>> More
Jeb Bush: The Democrats are "responsible" for "the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making."
The size and scope of the U.S. military is already becoming an issue on the presidential campaign trail. During his presidential campaign kickoff speech, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized the Obama administration for leaving the military to wither. Among the bad decisions being made by "the party now in the White House," Bush said, was "the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making." We decided to take a closer look at his claim. We’ll break it down into two key questions. Has there been a "swift, mindless drawdown" of the military? And are the ...>> More
James Clyburn: The original compromise for the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina "was to put it on the back side of the statehouse, out of public view so it would not have any appearance of sovereignty."
The Confederate flag has returned as a flashpoint in South Carolina politics. While the flags of the United States and the state itself hang at half-staff over the state capitol in honor of the nine victims at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, the Confederate battle flag on the statehouse grounds remains at full-mast. As part of a 2000 law, it remains on statehouse grounds. That law itself was the result of protests and an economic boycott aimed at getting the Confederate flag off of the capitol dome. Over 46,000 people marched in Columbia, and the South ...>> More
Donald Trump: "Even our nuclear arsenal doesn't work. It came out recently they have equipment that is 30 years old. They don't know if it worked."
Donald Trump’s presidential announcement speech touched on topics ranging from the economy and trade to foreign policy and the military. One of the criticisms Trump aimed at the Obama White House during his speech was for its handling of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. "Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the way, and we as a country are getting weaker," Trump said on June 16, 2015. "Even our nuclear arsenal doesn't work. It came out recently they have equipment that is 30 years old. They don't know if it worked. … Boy, does that send signals to (Russian president ...>> More
Bernie Sanders: "The gap between the very rich and everyone else in America is wider today than at any time since the 1920s."
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination has focused on the gap between rich and poor. Sanders recently tweeted that the income inequality is wider than it’s been in a long time -- a very long time. "The gap between the very rich and everyone else in America is wider today than at any time since the 1920s," Sanders tweeted from his @BernieSanders account on June 4, 2015, after his first campaign trip to Iowa. But is the inequality gap really that big?
Donald Trump: "When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Japan? It doesn’t exist, folks."
Bombastic billionaire and new GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump painted the United States as an international embarrassment these days, losing on everything from jobs to car sales to other countries. "When did we beat Japan at anything?" Trump said in announcing his candidacy June 16, 2015. "They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn't exist, folks. They beat us all the time." We couldn’t travel to Tokyo for this fact-check, but we did hear from Chevy and other sources ...>> More