Facebook posts: "During Obama's first five years as president, black unemployment increased 42 percent. During Reagan's presidency, black unemployment dropped 20 percent."
Recently, a reader forwarded us a social media meme that accused President Barack Obama of having a worse record on African-American employment than former President Ronald Reagan -- a charge which, if true, would be an embarrassment to the nation’s first black president. The meme says: "During Obama's first five years as president, black unemployment increased 42 percent. During Reagan's presidency, black unemployment dropped 20 percent." This text has been placed over a photograph of an African-American man wearing a T-shirt that reads, "I need a job." Is the meme correct? We took a closer look. We’ll start by noting ...>> More
Trey Gowdy: Says the State Department has "had half a year" to respond to a Benghazi document request, yet "I have not gotten a single, solitary scrap of paper."
The State Department is "stonewalling" the House Committee on Benghazi’s investigation, says its committee chair, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. On Fox News May 15, Gowdy said the State Department is taking far too long in producing documents related to the 2012 terrorist attack on an American diplomatic compound. Gowdy pointed to a November 2014 request for emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top advisers that has yet to be fulfilled. "It's a conscious decision not to cooperate with a legitimate congressional inquiry," he said, adding. "I don't want the drama. I want the documents. ...>> More
During a visit to Mason City, Iowa, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton resurrected an old Democratic theme -- that the rich pay less in taxes than working people do. "Hedge fund managers themselves make more and pay less in taxes than nurses and truck drivers," she said during the May 18, 2015, visit. This is a topic we’ve delved into several times previously, but the way Clinton worded this claim makes it particularly off-base. Usually, the claims we’ve seen specifically refer to whether a nurse or truck driver pays a higher tax rate than a millionaire -- in other words, a ...>> More
Charles Schumer: "It is simply a fact that insufficient funding for Amtrak has delayed the installation" of a positive train control safety system. "To deny a connection between the (derailment in Philadelphia) and underfunding Amtrak is to
After an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015, a safety official said a technological fix could have prevented the deadly accident. Talking to reporters the day after the crash, which killed eight and injured many more, Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said positive train control, or PTC, would have prevented the loss of life on Northeast Regional train 188, which entered a curve at more than 100 miles per hour, or twice the posted speed. "We feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, ...>> More
Jeb Bush: "We had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops" in Iraq.
During a tough campaign week focused on the Iraq War, former Gov. Jeb Bush shifted blame for problems there to President Barack Obama, saying that Obama’s actions helped hand the country over to Islamic State. A University of Nevada student attending a town hall-style meeting in Reno asked Bush why he was placing the burden on Obama, at one point telling Bush, "Your brother created ISIS." Bush countered that the Obama administration hadn’t followed through on proper planning. "We had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in ...>> More
Paul Ryan: "Every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has had" fast-track trade authority.
President Barack Obama has an unusual ally in pursuit of his foreign trade agenda -- Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Ryan believes that Congress should grant Obama trade promotion authority, something many pro-union Democrats oppose. Trade promotion authority would allow trade agreements (such as the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership) to move through Congress under special rules intended to speed up the process, thus it is known colloquially as "fast-track." Congress would not be able to amend or filibuster a trade agreement, and the deal would only need 51 votes in the Senate to pass, as opposed to the 60 votes otherwise necessary. ...>> More
Thomas Perez: Due to "over-incarceration … in 1950, two out of three young black men were in the workforce. Today, it's one out of three black men are in the workforce."
When Baltimore erupted into riots after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who had been taken into police custody, many politicians addressed deep-seated economic problems affecting some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe on May 7, 2015, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez what could be done to increase economic opportunity and stability in low-income urban areas in Baltimore and the rest of the country. "First of all, the over-incarceration that you've talked about on this show so compellingly, you see it in Baltimore city," Perez said. "In 1950, two out of ...>> More
Elizabeth Warren: Proposed fast-track legislation allows presidents to "easily use a future trade deal to override our domestic financial rules."
President Barack Obama’s international trade agenda is moving forward in Congress, after facing temporary defeat by fellow Democrats in the Senate. Obama is butting heads with many Democrats over this issue, but his squabble with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has been the most public. Most recently, Warren said if Obama gets his way on trade, it could unravel Dodd-Frank -- Obama’s hallmark financial regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. "In the next few weeks, Congress will decide whether to give the president fast-track authority," Warren said in May 5 remarks at the liberal Institute for New Economic ...>> More
Michael McCaul: More money is dedicated within the Department of Homeland Security to climate change than what's spent combating "Islamist terrorists radicalizing over the Internet in the United States of America." <div> </div>
Federal officials have been warning for several years that violent Islamic extremists are using the Internet to inspire people already in America to commit acts of terror. The shootings in Garland, Texas, seemed a textbook example. According to CNN, two men in Arizona responded to social media from overseas and set out to gun down people at an anti-Islamic gathering. Although the FBI had been tracking one of the men and had alerted Texas law enforcement, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, faults the White House for not doing enough to stop this ...>> More
Occupy Democrats: "Ben Carson is running for president to ‘eliminate dependency on government.’ But he doesn’t mention that he grew up in public schools, got public housing and food stamps, got free glasses from a government program
With Ben Carson officially in the ring of Republican presidential contenders, Democratic social media activists are using his famous scraps-to-scalpel narrative against him. Carson, 63, was raised in a single-parent, impoverished household in Detroit and went on to become a Yale University-educated neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Carson, in 1987, was the first doctor to separate twins conjoined at the head. The Facebook group Occupy Democrats accuses Carson of wanting to take away some of the very same government benefits that helped support Carson’s family. ...>> More
Carly Fiorina is fighting back against critics, including a cyber-squatter, who accuse the Republican presidential candidate of slash-and-burn tactics in her time as CEO of computer company Hewlett-Packard. The cyber-squatter purchased the website carlyfiorina.org to highlight nearly 30,000 layoffs that occured while Fiorina led the computer giant from 1999-2005. Fiorina later was fired by HP’s board. On Meet the Press Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked Fiorina why she was fired. Fiorina used the question to list her accomplishments at HP. "What people fail to comment on is the fact we doubled the size of the company, took the ...>> More
Hillary Clinton: "Not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one."
During a visit to a school in Nevada, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton positioned herself as an uncompromising advocate for immigration -- and in the process, she took a shot at the Republican presidential field for not joining her. "This is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side," Clinton said during the May 5, 2015, event. "Make no mistake: Not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status." We wondered whether Clinton was correct. So we ...>> More
Hillary Clinton: "The United States is 65th out of 142 nations and other territories on equal pay."
Hillary Clinton, who wants to become the first woman ever to win the presidency of the United States, gave an address recently at the Women in the World Summit that touched on the gap in pay between men and women in the United States. It’s "hard to believe that so many women are still paid less for men than the same work, with even wider gaps for women of color. If you doubt what I say, look to the World Economic Forum, hardly a hotbed of feminist thought," Clinton said at the April 23, 2015, summit. "Their rankings ...>> More
Anonymous cyber-squatter: After laying off 30,000 people, Carly Fiorina said that in retrospect, "I would have done them all faster."
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, announced on May 4, 2015, that she’d be running for president as a Republican. But a cyber-squatter had moved fast to grab the Web address carlyfiorina.org and flame her. Using a simple gray-and-white color scheme and uninspired fonts, the domain owner recalled Fiorina’s controversial six-year tenure as CEO of the computer maker by addressing visitors to the page this way: "Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. "So I'm using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard. "It was this many:" At that point, a very ...>> More
Mike Huckabee: Says he "raised average family income by 50 percent" during his tenure as Arkansas governor.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is poised to join the fast-growing growing field of Republican presidential hopefuls for 2016. A video touting his potential as a candidate focuses on his economic record and his ability to beat the Clintons. In the video, Huckabee says in a voice-over that "as governor of Arkansas, I cut taxes and welfare, balanced the budget every year for 10 years, and raised average family income by 50 percent." (The video was officially released by a political action committee aligned with Huckabee called the Prosperity for All Fund on May 1, 2015.) That struck ...>> More
Bellyaching about the state of American politics doesn’t seem to get very far with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. In a freewheeling interview with NBC News, Boehner dismissed the idea that special interests or gerrymandered congressional districts undercut what Washington does for the average citizen. And ditto for the billions of dollars that fuel the American political system. "We spend more money on antacids than we do on politics," Boehner told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on May 3, 2015. "We live in an imperfect democracy. But as bad as it is, let me tell you this. It’s ...>> More
Marco Rubio: "The Iranians are now saying that what we're saying the deal is and what they understand it to be are two different things."
How can the United States and Iran come to a deal on Iran’s nuclear program when the two countries can’t even agree on what they supposedly agreed to? That’s the point presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- a vocal critic of the negotiations -- made on National Public Radio April 13. "I still have tremendous questions about whether this deal's even viable," he said. "The Iranians are now saying that what we're saying the deal is and what they understand it to be are two different things." President Barack Obama and the other negotiating parties ...>> More
Represent.us: "The U.S. representatives that voted to keep militarizing the police received 73 percent more campaign money from the defense industry" than the representatives who voted to stop it.
The recent unrest in Baltimore following the death of an African-American man who’d been taken into police custody has gotten people debating on social media, questioning the role of the federal government in militarizing local police. A reader asked us to check a meme on this topic that recently entered their social media feed. "The U.S. representatives that voted to keep militarizing the police received 73 percent more campaign money from the defense industry," the meme reads. It accompanies an image of a phalanx of helmeted police with guns raised at a suspect whose hands are raised in ...>> More
Marco Rubio: "I'm running for office with much more experience and qualifications than Barack Obama had when he ran."
Marco Rubio focused quite a bit on his past to make his case for a future presidency during a recent visit to Iowa. During an interview with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, the Republican touted his accomplishments to counter criticisms he is still a first-term senator, just as President Barack Obama was when he was elected president. "I certainly feel I’m running for office with much more experience and qualifications than Barack Obama had when he ran. When Barack Obama ran for president, he was basically a state legislator from Illinois that had served in the Senate for two ...>> More