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12-Mar-2012, 10:02 PM #151
Posted at 03:12 PM ET, 03/12/2012
Rick Santorum spokeswoman’s Dutch treat
By Emily Heil
YouTube

The Loop would like to bestow a special award, the Superglue Award for Adherence to Talking Points, (or the Glueys) to Alice Stewart, spokeswoman for Rick Santorum.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...3n7R_blog.html
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13-Mar-2012, 03:10 PM #152
Three Pinocchios

The claim that won’t die: Did Obama want higher gas prices?
Posted by Josh Hicks at 10:30 AM ET, 03/13/2012

Quote:
“President Obama said he would prefer a gradual adjustment to near $4 a gallon gasoline. President Obama said that. And, unfortunately, the president has put policies in place that have gotten us now to $4 a gallon, or almost, in gasoline prices. We’ve seen it. It was $1.83 when he started as president; it’s over $3.70 now. So the president’s got his wish, and people are furious about it.”
— Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) during hearing of House energy committee, March 8, 2012

Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is toeing the Republican Party line here, accusing the president of consciously trying to raise gas prices to wean Americans off carbon fuels. Earlier this month, we determined that Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels deserved three Pinocchios for making similar claims.

We mentioned in our previous column that we hadn’t found a single instance in which President Obama advocated higher gas prices. A reader later mentioned that he’d found an example, pointing out a June 2008 interview in which then-Sen. Obama discussed energy policy on CNBC. The trading and investment blog TownHallFinance.com used that same video to suggest we’d missed the mark with our analysis of Daniels’s remarks.

We reviewed the 2008 interview (which you can view below) and took yet another look at the current state of U.S. oil production to determine whether anything should change about our previous determination. If not, Scalise would deserve just as many Pinocchios as Daniels.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Some of Obama’s comments from 2008 suggest that he thinks there’s a silver lining to higher prices, but they also indicate that he doesn’t want energy prices to affect the pocketbooks of working families. Critics say the president’s policies have caused the recent price hike, but experts suggest he has less control over the current cost of oil than people generally think. With that in mind, he probably deserves less blame for existing pain at the pump, as well as less credit for the increased production he likes to brag about.

As for Obama’s regulatory policies, they show that the president is willing to cite environmental and public-safety concerns when it comes to energy, whether it’s in terms of production and emissions. He has also proposed killing tax breaks for oil companies. One could argue, as some Republicans have, that some of these policies put upward pressure on prices, but that’s different than consciously trying to raise prices -- as though Obama is secretly smiling about the cost hikes.

Our earlier ruling stands. Scalise earns three Pinocchios for suggesting that the president “got his wish” with $4-per-gallon gasoline.

Three Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...=nl_pmpolitics
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13-Mar-2012, 03:20 PM #153
The dirty little secret of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries
Posted by Chris Cillizza at 01:13 PM ET, 03/13/2012

Here’s a simple fact that has been lost amid Mitt Romney’s newfound love of grits, Newt Gingrich’s desire for gun racks on Chevy Volts and Rick Santorum’s insistence that the South is a home game for him: None of the top three Republican presidential contenders are “of” the South in any meaningful way.

“The south is not just a place, it is, as they proudly tell you, a state of mind,” said Republican consultant Alex Castellanos. “The North is defined by reason, the South embraces romance and the heart. The North is relativist, the South lives by absolutes. When the South is right, it is absolutely right. When wrong, it is absolutely, tragically wrong.”

Ed Rogers, a Republican consultant and Alabama native, put it more bluntly. “None of them hit the sweet spot,” he said of the GOP field. “None of the candidates are story tellers, none take football seriously, none are Protestant and nobody really has a favorite country music singer.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...Wo9R_blog.html
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13-Mar-2012, 05:25 PM #154
Quote:
Originally Posted by poochee View Post
The dirty little secret of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries
Posted by Chris Cillizza at 01:13 PM ET, 03/13/2012

Here’s a simple fact that has been lost amid Mitt Romney’s newfound love of grits, Newt Gingrich’s desire for gun racks on Chevy Volts and Rick Santorum’s insistence that the South is a home game for him: None of the top three Republican presidential contenders are “of” the South in any meaningful way.

“The south is not just a place, it is, as they proudly tell you, a state of mind,” said Republican consultant Alex Castellanos. “The North is defined by reason, the South embraces romance and the heart. The North is relativist, the South lives by absolutes. When the South is right, it is absolutely right. When wrong, it is absolutely, tragically wrong.”

Ed Rogers, a Republican consultant and Alabama native, put it more bluntly. “None of them hit the sweet spot,” he said of the GOP field. “None of the candidates are story tellers, none take football seriously, none are Protestant and nobody really has a favorite country music singer.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...Wo9R_blog.html
It is irrelevant whether any of the republican wannabes are liked in the South or not. Whomever wins the nomination will win these two states - no matter how unlikeable, dumb, unattractive, ill informed - the more Bush / Palin like they are - they will win. Truly sad.
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13-Mar-2012, 07:50 PM #155
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Originally Posted by Wino View Post
It is irrelevant whether any of the republican wannabes are liked in the South or not. Whomever wins the nomination will win these two states - no matter how unlikeable, dumb, unattractive, ill informed - the more Bush / Palin like they are - they will win. Truly sad.
They have only one goal. Beat Obama. So ignorant!
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13-Mar-2012, 10:11 PM #156
One Pinocchio

Is the health care law already running a deficit?
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 03/13/2012

Quote:
To the senator’s credit, he called us directly to talk through these numbers and conceded that some may not add up.

“I am not hung up in the math here,” he said, saying that his larger point is that “previous estimates of entitlements have been wildly underestimated.” He cited, as an example, a McKinsey Quarterly study concluding that the Congressional Budget Office vastly underestimated how many employers will stop offering insurance as a result of the health care law, which has the potential to increase the cost of the law.

“It is the large numbers, not the small numbers” that are important, Johnson said, and it “is my job to press administration officials” for more information. He noted that Sebelius said she assumed the numbers he used were correct. (Note to Secretary Sebelius: Don’t assume the numbers are correct when you aren’t really sure.)
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

We fully concede that, in the context of ten years of budgets, some of these numbers are rounding errors. But just as it was silly for Democrats to claim the health care law would reduce the deficit, it is a fool’s errand for Republicans to keep trying to prove it does not.

The CBO figure from two years ago was only an estimate, and already some of its assumptions look shaky (i.e., 4.8 percent unemployment rate in 2014.) But you can’t pick and choose numbers, as Johnson did, to make your case. He managed to mix up time frames and then looked at only one side of the ledger.

Still, Johnson’s main goal—to keep track of the course of the health care bill and monitor whether estimates are veering off track—is to be applauded. Califano’s warnings from 1993 are certainly worth keeping in mind today as the health care law begins to take effect. But in the future Johnson should be careful to keep his facts and numbers straight—just as administration officials should be prepared to answer his questions.

One Pinocchio
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14-Mar-2012, 10:59 AM #157
Three Pinocchios

More ‘Mediscare’ hooey, GOP version
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 03/14/2012

Quote:
“This IPAB board can ration care and deny certain Medicare treatments so Washington can fund more wasteful spending. ...Medicare will be bankrupt in nine years.”

— Musician Pat Boone, in a television ad sponsored by the 60 Plus Association

A number of readers asked us to examine the latest claims about Medicare, made this week by both GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney and a conservative advocacy group called the 60 Plus Association.

Actually, there is little new in either the 60 Plus Association’s $3.5 million ad campaign, featuring the venerable Pat Boone, or the “Five Questions for President Obama on Medicare” issued by the Romney campaign. We feel we have dealt with similar claims in the past, but apparently that has not deterred such attacks.

The Romney statement is amusing because it constantly repeats the phrase “ending Medicare as we know it”—which in turn has been a Democratic attack line against a House GOP plan for Medicare. (Democrats used to simply say “end Medicare” or “kill Medicare” until The Fact Checker and other fact checking organizations called them on it.

Indeed, both parties are absolutely shameless about Medicare. (For instance, the Democratic National Committee attacked Romney on Medicare this week.) Both claim that other party would kill/destroy/ruin/whatever Medicare; neither side has much of a leg to stand on.

Someone must be falling for this stuff, however, or else it would not keep getting repeated.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

We could go on but you get the picture. When a politician or a political ad starts saying their opponents want to “end Medicare,” or even “Medicare as we know it,” simply turn off the sound.

Three Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...C89R_blog.html
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15-Mar-2012, 12:32 PM #158
TRUE BUT FALSE

U.S. oil resources: President Obama’s ‘non sequitur facts’
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:00 AM ET, 03/15/2012

Quote:
This appears to be one of President Obama’s favorite facts — he says it almost every time he speaks about energy issues — but readers are getting confused. We have received repeated queries from readers asking for an explanation of this startling bit of information.

This is actually an interesting area of inquiry. On the surface, the president’s numbers are correct, based on official government data. But this is a good example of what we call “non sequitur facts” — two bits of information that actually bear little relationship to each other.

The president is trying to make the case that the world has finite oil resources, and the United States — the world’s biggest oil consumer — needs to use less oil in the future. But using “oil reserves” as a key metric gives an incomplete picture of U.S. oil resources. (Note: the analysis that follows draws in part on a comprehensive Congressional Research Service report on oil resource definitions. We have embedded a copy at the end for readers seeking more information.)
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

This is a strange case because the facts are technically correct but are used in service of fuzzy thinking. The president should drop this fact, or alter it as we suggested, or he runs the risk of misleading Americans about the extent of the U.S. oil resources.

He is especially on shaky ground when he says “no matter what we do, it's not going to get much above 3 percent.” The estimate of proven oil reserves may change at any moment depending on technological innovations and the price of oil. As we demonstrated, it is largely irrelevant to the supply of U.S. oil that is likely to be recovered — or how much oil the United States has left to consume. The president could also be embarrassed if the EIA suddenly boosts the figure for proven oil reserves.

For the moment, we will label the president’s statement with our rarely used category:

TRUE BUT FALSE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...14CS_blog.html
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16-Mar-2012, 12:23 PM #159
Four Pinocchios

Obama’s whopper about Rutherford B. Hayes and the telephone
Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 03/16/2012
TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
“Of course, we’ve heard this kind of thinking before. If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. … There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don't believe in the future, and don't believe in trying to do things differently. One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That's why he's not on Mt. Rushmore because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards. He’s explaining why we can't do something, instead of why we can do something.”

--President Obama, remarks on energy, Largo, Maryland, March 15, 2012

In a speech on energy Thursday, the president took aim at the “cynics and naysayers” who dismiss potential new sources of energy, such as wind and solar. Leave aside the canard about most Europeans believing the earth was flat before Columbus—that’s an elementary-school tale with little basis in fact.

What about President Hayes? Was he really so dismissive about the invention of the telephone?
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

It’s bad enough for one president to knock another one for not being on Mt. Rushmore, but it’s particularly egregious to do so based on incorrect information.

We went back and forth over whether this error was worth three or four Pinocchios. We nearly decided on three Pinocchios because Obama used the phrase “reportedly” and because others have said this before him. The Encyclopeadia Brittanica reference especially gave us pause. That’s a legitimate, but not infallible, source. But then we remembered it took only a phone call to a real historian to find out the truth.

Our final ruling was swayed in the end by this: The president in particular has a responsiblity to get historical facts correct, and in this case he got them completely backwards. Obama mocked Hayes for “looking backwards...not looking forwards.” In reality, Hayes embraced the new technology. He should be an Obama hero, not a skunk.

Hayes is dead and buried, but he deserves an apology.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...g.html?hpid=z6
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16-Mar-2012, 12:50 PM #160
One Pinocchio

President Obama’s ‘bumper-sticker’ claims on oil
Posted by Josh Hicks at 11:30 AM ET, 03/16/2012
TheWashingtonPost

Quote:
President Obama used his visit to a Maryland community college to address one of the hottest campaign topics of the day: energy. During his speech, he talked about his plan for achieving energy independence and investing in alternative technologies. He also discussed his proposal to strip away tax benefits from the oil industry to help close the nation’s gaping budget deficit.

Since the president mentioned “cute bumper-sticker lines” that don’t match the facts, we decided to hold him to his own standards. Is the oil industry really making higher profits than ever before while snatching up $4 billion in U.S. tax dollars every year? Have its tax deductions truly been in place for 100 years?
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Obama also said oil companies have qualified for tax provisions for 100 years. That’s true, but only with one type of deduction.

Lastly, the White House provided no proof that the oil industry has been consistently profitable to the extent that he suggests. And we certainly don’t know whether the companies are making record profits “right now,” because they don’t release their earnings statements until April. The only readily available information we could find — through the Census Bureau and the Energy Information Administration (the latter of which stopped tracking profits after 2009 because of budget cuts) — indicates that the industry is susceptible to sustained swings in profitability.

Obama doesn’t appear to have delivered any whoppers with his bumper-sticker worthy claims, but we found some faults in his arguments. His remarks warrant one Pinocchio.

One Pinocchio
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21-Mar-2012, 11:29 AM #161
Three Pinocchios

The Road We’ve Traveled:’ A misleading account of Obama’s mother and her insurance dispute
Posted by Glenn Kesslerat 06:02 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Quote:
“The Road We’ve Traveled” is a very slick and impressively produced campaign film—sheer catnip for Obama fans. There are a number of facts and figures that could be challenged, but for now we are going to focus on this sequence. The series of words and images is an excellent example of how such films can create a misleading impression, while skirting as close as possible to the edge of falsehood.

The sequence, in fact, evokes a famous story that candidate Obama told during the 2008 campaign—that his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, fought with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.

But the story was later called into question by Dunham’s biographer. The fact that Obama’s initial claim is not directly repeated suggests the filmmakers knew there was a problem with the campaign story, but they clearly wanted to keep some version of it in the film.
The Facts Read the facts at link.


Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

We use a “reasonable man” standard here, and we think there are few viewers of this film who would watch this sequence and conclude that Dunham was involved in anything but a fight over health-insurance coverage.

The disability-insurance dispute certainly may have motivated the president, but he has never explicitly stated that. In any case, the filmmakers must have known they had a problem with this story or else they would have recounted it as Obama had done in the 2008 campaign, using phrases such as “pre-existing conditions,” “health insurance,” and “treatment.”

Instead, they arranged the quotes and images to leave a misleading impression of what really happened.

Three Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...d4KS_blog.html

Last edited by poochee; 21-Mar-2012 at 11:46 AM..
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21-Mar-2012, 11:38 AM #162
Three Pinocchios

Mitt Romney’s misfire on light bulb standards
Posted by Glenn Kesslerat 06:00 AM ET, 03/20/2012

Quote:
"And the government would have banned Thomas Edison’s light bulb. Oh yeah, Obama’s regulators actually did just that."

— Mitt Romney, March 19, 2012

During an economic speech on Monday, the former Massachusetts governor and presidential hopeful charged that the Obama administration “banned” Thomas Edison’s light bulb.

Really?

Let’s take a look at this contentious issue.
The Facts Read the facts at link.

Quote:
The Facts

It’s a cheap political shot for Romney to blame “Obama’s regulators” for a proposal that was signed into law by a Republican president and was broadly supported at the time. Moreover, we don’t see how higher efficiency standards translates into a “ban,” especially when light manufacturers have embraced the new standards.

Three Pinocchios

UPDATE: In Romney's speech after his victory in the Illinois primary, he made an interesting adjustment in his rhetoric, perhaps in response to this column: "And the government would have banned Thomas Edison’s light bulb. Oh, that’s right. They just did." Note that he dropped the reference to "Obama's regulators" and instead made it much vaguer--and thus more factual. Whether or not this is "a ban" is a subject of dispute--some readers disagreed--but we are pleased that Romney no longer is blaming Obama. His new language would bring the rating down at least a Pinocchio.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...k3NS_blog.html
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21-Mar-2012, 11:45 AM #163
Four Pinocchios

Did Obama delay stimulus spending to aid his reelection?
Posted by Glenn Kesslerat 06:02 AM ET, 03/21/2012

Quote:
“Stimulus was supposed to be quick. In fact, they never intended to spend it and will not completely have effectively spent it until after the president’s re-elect. Always looking at how do you get the maximum hit when the president was up for re-elect.”

— Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, March 19, 2012

This is a pretty serious charge by a senior member of the House of Representatives, made on “Fox and Friends” earlier this week. The president’s opponents usually say the stimulus was a failure and a waste of money, not that money was purposely held back. We immediately thought he must have some damning evidence that his investigators had turned up.

But when we asked for more information, we only got a statement blasting President Obama (more on that below). That wasn’t very illuminating, but as we will see, perhaps there is a reason his staff could not provide much information.
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

By all accounts, much of the stimulus money has been spent. Given that Issa cannot provide any evidence to the contrary, we can only assume he’s making a reckless charges on national television without much basis in fact.

Four Pinocchios
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...zGQS_blog.html
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22-Mar-2012, 12:42 PM #164
Three Pinocchios

Mitt Romney’s claim that Obama said stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent
Posted by Glenn Kesslerat 06:02 AM ET, 02/21/2012

Quote:
“Three years ago, a newly elected President Obama told America that if Congress approved his plan to borrow nearly a trillion dollars, he would hold unemployment below 8 percent.”

— Mitt Romney, Feb. 4, 2012

We had dealt with this claim more than a year ago, but we unaware that it had slipped into the former Massachusetts governor’s talking points until loyal reader Chuck Smith sent us a homemade, five-minute YouTube video challenging Romney to a $10,000 bet to prove that Obama actually ever said this. (See video at bottom of the column.)

We welcome reader contributions, especially when folks do their own research. (Smith has a separate video proposing that candidates or their aides pay a fine if their claims don’t pass muster with The Fact Checker or other nonpartisan fact-checking organizations. We like that idea.)

Since this claim is bound to crop up again in the campaign, perhaps it is time for a refresher course. (Smith notes that GOP.com also touts a similar version of this claim.)
The Facts Read facts at link.

Quote:
The Pinocchio Test

Given that we first outlined the problems with this claim more than a year ago — and given that the facts are clearly known to the Romney campaign — it is distressing that Romney would continue hype it up into such a misleading assertion.

Three Pinocchios
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22-Mar-2012, 12:50 PM #165
Two Pinocchios jor both Obama and Romney

Pinocchios: Obama gets a downgrade; Romney an upgrade
Posted by Glenn Kesslerat 06:02 AM ET, 03/22/2012

Quote:
Last week we wrote about Obama’s dubious combination of two true statistics — the fact that the United States has 2 percent of proven oil reserves and accounts of 20 percent of annual oil consumption. We called these “non sequitur facts,” since they have little relationship to each other, and gave the president the rarely used “true but false” rating. We also said we would monitor the president’s use of these figures in the future.

The column prompted more than 1,000 comments, and a number of readers wrote that we were too generous to the president. Here’s how one thoughtful reader put it in an e-mail:
Read facts at link.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...uPSS_blog.html
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