Readers respond to fact check on Rand Paul’s statements about college degree

Readers respond to fact check on Rand Paul’s statements about college degree

Our fact check of Sen. Rand Paul’s statements about his undergraduate degree has quickly become one of the most widely read ever — and also among the most controversial. The column has about 2,500 comments from readers arguing about its fairness.

That’s a lot of material to wade through, so we thought we would share some of the e-mails we received directly from readers, many of whom — like the Republican senator from Kentucky — have medical degrees. As you can see, many letters said the column was on target — but at least half (or more) said it was ridiculous. Because readers did not expressly say they wanted their name printed, we are using initials instead.

Continue Reading »

Jindal’s claim that Louisiana’s higher education budget is ‘slightly higher’

Jindal’s claim that Louisiana’s higher education budget is ‘slightly higher’

“The total higher education budget, including means of total finance — is actually a little bit, just slightly, higher than when I took office.”

— Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), remarks at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, Feb. 9, 2015

Jindal, a presidential hopeful in Washington for an education meeting, met with reporters this week and was immediately confronted with a question about alleged reductions in funding he has made to Louisiana’s higher education budget. Jindal’s budget policies have come under scrutiny since he proposed in his upcoming budget to reduce funding for Louisiana colleges by hundreds of million of dollars. The New York Times, using calculations by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, reported Louisiana’s higher education budget “has been slashed by more than just about any other state since 2008.”

Continue Reading »

The most popular fact checks of January

The most popular fact checks of January

The most widely-read individual fact check of January was our examination of Sen. Rand Paul’s claims about people on disability. (Our fact check of the State of the Union speech actually attracted by far the most readers, but we do not include round-ups in this monthly list.) There was essentially a three-way tie for second place, with two of the columns examining competing claims about the Keystone XL pipeline. Finally, we had another tie for fifth place, including a column that exposed the fallacy of a widely-cited statistic concerning alcohol-related deaths of college students.

Continue Reading »

Rick Perry’s claim that one-third of all new jobs were created in Texas

Rick Perry’s claim that one-third of all new jobs were created in Texas

“In the last 14 years, Texas has created almost one-third of all the new jobs in America.”

— Former Texas governor Rick Perry (R), Iowa Freedom Summit, Jan. 24, 2015

“During my entire tenure as governor, almost a third of all the jobs created in America were created in the state of Texas.”

Continue Reading »

Why did Obama’s budget proposal cut federal immunization funding?

Why did Obama’s budget proposal cut federal immunization funding?

“We can take away funding for that program because … the Affordable Care Act actually guarantees that every citizen in this country has access to free preventative care, including the measles vaccine. So we no longer need to provide additional government funding to ensure that those vaccines can be administered.”

Continue Reading »

Rick Perry’s claim that he boosted the Texas vaccination rate by nearly 50 percent

Rick Perry’s claim that he boosted the Texas vaccination rate by nearly 50 percent

“Our vaccination rate in Texas [in 2000] was 65 percent. When I left two weeks ago, it was 95 percent.”

— Former Texas governor Rick Perry (R), in an interview with The Washington Post and the Texas Tribune, Feb. 5, 2015

This was an impressive boast made by the former governor and 2016 presidential aspirant — that during his term as governor from 2000 to 2015, he managed to boost the vaccination rate by nearly 50 percent.

Continue Reading »

Is there a link between the measles outbreak and illegal immigration?

Is there a link between the measles outbreak and illegal immigration?

“I don’t think there is any health care professional who has examined the fact, who can honestly say that Americans have not died because of the diseases brought into America by illegal aliens who are not properly healthcare screened as lawful immigrants are. It might be the enterovirus that has a heavy presence in Central and South America that has caused deaths of American children over the past 6 to 9 months. It might be this measles outbreak. There are any number of things.”

Continue Reading »

Fact checking statements on vaccines, including Obama in 2008

Fact checking statements on vaccines, including Obama in 2008

“The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

— Then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Pennsylvania rally, April 21, 2008

Good Fact Checker columns never really disappear; they reemerge from time to time as readers become interested in a topic once again. So it was little surprise when one of the most widely read columns this week was from 2008, written by our former colleague Michael Dobbs, who first started The Fact Checker. The article critically examined statements made by then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain concerning alleged — and discredited — links between autism and vaccines.

Continue Reading »

The missing context behind the widely cited statistic that there are 22 veteran suicides a day

The missing context behind the widely cited statistic that there are 22 veteran suicides a day

“Every day in the United States, 22 veterans succumb to suicide — losing their personal battle to invisible wounds of war.”

—Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), news release, Jan. 13, 2015

“When you have 8,000 veterans a year committing suicide, then you have a serious problem.”

Continue Reading »

A zombie Obamacare stat emerges again, earns Four Pinocchios

A zombie Obamacare stat emerges again, earns Four Pinocchios

“Under Obama, Average Family Premiums Have Increased $4,154”

— Republican National Committee tweet and “fact check”

The RNC circulated this talking point during the State of the Union address, and it is now popping up in the twitter feeds of Republican House members and state parties.

Continue Reading »