(T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

Obamacare is clearly fading as an issue. For the first time since we started these monthly round-ups, not a single column on the Affordable Care Act cracked the top five list. The column on John McCain’s flip-flop was by far the most widely read column of the month, suggesting there continues to be strong interest in the 2008 GOP presidential nominee.

Click on the headline to read the full column.


1: Did John McCain flip-flop on the Bergdahl deal?

We took a detailed look at the question of whether Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) supported a trade of five Taliban fighters for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl back in February, only to turn around and denounce it once the deal was made. McCain may have thought he left himself an out when he said his support was dependent on the details. But the most important detail — the identity of the prisoners — was known at the time he indicated his support. McCain earned an upside-down Pinocchio, constituting a flip-flop.




2: How many people would be ‘out of work’ if USPS eliminates Saturday delivery?

This column examined claims from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)and the National Association of Letter Carriers that 80,000 postal workers would find themselves out of work if Saturday delivery was eliminated. But it’s an inflated number — the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs, which the U.S. Postal service says can be accomplished through attrition, not layoffs. This claim merited Three Pinocchios.




3: The letter that supposedly led to the crash of Lois Lerner’s hard drive

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) earned Three Pinocchios for suggesting that a letter sent to the IRS by the House Ways and Means Committee was somehow related to the crash of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s hard drive. The causal connection to Lerner’s hard drive was far too tenuous for Roskam to make such claims, given that the letter did not discuss the  targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.




4: An ‘eyeball to eyeball’ moment that never happened

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman erred badly when he repeated a debunked myth in the opening of his recent column. He compounded the error by refusing to issue a correction — even though his newspaper had previously reported that primary source documents proved Soviet ships never came within “a few miles” of the U.S. quarantine line during the Cuban missile crisis. So he earned Four Pinocchios.




5:  GOP lawmakers rush to cite study to discredit new EPA rule, but study assumed EPA rule would be tougher

A group of Republican lawmakers earned Four Pinocchios for quickly citing a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report on the Obama administration’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by up to 30 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. It turned out the report assumed the rule would be tougher — and thus the numbers cited were overblown.




The global boom in political fact checking

This column did not quite make it into the top five, but readers who missed it might be interested in learning more about the profusion of fact-checking Web sites that have sprouted up around the world. The column includes many clips of the impressive work of these journalists.


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Glenn Kessler has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He would like your help in keeping an eye on public figures. Send him statements to fact check by emailing him, tweeting at him, or sending him a message on Facebook.