A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

McCain: $3 million to study the DNA of bears?

We’ve heard that one before.
McCain’s been playing it for laughs since 2003. The study in question was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, and it relied in part on federal appropriations. Readers (and politicians) may disagree on whether a noninvasive study of grizzly bear population and habitat is a waste of money. McCain clearly thinks it is — but on the other hand, he never moved to get rid of the earmark. In fact, he voted for the bill that made appropriations for the study.

The Whoppers of 2008

Summary
Normally we post a “Whoppers” compilation the week before Election Day. This time we’ve already seen such a large number of twisted facts, misleading claims and outright falsehoods that we are doing that now.
It’s not just Sarah Palin’s claim about killing the bridge project that she had supported until it became a national laughingstock and Congress turned against it. That’s just the whopper that got the attention of many news organizations earlier this month.

It’s High Season

We have all kinds of new items on our main site, FactCheck.org.
Check out our article on a recent McCain-Palin ad that falsely asserts Sen. Barack Obama has been “mum on the market crisis.” He’s actually made several statements on it, including a speech with a six-point proposal a day before this ad was released.
Also, learn all about “predator control” (a.k.a. shooting wolves from airplanes). A Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund ad is correct in that Gov.

Jon Stewart: Joe Biden “Crazy Reckless?” Oops!

 Comedian Jon Stewart had a nice riff going on “The Daily Show” Wednesday night (Sept. 24) until he scolded Joe Biden as being “crazy reckless” about his gun facts. But in this case, Biden knew what he was talking about, and Stewart didn’t. (You can view Stewart's comments on the Comedy Channel website, if you don't mind watching the commercial that precedes it.)
Stewart starts off making fun of Biden’s remark about FDR “going on television,”

The Whoppers of 2008

In an effort to preemptively fact-check what the candidates may say in the debates, we present: The Whoppers of 2008. So far, anyway. There are more than five weeks to go before Election Day.
McCain misrepresents Obama’s tax plan. Obama misleads seniors on McCain and Social Security. Other falsehoods involve veterans, energy, Iran, Iraq, health care and bridges to nowhere.
Check out the full story on FactCheck.org.

Credit Where it Isn’t Due

The McCain-Palin campaign is running a series of upbeat ads designed to appeal to workers in three states (Michigan, Ohio, and New Mexico – for some reason the New Mexico ad isn’t on McCain’s YouTube channel, but it sounds pretty much like the Ohio one). Sometimes even upbeat ads need a little tweaking.

Here’s the Michigan ad. In this one, McCain says that “John McCain and his congressional allies” have a plan for Michigan, including “loans to upgrade assembly lines.”

Obama’s Legislative Record

Q: How many times did Obama vote 'present' as a state senator?
A:  He did so 129 times, which represents a little more than 3 percent of his total votes.

Keeping Quiet?

Summary
A new McCain-Palin ad says that "McCain and his congressional allies led" on the financial crisis while Obama was "mum." That's simply not true:

Obama has in fact made several statements about the crisis on Wall Street in recent days, delivering his most specific remarks on how government regulations should be changed on Sept. 22, a day before this ad was released.
McCain gave his most detailed speech on a response to the crisis on Sept.

Call of the Wild

Summary
A new ad from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund shows the pursuit and shooting of a wolf from a small plane and tells viewers that Sarah Palin "actively promotes" such killings. It's true that she does, and in 2007 she offered $150 payments for anyone who brought the left forepaw of a wolf to state officials. The ad calls the practice "brutal and unethical" but doesn't tell the whole story.

Alaskan officials call it "predator control,"

Obama’s Connection to Raines

Before the McCain-Palin campaign tried to link Sen. Barack Obama with political heavyweights in Chicago, the campaign claimed that Obama was being advised on the economy by Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae CEO.
In an ad titled “Advice,” the McCain campaign makes the claim that “Obama has no background in economics.” Then it asks the question, “Who advises him?” The answer, according to the ad: “The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for ‘advice on mortgage and housing policy.’