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Taxes, Bailouts, Court Fights and More

Looking for some weekend reading material? Well, the past week has been busy at FactCheck.org. If you haven’t checked out the main site recently, here are several new articles that we hadn’t yet told our Wire readers about:
Right Change Is Wrong
October 24, 2008
A conservative group misleads voters mightily on Obama’s tax plans for small businesses.
The Rifle Association’s ‘True Story’
October 23, 2008
A misleading NRA ad claims Obama voted “to deny citizens the right of self-protection.” 

Body Armor Claim: Still False and Nasty

The liberal group VoteVets.org is running an ad claiming that Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole "voted against giving our troops" life-saving body armor.
It’s a slightly revised version of an ad the same group ran against four GOP senators in the 2006 election. The claim was false and nasty then, and it’s false and nasty now.
The truth is that there was never a vote to deny body armor to troops, period. Neither of the two funding measures Vote Vets now cites in support of its claim mention body armor specifically,

The Rifle Association’s ‘True Story’

The National Rifle Association’s misleading attacks on Obama continue. A new ad shows a terrified woman grabbing a gun after an intruder smashes his way into her home. It accuses Obama of voting repeatedly for a measure that would "make you the criminal" in such cases, and voting to "deny citizens the right of self-protection."
The NRA says the incident depicted is "a true story." Not quite.

The actual 2003 burglary didn’t involve a woman,

Court Fight in the Heart of Dixie

Alabama holds the distinction of having had the nation’s most expensive Supreme Court races, with $54 million spent from 1993 through 2006. This year’s battle for an open seat on the bench seems likely to sustain the pattern, with heaps of cash being thrown down for ads and a tone that has turned ugly.
The attacks in the Alabama campaign have been a departure from what we’ve seen in high court races in most states this year,

Truth Invaders

If you’re like us, you just can’t live without 1) fact-checking and 2) ’80s arcade games. So you can imagine how psyched we were to find Truth Invaders, which lets us use our mad Space Invaders skills to shoot down some of our favorite false claims. And there’s a special bonus for those who blast the bogusness: links to FactCheck.org and our fellow fact-checkers-in-arms at PolitiFact.com, the Washington Post and CNN.
You should check it out.

Obama’s Citizenship and the Survival of the Fittest

Yesterday we posted something about the evolution of rumors. Here’s a postscript: Sometimes in addition to developing new eyespots or camouflage, they actually engage in a little adaptive development — rumors that aren’t working mutate into slightly altered versions that haven’t been debunked yet.
A case in point: First there was the canard that Obama didn’t have a valid U.S. birth certificate. We were able to help put that one to bed. (Never mind the additional rumor it spawned due to the erroneous date stamp on our photos of the document,

More Health Care Exaggerations

Planned Parenthood is distributing a mailer in Ohio that criticizes Sen. John McCain’s health care plan. But it uses a bogus figure on what McCain’s plan would do to Ohioans’ taxes.
The mailer says, “I see struggling patients every day. That’s why I was so horrified when I read about John McCain’s proposed health care tax. Maybe he can afford a $2,800 tax, but his plan will really hurt a lot of people.”
Under McCain’s plan,

Life Cycle of a Rumor

One thing we’ve noticed at FactCheck is that e-mail rumors tend to circulate, get debunked (ideally), go dormant for a while, and then flare up again. Think of it as a horde of zombies — they come at you, you kill them, you breathe a sigh of relief, and then there’s an extreme closeup and a finger twitches and you realize they’re not really dead. That’s what it looks like from our end.
Different stories have different life cycles —

More Robo-Calls

Yesterday we wrote about a robo-call attack from the McCain campaign making much of Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers. Today, we’ll look at another robo-call (posted by Talking Points Memo late last week) that’s covering well-trodden ground. The subject is Obama’s record on born-alive legislation, which we’ve written about twice before.
The audio posted at TPM says that “Barack Obama and his Democrat allies in the Illinois Senate opposed a bill requiring doctors to care for babies born alive after surviving attempted abortions.”

We Rebut American Progress Action Fund’s Rebuttal

We posted the following update to our Oct. 20 article, “Obama’s False Medicare Claim”

Update, Oct. 21: The Center for American Progress Action Fund issued a rebuttal to this article, claiming our analysis is “flawed,” that this article “relies solely on the denials of McCain senior policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin” and that we failed to conduct a “thorough analysis of the implications” of McCain’s health care proposals.
We disagree.