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FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Jan. 11-17

This week, readers sent us comments about the FactCheck Radio podcast going on hiatus as we move our offices from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia. We will still be publishing articles, wire items and Ask FactChecks on our site regularly, though.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

A ‘Budget-Busting’ Law?

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office states that repealing the health care law would worsen the federal deficit over the next 10 years — by $230 billion. So how does …

Health Care Repeal, Tea Party and Political Discourse

In episode 44 of our podcast, we talk about the misleading claim from Republicans that the health care law is a job-killer. Plus, we caught Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offering his own exaggerations on the economy and the tea party, and Sen. Rand Paul distorting a well-worn quote from Rahm Emanuel.

For more on the claims discussed in this episode, see:
A ‘Job-Killing’ Law? Jan. 7
Reid Wrong on Jobs, Tea Party Jan. 10
Bum Rap for Rahm Jan.

DeLay’s Spin Cycle

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay resorted to hyperbole Wednesday when he claimed that he was tried and convicted for money laundering in the nation’s most liberal county. It’s liberal all right, but dozens of other counties are more so.
"I was tried in the most liberal county in the state of Texas, and indeed in the United States," DeLay said on NBC’s "Today Show." "The point is that this is a political campaign." DeLay appeared on the show two days after being sentenced to three years in prison.

Obama, Guns and ‘The Untouchables’

Q. Did President Obama once say of Republicans: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
A: Yes. Obama made those remarks at a fundraiser in Philadelphia during the 2008 presidential campaign. He was paraphrasing a quote from the 1987 mob movie "The Untouchables."

Bum Rap for Rahm

Sen. Rand Paul distorted an old quote from Rahm Emanuel during an appearance on Fox Business, as he disparaged the reaction of liberals to last weekend’s shootings in Tucson.
The Kentucky Republican, who took office just this month, was asked on Wednesday by Fox host Andrew Napolitano how pundits (Paul Krugman, a liberal columnist for the New York Times, was mentioned) could "get away with blaming murder on political discourse." Paul responded:

Rand Paul,

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Jan. 4-Jan. 10

This week, readers thought we were too tough on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and too easy on House Republicans.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Gov. Rendell’s Outburst Misses Mark

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's angry outburst on CBS' "60 Minutes" was more than unexpected. It was factually wrong.

In a segment on slot machine gambling, Rendell lashed out at CBS reporter Lesley Stahl, when she asked about the "downside" of expanding casino gambling. The outgoing Democratic governor, who signed legislation to allow slot machine gambling in 2004 and table games in 2010, said the "biggest downside is that some people lose their paychecks." But he became visibly angry at Stahl for asking if he had second thoughts about signing legislation that caused "new gamblers"

More Guns, Fewer Murders?

On CNN’s "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah perpetuated a falsehood about gun ownership and lower murder rates.

Lee: And to the contrary, I think there is abundant research suggesting that in cities where more people own guns, the crime rate, especially the murder rate actually goes down.

That’s not true. A causal relationship between prevalence of gun ownership and crime hasn’t been established by researchers. We looked into this subject in 2008 and found that the statistical relationship is the opposite of what Lee said for murder,

Reid Wrong on Jobs, Tea Party

On NBC’s "Meet the Press," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid exaggerated the latest job gains in the manufacturing sector and grossly minimized tea party victories in the 2010 midterm elections.
In the interview — which NBC taped a day before the Jan. 8 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson, Ariz. — Reid spoke about the latest employment numbers. The economy added 113,000 private sector jobs in the month of December, dropping the unemployment rate to 9.4 percent from 9.8 percent.