A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

All Those in Favor…

Keeping up with ads about the pending health care overhaul legislation, pro and con, is like trying to fill one’s glass from the proverbial fire hose. Today, we bring you three ads from groups that are urging passage of the bill, each of which needs a little context or correction.
First up is one from Americans for Stable Quality Care, which is an agglomeration of pro-overhaul organizations such as the American Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union and the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers Association.

RNC: The Dems’ Ethical Embarrassments

A new ad buy from the Republican National Committee departs from the subject of health care, focusing instead on another theme the GOP wants to emphasize as the midterm elections approach: the Democrats’ recent ethics travails.

The ad, pointedly called "Pelosi’s Failure," begins with a clip of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California promising "the most open and most ethical Congress in history." Pelosi said that on the Tuesday night in November 2006 when Democrats gained control of the House and she was poised to become speaker.

A Practically Fact-Free Attack on Reid

Former Nevada state Sen. Sue Lowden, who is running for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November, goes after Reid in a new ad for trying to force "one-size-fits-all government health care" on all Americans.
 

Maybe "one-size-fits-all government health care" is a plausible description of the systems in some other countries: Canada or the U.K., for instance. But the Senate-passed health care overhaul, which Reid shepherded through that body on Christmas Eve,

Cadillac Plans and Unions: Who Benefits?

When the White House and congressional Democrats agreed last month to scale back a Senate-passed tax on high-value health plans, it was widely portrayed as a giveaway to labor unions. For example, the New York Post reported that it was a "sweetheart deal" that would save union members $60 billion, and on its editorial page called it a "bribe" and a "big, fat wet kiss for labor unions," a view quickly echoed by Republican leaders.

Tea Party Fact-Checking

Sarah Palin made a splash over the weekend as the keynote speaker at the first National Tea Party convention, and she followed up with an interview on Fox News Sunday. But she didn’t always stick to the facts. Palin implied that the Nigerian would-be Christmas Day bomber stopped talking after he was read his Miranda rights. He did, but …

Sunday Morning Stumbles

A lot of talking gets done on the Sunday morning shows, so it's no surprise that a verbal mishap or two might turn up.
For instance, yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union with John King," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dissed the Democratic health care overhaul bills, saying the American people don't like them either.

McConnell, Jan. 31: We know the public is overwhelmingly against the bill. In the NPR poll last week,

More State of the Union

A section of our story "Obama’s State of the Union Address" was inadvertently dropped when we posted the article Thursday. It shows that Obama spoke a little too sweepingly when he claimed that lobbyists have been cut out of policymaking jobs in his administration. We’ve added the section to the piece, and we include it below:

K St. to the White House: Road Almost Closed
Obama touted his efforts to change Washington’s ways.
Obama: [W]e’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.

Court’s Decision: Keep FactCheck Busy

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that corporations can spend as freely as they like in federal elections, a decision that could bring a flood of new ads expressly favoring or opposing candidates in the congressional midterm elections this year.
The opinion in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission throws out a 63-year-old law that attempted to restrain the influence of business and labor in elections and overturns two of the Court’s own decisions.

More Mischief in Massachusetts

Last week we barely dipped our toe in the torrent of ads blanketing Massachusetts, where voters are going to the polls today to decide who will replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy: Democrat Martha Coakley or Republican Scott Brown. There have been more since in the close race, too many for us to keep up with.
But we found one single-issue flier sent out by the Massachusetts Democratic Party particularly offensive and off-base. The background of the flier shows blurry images of women on which these words are superimposed: "1,736 women were raped in Massachusetts in 2008.

Medicare board: Unrepealable?

Q: Does the Senate’s health bill contain a provision that can’t be repealed?
A: No. It would create an  Independent Medicare Advisory Board that could be repealed by a vote of three-fifths of the Senate.