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Bush’s False Claims About Children’s Health Insurance

Summary
President Bush gave a false description of proposed legislation to expand the 10-year-old federal program to provide health insurance for children in low-income working families.
He said it "would result" in covering children in families with incomes up to $83,000 per year, which isn’t true. The Urban Institute estimated that 70 percent of children who would gain coverage are in families earning half that amount, and the bill contains no requirement for setting income eligibility caps any higher than what’s in the current law.

Maybe It’s a Trend

Last month we were happy to note the launch of PolitiFact.com, a joint project of the St. Petersburg Times of Florida and Congressional Quarterly of Washington, D.C. Today we welcome The Washington Post‘s new feature, “The Fact Checker,” written by veteran journalist Michael Dobbs with the assistance of chief researcher Alice Crites.
The first four Fact Checker articles find fault with statements by Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Sam Brownback,

Operation Iraqi Gloss-Over

Summary
President Bush played loose with the facts in his address to the nation Thursday night as he tried to convince the American public that the surge in U.S. troops in Iraq has made the country more stable.

He said "36 nations … have troops on the ground in Iraq." In fact, his own State Department puts the number at 25.
He said “ordinary life” was returning to Baghdad. Perhaps. In fact, news reports describe the city as starkly segregated with Shiites and Sunnis living in separate neighborhoods,

Richardson Flunks Two Subjects

Summary
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico, has claimed again and again U.S. students, from kindergarten through 12th grade, are ranked 29th in the world in math and science. He claims they used to be No. 1, too. But none of that is true.
The two leading international assessments of student achievement rank U.S. students better in all cases, and in most cases much better, than Richardson claims. Furthermore, neither of them even tries to cover all grades K through 12.

Twisting Facts in Spanglish

Summary
The Sunday night debate, complete with interpreters, produced a few flubs or fibs from the Democratic field, including these:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich gave a figure for health insurance company profits that was vastly overstated. He also made a much-disputed claim about NAFTA.
Former Sen. John Edwards made his health care plan seem cheaper than it would actually be. He assumed it was in effect right now, rather than the soonest it could possibly be implemented,

Some Old, Some New

Summary
The Republican candidates aired their views, claims and criticisms in yet another debate. We found a few mistakes and questionable pronouncements:

Rudy Giuliani said 2,000 illegal immigrants was the most the federal government deported from New York City during any of his years as mayor.  That doesn’t square with Department of Homeland Security figures. Giuliani also took a little too much credit for a drop in New York’s welfare rolls.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas tried to link gay marriage with an increase in children being born out of wedlock.

Overspiced Louisiana Gumbo

Summary
The Louisiana Democratic Party is serving up a hard-to-stomach mix of exaggeration, mischaracterization and falsehood against Republican candidate Bobby Jindal, who’s running for governor in a contest that could be decided in October.
We found these items floating in the stew:

One ad falsely claims Jindal "supported raising the Medicare eligibility age." The proposal actually came from former Democratic Sen. John Breaux, not Jindal.
The same ad claims Jindal, a member of the House of Representatives,

We have company!

We’re often asked if there are other sites like ours, trying in a nonpartisan way to help voters sort out fact from fiction. Now, there is.
The St. Petersburg Times of Florida and Congressional Quarterly of Washington, D.C.  announced a new Web site called PolitiFact.com. The official launch date is Tuesday, Sept. 4th, but the site has been available to the public for several days.
The new site does something we don’t. It offers a “truth-o-meter”

Clinton Wrong on Cancer Stat

Summary
Sen. Hillary Clinton used the wrong statistic in talking about cervical cancer today. She said that 500,000 women die from the disease worldwide each year. Actually, 250,000 do.
Analysis

The Lance Armstrong Foundation hosted a presidential forum on cancer issues for the Democratic candidates Aug. 27 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Four of the candidates participated – Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep.

Liberal Lobby Lacks Context

A liberal coalition calling itself Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is running a TV ad that says the U.S. will be in Iraq for a decade to come and that the military draft will be reinstated. But the ad supports those conclusions by twisting the words of two senior generals.