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Stacking the Deck

Summary
The three leading Democratic presidential candidates debated in Las Vegas and we noted the following:

Clinton once again mischaracterized the 2005 energy bill, saying it had "enormous giveaways" to oil and gas companies. In truth, the measure raised taxes on those industries.
Obama accused the Bush administration of failing to make "any serious effort" to encourage use of alternative fuels or raise fuel efficiency of automobiles. In fact, President Bush has signed major bills that do both.

The Impact of Tax Cuts

Q: Have tax cuts always resulted in higher tax revenues and more economic growth as many tax cut proponents claim?
A: No. In fact, economists say tax cuts do not spark enough growth to pay for themselves.

McCain’s Misleading Mailer

Summary
McCain is sending out a postcard mailing in South Carolina that is misleading on more than one point.

It says that "Romney provided taxpayer-funded abortions," a distortion. Romney’s Massachusetts health-care plan faced a court order requiring abortions to be covered.
It says Romney "refused to endorse Bush Tax Cut Plan," but fails to note that McCain himself voted against it.
It says, "Hillary tried to spend $1 million for a Woodstock museum" until "John McCain said NO."

Myrtle Beach Blarney

Summary

Another debate, another round of fact-checking. The GOP meeting in South Carolina was the third for Republican candidates in a week, but they haven’t run out of exaggerations or misstatements:

Romney claimed Massachusetts gained jobs "every single month" he was governor after hitting a low point. In fact the job gains seesawed, with seven of 36 months producing job losses.
Huckabee escalated his misleading claims about cutting taxes, saying he cut taxes for the first time in the history of the state of Arkansas,

More Money Doesn’t Guarantee Nomination

Q: Does the person with the most money ALWAYS win the presidential nomination?
A: No. The biggest money-raisers are beaten fairly regularly. Just ask Howard Dean.

Sliming Obama

Summary
If these two nasty e-mail messages are any indication, the 2008 presidential campaign is becoming a very dirty one.
One claims that Obama is “certainly a racist” by virtue of belonging to Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, which it says “will accept only black parishoners” and espouses a commitment to Africa. Actually, a white theology professor says he’s been “welcomed enthusiastically” at the church, as have other non-blacks.
Another e-mail claims that Obama “is a Muslim,”

Why Only Two Major Parties?

Q: Why are there only two major parties in the U.S.?
A: The winner-take-all system in the U.S. favors two stable parties.

Giuliani Visits Mistress

Q: Did Giuliani break the law using city funds while visiting his mistress?
A: No. Reporters who broke the story didn’t suggest he acted illegally.                     

One-Two Punch for GOP

Summary

In the final debate before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary election, five Republican candidates appeared on Fox News. We found no shortage of recycled bunk, and a new twist or two:

Huckabee repeated his claim to have made 94 tax cuts including the "first broad-based tax cut" in the history of Arkansas, though he actually signed tax bills that resulted in a net increase in taxes of $500 million.
Romney said his increases in "fees"

N.H. Debate: The Dems’ Turn

Summary
During the Democratic portion of the Jan. 5 New Hampshire debate:

Obama claimed we are "back where we started two years ago" in Iraq. Actually, all indicators of violence show dramatic improvement compared with two years ago.

Clinton repeated a misleading claim that the 2005 energy bill was "larded with all kinds of special interest breaks" for the oil industry. Actually, the bill resulted in a net increase in taxes on the oil industry,