Just the Facts

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Politifact's Bill Adair, the weekly guest for the month of September, brings his Truth-O-Meter to fact-check some recent campaign claims.

What election facts do you want Bill to check out?


Bill Adair

Comments [76]

Carole Gottlieb from New York City, NY

Please access the above link. I truly don't understand that even now everyone insults Pres. Clinton's affairs; how come the information about what McCain did to his first wife is not brought out about the character of this man. Leaving an injured woman who was willing to stand by him - he cheated around until always looking for a rich woman and he found one. I think this story is so disgusting when I wonder if those Republicans downgrade Pres.Clinton and John Edwards. I think this should be brought out to the news and openly discussed describing the real McCain.

Sep. 12 2008 09:55 PM
Josh Bell from West Village

This is a follow-up question to something he mentioned:
What were the books Palin wanted to ban from the library?

Sep. 12 2008 08:20 PM
Marianne Dempsey from Umatilla, Florida

Also, what about the news that Palin, as Mayor of Wasilla, ran the budget into the ground from 0 debt to $22million? Is that correct?

Thanks again,


Sep. 12 2008 05:06 PM
Marianne Dempsey from Umatilla, Florida

Can you check these for us?

- Does Palin really think that Global Warming is not related to human actions? If so, how does that affect her policies?

- Education... as far as I see, she has a BS from the University of Idaho, where she majored in Journalism and minored in Political science. She NEVER went to law school, while Obama was elected President of the Harvard Law Review.

- Wolves, bears, and salmon, oh my. Is it true that Palin a) - supports aerial shooting of wolves and bears, if so, to what extent? b) - Was she against listing Polar bears and threatened or endangered? c) - Did she stop an effort to regulate the pollution of salmon waters, thus putting the fishing industry at risk in Alaska?

Thank you.

Sep. 12 2008 01:49 PM
Kelly from Park Slope

dear lefties --

if you really can't stand the NPR/WNYC left-center POV you can always click to the lefty bubble of Pacifica/Huff Post/
where you can bash Republicans as unabashedly as you'd like with all the nasty Bush Chimp cartoons and McSame rants --- and have little pushback to all the festivities and pledges to move to Canada if MCcain wins...

but please, for God's sake, or for the sake of the atheistic spirit of humanity, stop whining about how NPR/WNYC isn't being shoe-horned into your narrow world view where America's our only enemies are evangelicals

there is nothing like NPR/WNYC and a hostile occupation by the lefty-thought commisars would not be a good thing for freedom of speech and diversity in this country...

yes, dissent from the received wisdom and prevailing lefty orthodoxies is also patriotic...

Sep. 11 2008 07:33 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Ah, Arianna. I have always been suspicious of her because she used to be a right winger.

I think "liberal" and "conservative" are not good describers of the media. They just want attention and they want to make $$. If they smell blood in the water they go for it, right wing or left. They are amoral. If I find a source that I feel is reporting what happened without trying to spin it or omit certain things, I am attracted to it. That is why I avoid most blogs. I feel that as the media splinters (which is probably a good thing) people will more and more just read what they already agree with (probably bad.)

I have to go now. As the car guys say "you squandered another perfectly good hour..." I have only myself to blame.

Sep. 11 2008 07:26 PM
seth from Long Island


The left wing blogger is Arianna Huffington. I read a fair amount of left wing blogs because I feel the need to balance the center-right perspective from the MSM.

To me, the rant of a "liberal media" is one of the biggest myths of the 20th century.

Sep. 11 2008 06:57 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Interesting idea. It is sort of fun to imagine what everyone looks like. I bet I would be surprised.

Sep. 11 2008 06:47 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I agree seth. Who is the left wing blogger? Why do we need these people?

Sep. 11 2008 06:39 PM
seth from Long Island

mc #65,

Glenn Reynolds is a conservative blogger so I disagree with him politically. I thought he made way too much over Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. He just repeated the talking points of Limbaugh and Hannity. He also takes repeated swipes at Al Gore on global warming.
I wish Brian would have simply worked with Andrea Bernsteain and Bob Heneally on 30 issues instead of consulting with a leftwing blogger and a rightwing blogger.

Sep. 11 2008 06:22 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I just checked out the Glenn Reynolds blog. Ugh! What is up with that? I am ready to swear off blogs. I guess you have to approach all of them as if they were op-eds at the very least and screeds most of the time. Maybe I'm old school but I would rather get the facts reported to me and make up my own mind.

Sep. 11 2008 06:12 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I am a big Amy Goodman fan and didn't really feel her arrest was given adequate coverage. I also knew that WBAI was the Pacifica affiliate but I thought something happened to Pacifica and that they were not carried by WBAI anymore. Probably old information.

I'm not familiar with Glenn Reynolds. I'll have to check out his blog. What is you main objection? Does he push a right wing POV or left? I love 30 issues in 30 days and con't want to see it dumbed down.

I know what you mean about being tired of the campaign. It seems to have gone on forever.

Sep. 11 2008 06:01 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Check it:

Under McCain’s plan, a titan making $55,000 per WEEK will pay $290,708 LESS in taxes. Remember, these folks need more money too.

But, if she’s a working hockey mom and brings home a paltry $1,269 per week, her extra tax savings will be $325 per year.

Under Obama’s plan the same titan will pay $542,882 MORE in taxes! Don’t fret, that means they still keep $34,570 after tax, each week! That same hockey mom keeps an EXTRA $1,118 per year.

Republicans profit off of Ignorance.

Sep. 11 2008 05:51 PM
seth from Long Island

mc #60

I lean left politically and Pacifica is left of center. They did 4 hours of coverage per night during the Dem and Repub conventions and had some great interviews and analysis from voices you won't hear on NPR. Pacifica also hosts Amy Goodman's Democracy Now and Radio Nation. WBAI 99.5 FM is Pacifica's NY affiliate. You can learn more about Pacifica by going to

I'm very disappointed that Brian has teamed up with Glenn Reynolds for his 30 issues in 30 days segment. To me, Reynolds is intellectually dishonest and I find his blog Instapundit to be rubbish. To me, Reynolds is no better than Limbaugh or Hannity. The only difference is that Reynolds gives the pretense of being more rational than those two whenever he appears on Brian's show.

I'm sick to death of the length of this campaign and can't wait till it's over.

I wish McCain and Palin would make some huge gaffes that would push the momentum back to Obama.

Sep. 11 2008 04:52 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #61,
I'm not talking strategy here, I'm talking about a group of people who fancy themselves the good guys. It's not about crying in baseball - I have maintained consistently that I don't think any of this changed the outcome. I hate the double standards. I think it is awful that McCain used the word "gook." How can you expect someone like that to represent your interests?

I don't care if the first woman president says that or not. I do think that sexism is a sleeper bigotry that needs to be called out much more forcefully than it usually is. The fact that people are called paranoid or whiny just proves this. The reason Barack doesn't talk about this speaks volumes - it just is not allowed because no one wants to hear it. For me his best speech to date was the one in Philly in March. He really hit it out of the park for me that day.

As far as strategy, I don't know. It seems to have tied the Dems up in knots. i have a few suggestions as to how they can talk to women voters and HRC supporters in particular, but I'm sure they are not interested.

Sep. 11 2008 04:28 PM

It's not that I don't think it's important, I think it's important, but I disagree with you on how best to deal with it. "There's no crying in baseball!" pretty much sums it up for me, both on racism and sexism. Note that I don't even hold it against McCain how he continued to use the word "gook" on the campaign bus in 2000. Because for so many decades his deeds spoke louder than his slur.
But... I could be wrong, and you could be totally right for calling people out on this. In fact, I think you are. I just don't know if it's a good strategy.
I want the first woman president to be someone who got there on her own, and who never said she experienced sexism. The example to me is Barack - he is best when he doesn't acknowledge the racist things people say about him. It makes you look stronger, and that's what voters are looking for. Not weird hysterical stubborness, as in W, but strength of decision-making, strength of sense in policy, pragmatism, all that stuff.

Sep. 11 2008 04:20 PM
mc from Brooklyn

seth, #56
With you 100%. Cable news is awful because they blur the line between reporting and "coverage" and they pander to our worst demons as you say. I am a big fan of PBS, NPR, C-Span. Where do you pull Pacifica? Are you they don't lean left?

Sep. 11 2008 04:15 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva, #55
I never said that Watts or Powell would pull voters, only said that the McCain camp might have tried it and that the most likely scenario is that black voters might have stayed home. The fact that the Repubs tried to run Alan Keyes against Obama in '04 when jack Ryan imploded shows that they are not above this sort of thing.

I have also maintained that racist/sexist attacks on candidates have less to do with injuring them than injuring the rest of us. HRC and BHO can take it surely enough, but it hurts all of us.

I don't know if blacks were justified at being offended during the primary. What I heard in the mainstream media (not blogs) were words that you could consider "code" for racist slurs. What I objected to was the much more overt sexism not by either campaign but by some of the players that I have already listed here ad-infinitum. I really believe that had the same people made equally racist comments they would have been instantly fired. Look what happened to Imus? He got into trouble because he said "nappy-headed ho's" not just "ho's".

I am getting that you don't think any of this is important. I differ with you. I think it is important. If you are going to make a federal case out of one kind of bigotry then you should do it for all bigotry. If the Dems want to take the high road on this then they should hold themselves to that standard. In my eyes they fall far short. Saying that it is paranoia is offensive to me.

Sep. 11 2008 04:13 PM
seth from Long Island

eva and mc,

Unfortunately, Barack and Hillary are both guilty of doing far too little to tamp down the racist and sexist rhetoric that emanated from many directions during the primary season.

If they could have both managed to check their egos at the door, I would have liked to see Obama and Clinton do the following prior to the Iowa Caucus (I first heard this idea suggested by columnist and author Norman Solomon)

They should have appeared together somewhere and said the following:
Hillary - "If you plan to vote for me simply because you won't support an African American candidate, I don't want your support because you are delegitimizing and devaluing the electoral process"
Obama - "If you plan to vote for me simply because you won't support a female candidate, I don't want your support because you are delegitimizing and devaluing the electoral process"

Maybe Norman Solomon's idea was naive, but I like to believe it may have elevated the tone of the Democratic contest.

Sep. 11 2008 04:07 PM

Please fact check: drill, baby, drill

-How big an area will Anwar drilling really affect?
-What is the actual environmental impact of drilling in Anwar and off-shore?
-How much oil will it really produce, and how long will it take before it becomes available?
-What if any effect will it have on oil and gas prices, and on the amount of oil we import?

Sep. 11 2008 03:46 PM
seth from Long Island


Sexism, racism, homophobia, and anti-semitism degrade our democracy but unfortunately I think these diseases of the mind will always exist just like death and taxes.

24-hr cable news also seriously degrades our democracy by pandering to the lowest common denominator and it exploits sexism, racism etc for ratings and profit. Cable news is a malignant cancer in our political bloodstream and is continually dumbing down our culture to death.

Cable tv is doing an atrocious job covering this presidential campaign just like it does an atrocious job covering any serious topic. The only things that matter to CNN, MSNBC, and FNC are conflict, suspense, melodrama, gotchas, and oversized personalities.

If I could have one wish it would be the immediate abolition of all of the cable tv news channels. C-SPAN, NPR, PBS, and Pacifica are head and shoulders above 24-hr cable news.

Sep. 11 2008 03:45 PM

mc, I agree, it's so strange! But I disagree with the idea you've put forward today and yesterday that JC Watts or Colin Powell might have pulled black voters away.
Black voters have historically gone Dem. The only exception was not because of a black candidate running - it was during the '04 election when the GOP capitalized on black Christians because Dems managed to hand the sledgehammer of gay marriage over to the GOP so they could rudely beat us over the head with it.
Again, the only exception was not based on a black politician within the GOP, but on religious issues.
And to be frank, that's even considering the reality that the Clintons seriously alienated so many black voters with their comments during the primary. Which brings us back to sexism/racism.... were black voters right to be offended? Did black voters take umbrage where no offense had been given? Did they take the words of Clinton supporters to represent the actual Clintons? Hard to answer, and this is why I am do dismayed by the constant refrain of "sexism" on the part of Palin and HRC supporters - it's unfounded and makes women look weak. If they can't handle a personal attack, how will they function in that office? As for the McCain campaign itself, let them run all the wolf-attacking-sarah-palin commercials they want... it does us no service to risk sounding hysterical or paranoid over it.

Sep. 11 2008 03:44 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #52,
I agree absolutely, it is not sexist to ask questions about policy positions, the record, even her position on family planning, as loaded as that is - the fact that she made the choices she did makes it a legitimate issue when she has taken a stand on reproductive choice of all kinds. I agree that she is being used in the most cynical way by McCain and the GOP. As far as vetting and experience, I was not in on her vetting and I think experience is a red herring. Look where it has gotten us in the past.

It is sexist for left-wing talk show host Ed Schultz to issue a "bimbo alert."

Sep. 11 2008 03:41 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #51,
I have no idea. This whole thing has been so strange. I actually think that had BHO tapped HRC to be veep that we would probably be looking at a different veep choice on McCain's side. And if the Dem primaries had turned out differently we might be looking at J.C. Watts or Colin Powell or someone else tapped cynically to try to draw angry black voters. Maybe that's a stretch. But to answer your question, I have no idea. How do you predict the behavior of personality-driven voters?

Sep. 11 2008 03:30 PM

fair enough on calling out the sexism against Palin, but let's be clear: it is not sexist to ask questions about her record or her experience. It is not sexist when the press continues to ask questions and she continues to hide - especially given that until a few weeks ago she was a virtual unknown.
Face it, this woman is being used by the GOP. That should alarm feminists. The reality that she seems just as capable of using them back is also noted.
But it is not sexism to ask questions about her qualifications. It is sexist for the GOP to claim it's sexist.
And it IS sexist to choose an unvetted woman for vp from a very unusual state just because she is a woman.
THAT is where sexism comes in.

Sep. 11 2008 03:22 PM

I'm glad you think so. I can't figure out why no one is talking about that while they're so hopped up about bemoaning the possibility that HRC should somehow be on the ticket.
If the women's vote was going to be pulled away by the GOP choosing a sexier, less experienced female politician, then we made the right pick with Obama, since those votes that came with Hillary were going to be lost, anyway.
sorry about the spelling error. But what's your opinion on whether HRC could have held these particular women voters (these particular personality-driven women voters) within the DNC once they got to coo over Palin and her adorable brood and too-good-to-be-true adorable husband?

Sep. 11 2008 03:10 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I appreciate your comments vis-a-vis sexism. I think it is perfectly possible to have policy differences with politicians without being racist or sexist. It is a matter of what is most important to you, which is why democracy is supposed to work. I am noting with dismay that in many discourses right now there are awful, sexist things being said about Palin, were said about Hillary and there are equally awful, racist things being said about Obama and Michelle. It degrades our democracy that it is so.

Sep. 11 2008 03:10 PM
seth from Long Island

I have paid far too much attention to this presidential race. I condemn sexist attacks from both the right and the left. I rejected sexist attacks on Hillary and currently reject them on Palin. There were legitimate policy issues regarding Hillary worthy of discussion. There are legitimate policy issues regarding Palin. I reject Palin because she's a religious extremist not because she's a woman.

If Hillary were running for either spot on the ticket, I think Palin would still draw many votes from women. Unfortunately, I think too many women are smitten with Sarah's personal biography and simply don't care about her policy positions.

Sep. 11 2008 02:58 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I love that word schadenfreude. There is a song in "Avenue Q" with that title. Rockin' I'm not going anywhere so the proverbial door will have nothing to hit. I'll be here slogging out out with the rest of you (us). Still amused though.

Check out my earlier post #42 re: Hillary ( 2 "l's in her name please).

Sep. 11 2008 02:47 PM

"While I abhor Palin's positions on the issues I can't help being amused at the spectacle of the Dems howling like stuck pigs (without lipstick) :-)"
Careful that the schadenfreude door doesn't hit you on the way out!
Seriously, though, do you want to take a crack at the question I have asked today but that no one has answered? I asked:
"But no one has answered my question: if Hilary were running instead of Obama, or if she was on Obama's ticket as VP, does anyone really think that she would "hold" the women flocking to Palin? Those women who are sentimentally flocking to Palin are women who see themselves in Palin - a mom who kinda sorta accidentally fell into politics (and was a total hit). HRC is a career politician, a tough and smart cookie from an Ivy League school, and it's easier, far easier, for women to relate to the more "working-class" Palin."

Sep. 11 2008 02:38 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Agreed about BHS's positions on nuclear power and the death penalty. And while we're at it, corn ethanol, repealing the 1872 mining rule, "clean" coal and individual merit pay for teachers (very divisive in a school - I've seen it first-hand). Also, any notion that you can fix the health care system without making sure everyone participates is a loser. We will be covering only the sick people - it's called adverse selection.

Trouble is: McCain is even worse on the above issues plus more to boot.

Sep. 11 2008 02:28 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Again, yes I have heard stories about McCain's temper but I really prefer to look at the proven record. He put forth a good anti-torture bill with Sen. Lindsay Graham and then they both caved when GWB insisted on gutting it. He was against drilling off-shore, now he's for it. I don't need to know about his temper, or his suffering in N.V. (although I would not wish that on anyone). I just need to see the past record and hear what his intentions are. That is enough for me.

As far as his friends and supporters of making misogynistic remarks, that is unfortunately not the purview of the right. The lefties were making some really unpleasant statements about HRC and now are about Palin and if you missed it then I think you weren't paying close attention. Again, not a reason to vote for someone (or against).

The low road or high road - I think that is a matter of perception. Most of us will forgive the candidate we like and castigate the one we hate. While I abhor Palin's positions on the issues I can't help being amused at the spectacle of the Dems howling like stuck pigs (without lipstick) :-)

Sep. 11 2008 02:25 PM
seth from Long Island


I want to go on the record as someone who never ever believed that Obama was ushering in a new kind of politics. I preferred him to Hillary, but he wasn't my first choice at the very beginning. My first choice was Bill Richardson. I'm very disatisfied with Obama's positions on nuclear power and the death penalty. In spite of my problems with Obama, God help this country if McCain is elected President.

Sep. 11 2008 02:10 PM

I swear I am out of here, but... screwed the pooch? Was it lipsticked, first? Then it was ASKING for it. Where do these animal metaphors come from? But as long as we're going there... they didn't just screw the pooch, they fileted the damn thing, then they fed it to us as turkey hash, instead of Lassie.
How can I not respect someone who injects "screwed the pooch" into the conversation? I'm totally serious. But now I seriously gotta go, the turkey hash has to be served for the lunch rush, because it sure isn't going to be servable tomorrow...

Sep. 11 2008 02:07 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I don't remember if I coined the term "strong arm" in this instance or not. But I think it is fair. Instead of running against his opponents he had them knocked off the ballot. Not illegal, but maybe not the most straight-up way to beat them.

I must have missed your Hillary (2 "l's" please) question. I have been thinking about that and I think it is utterly unknowable because I have no idea why these voters might have supported HRC. I did because I thought her economic policies, particularly health care were more progressive than BHO's and they were the only two choices left on the NY ballot. I think a lot of people probably voted for her for what I would consider the wrong reasons (my opinion) so I can't figure where they will go.

I do not confuse you with people who think BHO brings something "new." You have demonstrated your doubts about him many times. But, maybe you can admit that a large number of people seem to buy that selling point. It makes me nervous, because I have already seen some buyer's remorse here on these very pages.

Sep. 11 2008 02:01 PM
seth from Long Island


As far as temperament is concerned, I'm sure you've read the stories about McCain's temper tantrums with some of his Republican Sen colleagues. I don't want a hothead as commander in chief of our military.

Despite his POW experience, I've never been impressed by McCain's character. For me, a true hero is someone who doesn't feel the urge to remind you of his heroism every single day. When one of his supporters called Hillary the b-word, McCain laughed as if that was something funny. He also made a sick joke about Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno back when Bill Clinton was president.

As I pointed out to Eva, I believe that McCain has run a low road campaign in which he has questioned Obama's patriotism and he has kept silent when Sen Inhofe and Rep Steve King have made even more slanderous statements against Obama.

As far as the Republican field in which McCain ran, I found them all extremely bad choices. I hope voters reject McCain's tactics and his candidacy.

Sep. 11 2008 01:56 PM

Sorry, sorry,sorry I was so supposed to be out of here... one last huzzah (whatever that means) and I'm outa here, I promise...
mc: does what Obama did qualify as "strong arm" tactics, or is that maybe an exaggerated term for something entirely by the book (and the guy is a lawyer, magna cum laude from Harvard Law, no less...) "Strong arm" brings to mind the mafia, or Italian fascism.
seth: you're right. I am cutting him too much slack. I still "feel" that he is being hijacked (he didn't get to pick Lieberman, et cetera) but in the end, he has to account for his own campaign.
But no one has answered my question: if Hilary were running instead of Obama, or if she was on Obama's ticket as VP, does anyone really think that she would "hold" the women flocking to Palin? Those women who are sentimentally flocking to Palin are women who see themselves in Palin - a mom who kinda sorta accidentally fell into politics (and was a total hit). HRC is a career politician, a tough and smart cookie from an Ivy League school, and it's easier, far easier, for women to relate to the more "working-class" Palin.
As for new politics, please don't confuse me with people who think Obama is bringing something "new". But marketing, as Mel Brooks pointed out in the epic "Spaceballs", is "the schwartz!" and to the extent that it helped Obama, and was not harmful, I can live with it. As for taxes, let them crucify him in office, he's a tough guy.

Sep. 11 2008 01:52 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I hear you, but I try very hard to steer clear of making judgments about intellect, character and temperament when I can't know the person first hand. I know that I am in the minority. For me it is enough to know that McCain was favorable toward the Lilly Ledbetter decision by the Supreme Court and that he is against the Employees Free Choice act and that he would tax people's employer provided health benefits.

I actually think that compared to the others who ran in the Repub primaries that they actually picked the best one. Not that that says much, but really - Romney? Giuliani? Brownback? Duncan Hunter? Please, I would rather live under McCain than any of these. But I prefer to live under Obama rather than McCain.

Sep. 11 2008 01:35 PM
Ralph Greco, Jr. from Clifton, NJ

hey e
thanks for the reply
i have idea who writes for we just generally assume the dems have smarter people then the reps cause the republicans have been in power these past years, and according to everyone, screwed the pooch?
my point was more to the obvious bias npr has yet to own up to (and in fairness, fox things it's broadcasts are down the line, non partisan!)
again, i have no care who wins, we are all up the creek no matter who gets in as long as we have a federal government...but that's just my opinion, but i respect urs :)

Sep. 11 2008 01:35 PM
seth from Long Island

#32 mc

I was troubled when I first heard about Obama knocking the names of his primary opponents off of the ballot in his state Sen race. However, even if I assume that Obama acted with the worst of intentions, he's still lightyears superior to McCain on every issue I care about. McCain lacks the intellect, judgement, integrity, and temperament to be president. It's a tragic statement about the Republican party that it would nominate a candidate so flawed as John McCain.

Sep. 11 2008 01:24 PM

Who is checking the "Fact Checker"?

Re: Bridge To Nowhere

According to this story from CNN (hardly part of the Right wing media) your Fact Checker was not factual. He stated that Palin canceled the project only because she was under severe popular pressure to do so. Palin's cancellation of the project was unpopular in Alaska. Congress allowed her to go ahead with project but she canceled it anyway, going against popular opinion in her state.

Sep. 11 2008 01:23 PM
seth from Long Island

Eva #30

Saying that McCain is hostage to his party is cutting him way too much slack. You shouldn't let him off the hook so easily. In one breath McCain says "I respect Sen. Obama". In the very next breath McCain says "Obama would rather lose a war than lose an election". McCain is questioning Obama's patriotism and the patriotism of all his supporters when he makes over-the-top comments of this type.

Sep. 11 2008 01:15 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Actually when I said I was Jawbone's biggest fan it was in appreciation of his/her seeking the truth even when it does not fit the narrative everyone would like it to.

#31, that is exactly what I was referring to vis-a-vis tactics. Again, not illegal, just not a "new politics."

Sep. 11 2008 01:14 PM
mc from Brooklyn

Re: #29, I'm sure that's why he didn't do it. But I have this awful feeling that if he gets in and raises taxes that he will be crucified for it.

Sep. 11 2008 01:11 PM
mc from Brooklyn

The strong-arm tactics I am referring to we discussed earlier, during the summer. I am referring to his knocking his Democratic opponents of the primary ballot when he ran for State Senate. I read the New Yorker article that you recommended. Great article. It confirmed what I had already read. The only fact that John Kass, the columnist from Chicago had that was not in the New Yorker is that If your signature was not in coursive (sp?) it was disqualified. I am not saying that Obama did anything illegal or out of the ordinary for an ambitious politician, indeed, this makes him a normal politician, not "new." So...... vote for him because you like his policies, not because he brings a "new politics" (my advice).

Sep. 11 2008 01:09 PM
seth from Long Island

Eva 29 - Regarding Obama's use of strong arm tactics

Eva, I think mc is referring to the fact that Obama succeeded in getting all of his opponents' names removed from the ballot in the Dem Primary for the Illinois State Senate race. The names were removed due to technicalities relating to invalid signatures and similar issues. From what I understand, Obama's challenges were legitmate and hence his opponents' names were removed. My understanding is that Obama won the Dem primary for the Illinois Senate because his name was the only one remaining on the ballot.

On the one hand, it's true that Obama was simply following the letter of the law. On the other hand there is something disturbing about Obama's tactics. I read that Obama doesn't like discussing this topic in interviews.

Sep. 11 2008 12:58 PM

I think McCain is, sadly, hostage to his party, but I respect your healthy skepticism, which may be more appropriate,given what is going on/has been going on.

just because David Goldstein spun it that way for McClatchy doesn't make it true... The truth is that she misrepresented the final destination for the money AND she was, in fact, for the bridge before she was against it. Bear in mind that money is far in excess of that spent per capita in other states. Meanwhile, we have bridges THAT ARE ACTUALLY USED falling down in the midwest...
And I don't buy the "McClatchy is better" argument. Sorry to disagree with mc, but I think you have another agenda...

Sep. 11 2008 12:53 PM

I would have appreciated that. too, but I wouldn't have appreciated losing the election over it.
I'm headed out, but am curious as to why you think O. used "strong arm" tactics in his state senate race. It's something you wrote yesterday, and I just wanted to ask a follow-up on it. How do you define strong arm tactics? I will check in late tonight.

Sep. 11 2008 12:45 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Will you check the accuracy of McCain’s acceptance speech?

Such as:

McCain claimed that Obama’s health care plan would "force small businesses to cut jobs" and would put "a bureaucrat ... between you and your doctor." In fact, the plan exempts small businesses, and those who have insurance now could keep the coverage they have.

McCain attacked Obama for voting for "corporate welfare" for oil companies. In fact, the bill Obama voted for raised taxes on oil companies by $300 million over 11 years while providing $5.8 billion in subsidies for renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels.

McCain said oil imports send "$700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much." But the U.S. is on track to import a total of only $536 billion worth of oil at current prices, and close to a third of that comes from Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

He promised to increase use of "wind, tide [and] solar" energy, though his actual energy plan contains no new money for renewable energy. He has said elsewhere that renewable sources won’t produce as much as people think.

He called for "reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs," but as in the past failed to cite a single program that he would eliminate or reduce.

Sep. 11 2008 12:43 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I'm your biggest fan :-)

Sep. 11 2008 12:41 PM
seth from Long Island

McCain hijacked the McCain campaign. If McCain truly wanted to run a cleaner more honest campaign he'd be doing it. One of the great myths being told by the media is that McCain wanted to run a noble, high-minded campaign but he was prevented from doing so. David Brooks has helped spread this myth. No one is holding a gun to McCain's head. McCain is exercising his free will by running a less than noble campaign.

Sep. 11 2008 12:39 PM
mc from Brooklyn

eva #9,
I don't see any way around taxes going up. I understand why he couldn't do it but I would have really appreciated it if Obama had said, "Look, we are in deep doo-doo and it's going to cost us getting out," instead of promising a $1000 tax cut to 95% of families.

And I am so tired of lipstick. Oyy!

Sep. 11 2008 12:39 PM
Dan from NJ

More time!

Fact checking is important and should be given much more time than you're giving it now.

This length segment would be good if it were a daily segment. It is totally insufficient for a weekly spot.

Sep. 11 2008 12:25 PM

Which Obama campaign ad are you concerned about?
Which Obama campaign ad is concerned about?
Is it possible that the Obama campaign ads are far more carefully researched and fact-checked, which you might expect from a ticket that has at the top a magna cum laude Harvard Law grad? I'm not dissing McCain's lack of academic credentials, but his campaign staff is another matter... It seems they have hijacked the Mac.

Sep. 11 2008 12:15 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Why does McCain claim there were no POW's left behind in Vietnam?

Why did he block former MIA/POW's from seeing their own records (and his)?

What is he hiding in his own background and record in Vietnam?

Sep. 11 2008 12:13 PM
Chuck from Brooklyn

What are the chances McCain, at his age and with his health problems will survive one term? Or two?

Sep. 11 2008 12:12 PM
Ralph Greco, Jr. from Clifton, NJ

Another great, yet subtly biased show here on WNYC. I was wodnering why, when the facts are being checked for both sides 'ads', McCain ads are disected (with good reason, I might ad) but when you went to 'the other side', we had the light-hearted chain emails to pick apart? Isn't Opama running ads worthy of disection as much as McCain? Or are you, as always, playing it softer in your critic of the left?
I'm not even a registered voter, nor do I support either candiate (I don't believe in a two party system). But at least with Fox it's obvious what you're getting. Guys, please just endorse Obama already and get it over with!

Sep. 11 2008 12:07 PM
Joel from Brooklyn

I've read that colleges and universities collude to establish tuition costs. As a result of this supposed process, tax credits for higher education--like those Obama proposes--in effect get absorbed and tuition simply rises to the equivalent of the prior levels.

Do institutions of higher education collude to establish tuition fees?

(Sorry the question has to do with policy efficacy and not smear politics; I hope you'll investigate anyway.)

Sep. 11 2008 12:07 PM
Harold Wilson from New Jersey, US

It is widely reported (by rumor-mills) that the hospital where Sarah Palin reportedly gave birth to Trig, does not list Trig among the babies born on that day. I checked the hospital website, the same hospital described in the Governor's press release announcing the birth. No such information is present. Can Politifact check on this? Here's the link, and the press release:

From the April 18, 2008 Anchorage Daily News:
-------BEGIN PR -----------
Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child at 6:30 this morning at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, her spokeswoman said today.

The boy's name is Trig Paxson Van Palin. He's 6 pounds, 2 ounces.

"The governor's labor began while she was in Texas, and I do know that she got on a plane and landed in Anchorage late last night," said Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow.

Leighow said the governor and her son are healthy and resting comfortably today.

The baby wasn't due until May 18. "It was quite a surprise," Leighow said.
--------END PR-----------

Sep. 11 2008 12:04 PM
seth from Long Island

John McCain is unique in that he's running a 100% fact free campaign.

Sep. 11 2008 12:01 PM
Olivia from Manhattan

I heard from someone who lives in Alaska, that she diverted funds from a center that would support pregnant teens in order to finance this fancy Sports Complex she gave to the town of Wasilla.

I heard this from my Alaska friend only and haven't heard it from anywhere else.

Sep. 11 2008 12:01 PM
seth from Long Island


Let's not raid the Louvre, the Prado, the Hermitage, or the Met. Let's leave something for future generations.

Sep. 11 2008 12:00 PM
AWM from UWS

Another difference between the lies about Obama spread by Palin/McCain and the "smears" directed at Palin/McCain... Obama doesn't approve the "smears"

Sep. 11 2008 12:00 PM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Here's the link for the McClatchy fact checking on Palin:

Kathleen Hall Jamison pointed out on Bill Moyers' Journal last Friday (available on web) that the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) has been working overtime to dig up dirt on Palin, but has, in quite a few cases, run with partial information and come to incorrect conclusions. She warned that this is causing readers to again have reason to doubt the veracity and accuracy of the MCM reports. We need more and better actual journalists.

NB: I have never voted for a Repub; I will not vote for McCain; but I do want accuracy and not spin in reporting. That's all, folks.

Sep. 11 2008 11:57 AM

the best line I have ever heard from Brian was the aldermen-from-New-Jersey line. Perfect delivery, too.

Sep. 11 2008 11:55 AM
O from Forest Hills

The bill Obama had was to teach children in kindergarten to make them aware of inappropriate touching to make them aware of sexual predators and that they need to tell an adult.

Sep. 11 2008 11:55 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

McClatchy reporters were the ones who actually got the runup to the Iraq Invasion right, of all the big newspaper and chains. So, I give some credence to their fact checking:

By David Goldstein | McClatchy Newspapers

Q. Was Palin accurate when she said that she opposed Alaska's "bridge to nowhere," which became a symbol of congressional spending gone wild?

A. Yes, but with an explanation.

"I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that 'bridge to nowhere,'" Palin told the Republican National Convention last week. "If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves."

Democrats claim that Palin was for the bridge before she was against it, that she opposed it only when it became a national joke and Congress killed it in 2005.

Palin did support the $398 million project to build a bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island's 50 residents when she ran for governor in 2006.

But Congress had already pulled the plug by that time. However, while it had eliminated the project, the money remained and was still Alaska's to spend on transportation.

According to Congressional Quarterly, Palin continued to back the bridge "long after it was no longer necessary for Alaska to spend money" on it. She still could have built it, but as governor, chose not to.

"Ultimately it was her call," according to CQ, and "not inaccurate for Palin to say she 'stopped the bridge to nowhere.'"

Sep. 11 2008 11:53 AM

I'm pretty sure that, for all the rhetoric, taxes are going up. It's like Bush I. He knew he had to say "read my lips" (at least he didn't say lipsticked-piglips) to get elected, because when he was straightforward with the American people about economics, he got bumped out of the presidential running (1980's voodoo economics).
Anyway, I hope to God taxes are going up, across the board, because the deficit has to be dealt with, and short of hoping for another disastrous bubble, raiding the Louvre and the Prado, or annexing several other countries, there's no other way to deal with it.

Sep. 11 2008 11:53 AM
seth from Long Island

John McCain is a reformed maverick

Sep. 11 2008 11:52 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Palin should have given back the money!

Sep. 11 2008 11:51 AM
Peter from Flatbush, Brooklyn

Please review the McCain ad on Obama's sex-ed stance.

You can put lipstick on a lie, but its still a lie.

Sep. 11 2008 11:48 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Could you ask your guest to add up the projected costs of all of the new spending the candidates are proposing, plus tax cuts and paying off the debt and see where we are? I'm sure it's a negative number but I would like a comparison.

Sep. 11 2008 11:47 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Questions (the facts please):

Why does he believe there were no POW's left behind in Vietnam? Why did he block former POW's from seeing their own records (and his)? What was he hiding in his own background and record in Vietnam?

When did McCain decide he was Pro Life? When did he decide he wanted to repeal Roe vs. Wade?

Why did McCain vote against increasing health care funding for Vets in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007?

When did he decide to support Bush's tax cuts, when he was first against them?

What was McCain's involvement in the S&L crisis?

When did McCain become a Christian Conservative?

Did Sara Palin try to ban books?

When did Sara Palin decide ah was against "The Bridge'?

How many "pork earmarks" did Sara Palin get for ALaska, as Govenor and Mayor?

Does Sara Palin believe that dinosaurs existed?

Does Sara Plain believe the Iraq war is God's plan?

Sep. 11 2008 11:26 AM
Albert from Greenwich, CT

Is it true that Sarah Palin was Co Owner of a marketing company named Rouge Cou, which means redneck in French? What type of marketing was this company involved in, and who were it’s clients?

Sep. 11 2008 11:09 AM
David! from NYC

Brian, no disrespect, but 9-11 is a day I don't want to hear a bloody thing about politics.

Sep. 11 2008 10:07 AM

Denver point at bottom/
what is the difference between "ear marks" and (an elected rep) getting tax money for projects in your district/state?

my opinion
palin grosses me out for lots of good reasons (bewildering self righteousness, ignorant, mean, etc.).

However, if the dems are going to find and highlight faults in her character, it would seem that getting federal money to build infrastructure for her constituents isn't the shortest route to splaying her flaws to evoke voter repulsion. And if that's all the dems got then she deserves to win. This is an election not a Yale debate.

PS is the Denver office of the Interior Dept. by any chance associated with a particular political party?

If tables were turned the Repubs would already have the ads plastered on the TV.

Sep. 11 2008 09:52 AM

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