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July 11, 2011 4:32 pm ET

Private-Sector Growth Cracks 1,000,000 Net Jobs Since Recovery Act Took Effect

Most of the statistics Republicans use to criticize President Obama's economic record rely on the same basic distortion: They begin counting in January 2009, when President Obama was sworn in, but months before any policy of his could have any cause-and-effect relationship with economic data. In 2010, economist Robert Shapiro wrote that economic statistics through July 2009 — "the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy" — should be blamed on (or credited to) the Bush administration's influence. Using that six-month buffer, and even debiting almost 300,000 lost jobs in July 2009 against Obama's account, the private sector has grown by over one million net jobs since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act took effect. Meanwhile, despite the chronic Republican claim that all Obama has done is grow the government, the public sector has shed nearly half a million net jobs over the same period.

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June 27, 2011 11:28 am ET

Seriously Extreme: Rep. Bachmann's Journey To GOP Presidential Candidate

Today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) formally announced that she is seeking the Republican presidential nomination at an event in Iowa. In a field of lackluster candidates, Bachmann is an unabashedly polarizing figure whose statements, agenda, and policy positions are not only often factually inaccurate but are also frequently imbued with extreme, hateful, homophobic and even violent rhetoric. The fact that she is considered a viable representation of the Republican party sends a stark message about the toxicity of the GOP in 2012. Often the Affordable Care Act's most apoplectic opponent, Bachmann has suggested that health care reform will result in "death panels" as well as "school-based sex clinics," and that it could allow a 13-year-old girl can be taken to an abortion clinic during a school day to "have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night...mom and dad are never the wiser." She has rallied those against the Affordable Care Act to stand together, saying, "What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing." She has used such extreme rhetoric to oppose other policies as well, calling the federal tax code a "weapon of mass destruction" and referring to Wall Street reform as "thuggish." Additionally, Bachmann has proposed eliminating the minimum wage and cutting billions from veterans' benefits. She also voted against a bill providing for 9/11 first responders' health care and then bragged about it, calling it "new spending." Michele Bachmann's increasing legitimacy as a presidential contender speaks volumes about the atmosphere within the Republican party today.

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May 12, 2011 1:11 pm ET

Good Government Groups Praise Transparency Executive Order Rep. Issa Calls "Nixonian"

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has lashed out at a draft executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose their political donations, accusing the Obama administration of "Nixon-type" tactics. But good government groups have lined up to express their "strong support" for the draft order.

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April 05, 2011 12:00 pm ET

"Hope Isn't Hiring"? The RNC's New Attack Site Is Full Of Lies

The premise of the RNC's new attack website, HopeIsntHiring.com, is that President Obama has nothing more than positive rhetoric and good vibes to offer to those hardest hit by the recession. But if you account for the facts in telling the story of the past two years, things aren't nearly so convenient for the GOP. Far from an aloof figure during the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, President Obama has pushed policies that turned the economy around past Republican obstructionism. The strong rebound in private-sector job growth over the past two years proves the 'Hiring' site is just another vacuous gimmick.

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January 25, 2011 10:40 pm ET

Fact Checking Rep. Ryan's State Of The Union Response

In his televised response to President Obama's State of the Union address, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) repeated a series of debunked Republican talking points and attacks on Democratic policies. Among other things, Ryan absurdly claimed that the Recovery Act "failed" to create jobs, overstated Obama's role in creating the current debt, and stubbornly insisted that the Affordable Care Act will increase the deficit, even though nonpartisan experts say that he's wrong.

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July 06, 2010 9:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 4, 2010

The Sunday political talk shows were mostly quiet on Independence Day, with one glaring exception. South Carolina Republican and Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint offered an incendiary response to President Obama's speech on immigration reform. On Fox News Sunday, DeMint told guest host Major Garrett that Obama is lying to the American people, and really wants to give no-strings amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in an insidious plot to grow Democratic voter and union membership rolls. DeMint also suggested that Obama has refused to secure the border. In fact, the president has increased funding for real border enforcement, stopped throwing money into the failed electronic fence program, and charted a course to real, fair and sensible reform for our broken immigration system.

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June 28, 2010 1:55 pm ET

Huckabee Claims Obama Never Uses The Word "Terrorism"

A common complaint among conservatives is that President Barack Obama, for some reason or other, is hesitant to use the words terrorist or terrorism.  The latest to make the claim is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who does so in an article for his political action committee, Huck PAC.  Unfortunately for Huckabee, the argument is demonstrably false.

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May 17, 2010 10:07 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 16, 2010

On Sunday's political talk shows, Republicans echoed the fierce, false criticisms of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan that we heard throughout last week.  Newt Gingrich claimed that Kagan is "anti-military." Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) parroted Gingrich's lie that the military's prohibition on homosexuals began under President Clinton. And Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that Kagan wants the government to ban books. Meanwhile, Gingrich advanced false narratives about health care reform and President Obama's attitude toward free enterprise, and Sen. McConnell attacked the Recovery Act.

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May 11, 2010 3:08 pm ET

WellPoint CEO Lies To President Obama

WellPoint CEO Angela Braly sent President Obama a letter accusing him of spreading "false information" about WellPoint's practice of rescinding (dropping) insurance coverage for breast cancer victims.  Unfortunately for Ms. Braly, basic facts prove that she is the one who is lying.

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March 10, 2010 4:12 pm ET

Senate Republicans Twist Sen. Durbin's Remarks On Health Care Premiums

On March 10, 2010, the Senate Republican Conference published a blog post twisting remarks by Sen. Dick Durbin to make it appear as if he was contradicting President Obama's statement two days earlier.  While Durbin said "next year's" premiums would increase slightly after the bill is enacted, he stressed that they would increase more rapidly without reform. The president, on the other hand, discussed the long-term impact of the bill.

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January 30, 2010 12:10 pm ET

In Q&A Session, Rep. Hensarling Falsely Asserts Democrats Are At Fault For The Deficit

During a January 29, 2010 question and answer session between House Republicans and President Obama, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) falsely claimed Democrats are to blame for the growing deficit.

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January 28, 2010 11:23 am ET

Did Conservatives Even Listen To The Speech?

In the wake of President Obama's widely-praised first State of the Union address, conservatives were quick to attack the president's remarks on energy.  The GOP, the oil industry, and the coal industry all criticized the speech for neglecting to focus on nuclear, offshore oil development, and clean coal, respectively.  Had conservatives listened to the speech, they would know the president specifically addressed each of their concerns.

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January 27, 2010 11:10 pm ET

Carly Fiorina Criticizes President Obama For Talking About Jobs

Carly Fiorina - the same Carly Fiorina who fired 18,000 people - had the gall to criticize President Obama for his comments on jobs during the State of the Union address.

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January 27, 2010 10:54 pm ET

Rep. Cantor's Video Has A Disconnect With The Truth

Immediately following President Obama's first State of the Union, the office of House Republican Whip Eric Cantor released a video titled "The Democrat Disconnect."  By cutting together several sound bites and providing no facts or context, all that Cantor's office has produced, however, is a video that has disconnected from reality.  In reality, the Recovery Act has created 1.6 million American jobs, and clean energy and health care reform would create millions more.

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January 27, 2010 10:22 pm ET

GOP Leader Asks "Where Are The Jobs?" But Forgets The Jobs Are In Legislation They Oppose

The House Minority Leader's office live-blogged President Obama's first State of the Union address.  One of their posts asked, "where are the jobs?"  However, the GOP Leader's office is obviously leading the GOP in the wrong direction since the jobs are in pieces of legislation the GOP opposes.

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January 27, 2010 8:23 pm ET

VA Gov. McDonnell: Brand New Face, Same Old Lies

Newly inaugurated Governor Bob McDonnell was tapped by Republican Party leaders to deliver the official GOP response to President Obama's first State of the Union address.  While McDonnell's face may be fresh, his speech repeated a slew of the same old, worn out, debunked Republican talking points.

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