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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 2, 2014 / 2 Nissan, 5774

A Democratic attack ad tries to connect the dots, and earns 4 Pinocchios

By Glenn Kessler




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Before Congress, Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies"

–voice over for new Senate Majority PAC ad attacking Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who is challenging Sen. Mark Pryor (D)

This attack ad attempts to connect the dots: Rep. Tom Cotton made a fortune working for insurance companies, the story goes, and so he would happily do their bidding as Republicans dismantle Medicare. The ad even helpfully provides an image of connected dots.

The problem is that these dots are as phony as a three-dollar bill. Let's take a look, going through each of the key statements. This analysis expands on the Truth Teller treatment that the ad gets above, so be sure to watch the video as well.

"Before Congress, Cotton got paid handsomely working for insurance companies"

The core of the ad is that Cotton worked for insurance companies. Without that factoid, the ad would not hold together.

The ad cites a Politico article and Cotton’s financial disclosure report but neither mention anything about employment in the insurance industry.

As evidence, Ty Matsdorf of Senate Majority PAC pointed to a Facebook biography of Cotton. Most of the bio focuses on Cotton's military service, but it notes that he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company. "As a businessman, Tom has advised some of America's most respected companies on business strategy, operations, finance, and marketing," the bio says. "His industry experience includes agribusiness, health care, oil and gas, food processing, insurance, and aerospace."

Okay, so he didn't work in insurance. He was just a management consultant, which means he was part of a team that was hired to offer advice on efficiency and business practices, flitting from one industry to another.

But there is even less to the story. David Ray, a Cotton spokesman, says that Cotton never actually worked for an insurance company as even a consultant. Instead, Ray says the "insurance" in the bio refers to an assignment working for the Federal Housing Authority, in the office of multifamily housing programs, to improve its service in providing insurance to lenders who finance apartment buildings. In other words, he worked on an assignment to make the government more efficient. (The successful effort is described on page 10 of this McKinsey report.)

Ray provided a statement from Priam Dutta, Cotton's boss at McKinsey: "Tom and I were colleagues at McKinsey. I was his team leader on a project in which we served the Federal Housing Authority, which represented his only insurance industry experience. He did not work for any insurance companies."

(Note: Dutta contributed $1,000 to Cotton's congressional campaign in 2011.)

Interestingly, the state of Arkansas, which has a Democratic governor, last year paid at least $54 million to McKinsey, suggesting that its services are valued in the state.

As for Cotton's pay, the financial disclosure report shows he earned $85,000 from McKinsey in 2011. We will leave it to readers to decide if that means he was paid "handsomely."

"Now Cotton wants to end Medicare's guarantee, giving billions in profits to insurance companies…"

As we have noted before, Senate Majority PAC seems stuck in a time warp on this talking point, referring back to an older version of the House Republican plan to transform the health-care system for the elderly by offering beneficiaries help in buying private insurance, known as "premium support."

The plan, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was substantially changed in 2012 to include an option for seniors to keep the traditional fee-for-service Medicare plan if they preferred. So the "guarantee" is now there. (Claiming a federal program has a “guarantee” is a bit odd because a future Congress can change the terms of any government program.)

Would the GOP plan give "billions in profits" to insurance companies? The ad cites as its source a 2012 article in The New Republic, which in turn was based on an analysis by an Obama campaign adviser. We won't get into the weeds of this debate, except to note that the author states "for the record" that it would be an "over-simplification" to claim that the GOP Medicare plan "would take your money and give to the insurance companies for their profits."

"…while costing seniors $6,000 more a year"

This is another talking point long past its due date. The $6,000 claim is based on a 2011 analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using data from the Congressional Budget Office, regarding Ryan's original plan. The report said that in 2022, when the premium support system was expected to go into effect, a beneficiary's out-of-pocket expenses would double, from $6,000 to $12,000.

But when Ryan's plan changed, so did the numbers, in part because Ryan allowed Medicare spending to grow slightly faster than the nation's economy (+0.5 percent), the same growth rate as President Obama's budget. (The first version had capped growth at the rate of inflation.)



The premium support payment would be based on the cost of the second least-expensive private plan or traditional Medicare, whichever is lower. Any difference in costs would need to be made up by the beneficiary. But Medicare benefits of at least one plan supposedly would be covered by the premium-support payment.

Besides, Cotton wasn’t even in Congress in 2011, making is especially odd that the ad would cite estimates concerning the 2011 plan.

The CBO did not do the same sort of extensive analysis of the revised Ryan plan, so there are no numbers as definitive as the original estimate of a $6,000 gap. CBO did say "beneficiaries might face higher costs," and other analyses have suggested any increase would be much lower than the earlier $6,000 estimate.

Such estimates are highly speculative. Even if enacted-unlikely as long as Democrats control the presidency or at least one house of Congress-the Republican plan would not go into effect for at least 10 years. So readers should simply ignore such hard-and-fast claims of specific cost increases.

The Pinocchio Test

None of the allegations made about Cotton or his policies are factually correct. In straining to somehow tie Cotton to insurance companies, Senate Majority PAC has managed to turn a job that Democrats might celebrate (developing a better functioning government program!) into a negative. The Medicare claims are so stale-and so repeatedly discredited-we can assume that polling indicates that the language is effective in moving voters, despite its falsity.

Four Pinocchios

 

pinocchio

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Comment on Glenn Kessler's column by clicking here. >

An award-winning journalism career spanning nearly three decades, Glenn Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street. He was The Washington Post's chief State Department reporter for nine years, traveling around the world with three different Secretaries of State. Before that, he covered tax and budget policy for The Washington Post and also served as the newspaper's national business editor. Kessler has long specialized in digging beyond the conventional wisdom, such as when he earned a "laurel" from the Columbia Journalism Review



Previously:

03/31/14: Presidential deceptions --- and their consequences (Incl. video)

03/03/14: Harry Reid's claim that the 'vast majority' of AFP’s Obamacare ads are 'lies'

02/25/14: Obama's claim that 7 million got 'access to health care for the first time' because of his Medicaid expansion

02/11/14: Durbin's claim that 10 million now have health insurance because of Obamacare

01/29/14: Fact Checking the 2014 State of the Union address

01/06/14: The White House's claim that 7 million enrolled in Obamacare 'was never our target number'

01/06/14: Schumer's claims about Democratic and GOP efforts to 'fix' Obamacare

12/12/13: Harry Reid's explanation for why not all of his staff is going on 'Obamacare'

09/05/13: History lesson: When the United States looked the other way on chemical weapons

07/09/13: George W. Bush returns as a uniter

06/11/13: Obama's claim of 500,000 manufacturing jobs, month after month

05/15/13: Prez's claim he called Benghazi an 'act of terrorism'

02/21/13: Obama and early childhood education: a rhetorical leap of faith

02/14/13: Fact checking the 2013 State of the Union speech

10/23/11: Fact Checking the Final Debate

07/10/11: Obama's misleading tweet on Romney's taxes

02/21/11: The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul

12/29/11: Ron Paul and Ronald Reagan (Fact Checker biography)

12/08/11: Romney versus Gingrich: a Super PAC's over-the-top ad

12/08/11: Obama's Kansas speech: some suspect facts

11/18/11: The Obama campaign's spin on the Romney tax plan

09/27/11: Obama' strained symbolism at an Ohio River bridge

08/25/11: Obama's claim that GOP is holding up trade deals

08/11/11: Obama's claim that the debt problem can ‘go away’

06/22/11: AARP's misleading ad about balancing the budget

05/24/11: A rare Geppetto for Paul Ryan's assertion on Obama's hidden top marginal tax rate

05/16/11:Obama administration boasting about border security

05/11/11: Kathleen Sebelius's outrageous claim that cancer patients would 'die sooner' under the GOP Medicare plan

05/09/11: A gusher of oil rhetoric

05/04/11: The Obama administration's odd claims on export growth

04/28/11: How effective are sanctions in ‘changing behavior’?

04/14/11: ‘Biggest cuts in U.S. history’? Well, no.

04/08/11: Nancy Pelosi's absurd math on senior citizens losing their meals

04/06/11: Hillary Clinton's uncredible statement on Syria

03/25/11: Libya, Obama and the tragedy in Darfur

03/22/11: Gifts of bogus statistics for the health-care law's birthday

03/21/11: Mitch McConnell's not-so-happy birthday greetings for the health care law

03/10/11: A job-loss statistic produced out of thin air

03/10/17: A budget analogy that earns a Geppetto checkmark

03/10/11: Four pinocchios for the American public on the budget

03/09/11: Obama and the White House's ‘halfway’ fixation with the budget

03/08/11: Foreign policy braggadocio on Libya and AIDS

03/07/11: Democrats keep misleading on claimed budget ‘cuts’

03/01/11: Mike Huckabee is on to something here, but jumped the gun

02/25/11: Harry Reid's illusory $41 billion in budget cuts


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