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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 Dec. 22, 2011 26 Kislev, 5772

Romney versus Gingrich: a Super PAC's over-the-top ad

By Glenn Kessler




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | “As Speaker, Gingrich supported taxpayer funding of some abortions.”

--from a new ad in Iowa sponsored by “Restore Our Future”

Super PACS will cause endless headaches for fact checkers this political season. The advertisements they produce are often insidiously inaccurate.

 A good example is the latest advertisement trashing Newt Gingrich, “Smile,” by Mitt Romney’s Super PAC--Restore Our Future--which is spending more than $3 million just in Iowa in the weeks before the Jan. 3 caucuses. The former House Speaker certainly has some baggage from his long political career, as the ad asserts, but that would be all the more reason not to need to twist the truth.

Brittany Gross, a Restore Our Future spokesman, declined to answer questions. “We aren’t commenting on the ad,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Thanks for reaching out.”

 Let’s take a tour through some of the more egregious fouls in the ad.

“Freddie Mac, which helped cause the economic collapse, paid Newt Gingrich $30,000 an hour for a total of at least $1.6 million.”

The suggestion here is that Freddie Mac caused the 2008 economic crash, which is a simplistic assertion. Restore Our Future cited as a source an opinion article written by Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute, but his theories are not the consensus view. Joe Nocera of The New York Times on Tuesday explained well the problems with this claim.

The $30,000 an hour figure comes from a Washington Post back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it was intended to be a bit tongue in cheek, poking fun at Gingrich’s assertion of how little time he spent working on the Freddie Mac. Perhaps Gingrich was hoist on his own petard, but there is no evidence he was actually paid $30,000 an hour.

Nancy “Pelosi and Gingrich co-sponsored a bill that gave $60 million a year to a United Nations program supporting China’s brutal ‘one child’ policy.”

We looked up this bill, H.R. 1078, which was introduced in February 1989. (Note the date—this was almost 23 years ago.) The legislation was dubbed the “Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989,” and it sought to set goals to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The ad suggests the legislation was only about the U.N. program, when in fact that was just a minor part.

Moreover, Gingrich and Pelosi were among 144 co-sponsors of the bill; it was not just their bill. In any case, the proposed legislation never even advanced to a vote in a subcommittee or committee. The ad, using the word “gave,” strongly suggests that bill was successfully voted into law. But instead it sank without a trace, only to be resurrected more than two decades later by political opposition researchers.

“As Speaker, Gingrich supported taxpayer funding of some abortions.”

This assertion is based on a somewhat uninformed Chicago Tribune account about an appearance by Gingrich on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on April 9, 1995.

Small wonder that the ad does not cite the actual text of the interview, because then it would have been clear that Gingrich was simply reiterating the text of the so-called Hyde Amendment at the time, which banned public funding of abortions except in cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the mother. (See, “some abortions”!)

This is again ancient history but at the time Gingrich faced a revolt from moderate Republicans over a push by conservatives (led by then Rep. Ernest Istook) to give states the right to refuse to fund abortions even in cases of rape or incest. Gingrich sidetracked that effort in order to hold onto moderate votes for economic-related bills, but the ad gives the impression that Gingrich was somehow not in the Republican mainstream. Far from it. In fact, even the conservative effort was not aimed at a complete ban of all abortions.

Asked if Gingrich believed Congress should block federal funding even in cases of rape and incest, Gingrich responded:

“No. First of all, I think you should have funding in the case of rape or incest or life of the mother, which is the first step. But, again, it often gets misreported. The Clinton administration has instructed states that they must pay for abortion in cases they don't agree with. Thirty states, in effect, have been told by the Clinton administration that the federal government will tell them what they have to spend their money on. All Istook's amendment did was allow each of the states to make their own decisions. He did not enforce on them not paying for it, nor did he enforce on them paying for it. He allowed each state to decide.”

In other words, this ad has a pretty sleazy mischaracterization of Gingrich’s anti-abortion position, clearly designed to alienate the religious right in Iowa.

Do we need to note that just months before Gingrich made these remarks, Romney had run for a Senate seat in Massachusetts pledging to protect the abortion rights enshrined in the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling?

“Newt is the only Speaker of the House in history to be reprimanded.”

This was not Gingrich’s finest hour, and we have previously written how he mischaracterizes it himself. But it is worth noting that House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) resigned before he could be reprimanded (for an ethics complaint instigated by Gingrich). So it is a stretch to suggest that Gingrich is the only speaker to have landed in ethics trouble.

The Pinocchio Test

Interestingly, Romney on Tuesday expressed dismay at the growth of Super PACs, saying “campaign finance law has made a mockery of our political campaign season.” 

There is an easy way for him to deal with this issue—publicly demand that his Super PAC stop running such misleading ads. While he claimed that communicating with the Super PAC would land him in the “big house,” there is nothing to stop him from denouncing such ads as unbecoming to his campaign.

 The ad overall might merit three Pinocchios but the abortion language is so underhanded that it really discredits the entire ad.

Four Pinocchios


 

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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:

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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