January 27, 2012 11:01 am ET filed under Blog
October 24, 2011 11:58 am ET filed under Blog
August 08, 2011 10:01 am ET filed under Blog
August 08, 2011 9:46 am ET filed under Fact Check
The highlight of yesterday's Sunday political talk shows was Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) deceptive performance on Fox. Ryan misled on a range of topics, from the causes of the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, to the drivers of that debt, to President Obama's policy positions, to the reasons businesses aren't expanding today, with plenty of stops in between. By comparison, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) dishonesty about Afghanistan and Social Security, Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) bogus economic statistics, and Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) deceit on deficits under President Bush and Democrats' willingness to cut spending were barely even blips on the radar.
July 11, 2011 11:30 am ET filed under Blog
July 11, 2011 11:09 am ET filed under Fact Check
This week's Sunday political talk shows focused largely on the looming default crisis, with a chorus of Republican leaders singing the GOP talking points on the negotiations. In the wake of Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) reported rejection of President Obama's proposal of trillions in deficit reduction for an increase in the debt ceiling, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dishonestly told Fox News Sunday viewers that "Nobody is talking about not raising the debt ceiling." Also on Fox, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) defended his demand for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by misleadingly stating that 49 states are required to balance their budgets every year. On CNN, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) misrepresented Senate Democrats' proposal for lowering the debt and wrongly claimed that federal revenues went up as a result of the Bush tax cuts. And on NBC's Meet the Press, presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty unleashed a series of false attacks on President Obama's economic record.
May 18, 2011 2:26 pm ET filed under Blog
May 11, 2011 4:25 pm ET filed under Fact Check
This morning on Fox News, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) repeated the right-wing talking point that the 2010 election gave the GOP a mandate to pass essentially anything they want in the name of the American people, including additional tax cuts for the wealthy. Sessions explicitly claimed the American people reject any Democratic plan that includes a tax increase on the rich when, in fact, most Americans favor upper-income tax increases as a responsible way to get our fiscal house in order.
April 11, 2011 10:27 am ET filed under Blog
April 11, 2011 10:13 am ET filed under Fact Check
With a government shutdown narrowly averted this weekend, the Sunday shows focused naturally on spending issues. On CBS, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the absurd assertion that government spending caused the recession (and not rampant fraud on Wall Street), and falsely claimed that a balanced budget amendment would help our fiscal situation. On Fox, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) repeated a favorite GOP lie about entitlement programs — that they "are not gonna be there for me when I retire" unless voters allow conservatives to rip holes in the safety net. And on NBC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) misled viewers about his budget proposal that would undo safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps while cutting taxes for the richest Americans and protecting special interest tax loopholes for Big Oil. Meanwhile on ABC, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) seemed to have forgotten that he voted in February to eliminate all Title X funding for family planning services.
February 14, 2011 5:55 pm ET filed under Blog
December 20, 2010 10:18 am ET filed under Blog
December 20, 2010 10:17 am ET filed under Fact Check
With "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the DREAM Act each put to bed, the Sunday shows shifted focus squarely to the New START arms-reduction treaty with Russia. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed that Condaleeza Rice wants the Senate to amend the treaty, but Rice actually called for changes to the resolution of ratification — a move more in keeping with the Senate's "advise and consent" role. Furthermore, Kyl's underlying concerns about missile defense are not grounded in fact. On CNN, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed the treaty's verification provisions for his decision to vote 'no,' and accused Democrats of "rushing" the process. But that's foolish — we've already gone more than a year without nuclear inspectors in Russia because the Senate is dragging its feet on START, and the vetting process that began in the spring has been unusually thorough compared to previous arms treaties. Elsewhere, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said the judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional got it right despite an error in his decision that one conservative legal expert called "obvious." And Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) ignored the Bush administration's terrible fiscal legacy in claiming that "every bit" of our debt problem comes from entitlements.
December 09, 2010 2:51 pm ET filed under Blog
December 03, 2010 3:14 pm ET filed under Fact Check
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on Fox News' Hannity to rehash the same DREAM Act falsehoods he circulated last month in a factually challenged memo. Connecting with all of Hannity's softballs, the senator ignored the DREAM Act's stringent eligibility requirements to claim that it puts all applicants on a "guaranteed path to citizenship." In fact, the bill is narrowly tailored such that only an estimated 825,000 students would ever qualify. Sessions also falsely claimed that DREAM Act beneficiaries would be safe from deportation and that they could sponsor relatives to join them. In fact, immigration law prohibits naturalized citizens from sponsoring members of their extended family, and even many parents of DREAM Act beneficiaries would be ineligible.
November 24, 2010 12:09 pm ET filed under Fact Check
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has begun circulating a memo to member of Congress that is billed as a "CRITICAL IMMIGRATION ALERT" featuring an overwhelming abundance of misleading information about the DREAM Act. Sessions' document claims, among other things, that this "Obama-Reid Amnesty Plan" would give admission preference to non-citizens, grant amnesty to immigrants with criminal records, and has no definite requirements of military service or higher education. In fact, the DREAM Act is narrowly tailored so that students with "good moral character" who have completed 2 years of military service or higher education and have not committed any serious crimes can be put on a path to citizenship.
August 03, 2010 6:26 pm ET filed under Blog
August 03, 2010 3:40 pm ET filed under Fact Check
In his floor speech this morning opposing Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) "ask[ed] and challenge[d]" Kagan supporters "to point out any errors in my remarks as we go forth so that we can, above all, get the facts straight." He then launched into an account of Harvard Law's policy toward military recruiters during Kagan's tenure as dean which contained errors of fact. We submit to Sen. Sessions' attention that then-Dean Kagan did not in fact bar recruiters from the campus (as he twice said she did this morning), and that his insistence that anti-gay discrimination in the armed forces is a matter of law and not military policy is misleading at best.
June 29, 2010 3:30 pm ET filed under Video
June 29, 2010 3:27 pm ET filed under Video
June 29, 2010 12:12 pm ET filed under Fact Check
During his initial questioning of Solicitor General Kagan, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) accused General Kagan of being "unconnected to reality" as she commented upon her policies regarding military recruitment during her tenure as Dean of Harvard Law School. However, Sen. Sessions is the one unconnected to reality as General Kagan's remarks reflected the truth of the sequence of events at Harvard Law.
June 29, 2010 11:12 am ET filed under Blog
June 29, 2010 10:50 am ET filed under Blog
June 29, 2010 9:17 am ET filed under Fact Check
Republican opening statements during the confirmation hearing for Solicitor General Elena Kagan contained nothing surprising. As expected, Republican Senators repeated many of the same talking points they've been spouting since Justice Stevens announced his retirement. But no matter how often they're repeated, these talking points are disingenuous, misleading, or blatantly false.
June 16, 2010 4:47 pm ET filed under Blog
June 11, 2010 4:13 pm ET filed under Blog
June 11, 2010 3:39 pm ET filed under Fact Check
In a June 10, 2010 briefing, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) argued that, as a clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall dealing with a child pornography case, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan indulged in "a rather personal view, not the dispassionate legal view that you would expect from a law clerk" because she expressed "shock" at the government's actions in the case. In reality, Kagan advised letting the child pornography conviction stand.
June 01, 2010 2:36 pm ET filed under Blog
May 17, 2010 10:07 am ET filed under Fact Check
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.
May 12, 2010 12:47 pm ET filed under Fact Check
During an interview on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reiterated the false Republican talking point that as Dean of Harvard Law, Solicitor General Kagan barred military recruiters from campus. In reality, then-Dean Kagan followed the rules of the school while still allowing military recruiters access to students through the Veteran Students' Association.