60,000 jobs for high-speed rail? No
The statement: Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail would have created 60,000 jobs.
Charlie Crist, during a debate Tuesday night
Gov. Rick Scott refused $2.4 billion in federal funds for a proposed Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed line when he first came into office in 2011, joining several other Republican governors in rejecting federal stimulus money. But would it have created 60,000 jobs? By the Florida Department of Transportation's own estimates, the project would have created about 50,000 jobs — 23,600 direct jobs, like construction, and 26,300 indirect jobs, like those created for equipment suppliers. So right away, claiming 60,000 jobs is highballing the state's estimate. But even the 50,000-job figure is fuzzy. FDOT calculated jobs in "job-years," which refers to the number of jobs that will be funded each year. The best way to look at the rail project is to say that it would have employed directly or indirectly 6,200 workers in 2011, 21,600 workers in 2012, 18,900 workers in 2013, 2,100 workers in 2014. About 600 permanent workers would be needed to keep the rail running and about 500 spinoff jobs would have been created. That's a far cry from 60,000 jobs. We rate the statement False....
President Barack Obama will have allies if he decides to expand airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group to targets in Syria, vowed the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, on Sunday.
Appearing on three network news shows, Power touted international support for Obama's war strategy ahead of his Wednesday address to the U.N. General Assembly. But Power would not say which countries have voiced support for airstrikes in Syria when pressed by moderators like George Stephanopoulos of ABC's This Week, who noted "not even Great Britain has said they're going to join the airstrikes."...
What kind of apartment can you afford on a minimum-wage salary?
Your options may be very limited.
"There is no state in the U.S. where a 40-hour minimum wage work week is enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment," says a Facebook graphic posted Sept. 11 by OurTime.org, an advocacy group for young Americans.
OurTime.org cited the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Each year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes a report that calculates what they call the "housing wage," or the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a decent two-bedroom rental home....
President Barack Obama sat for an interview for Sunday's Meet the Press that served dual purposes: It gave Obama a chance to show resolve against fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and it gave Chuck Todd a newsmaking interview for his debut as the show's new permanent host.
Obama said the United States will go on "some offense" to confront the terrorist Islamic State, promising to provide details in a speech Wednesday night, the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. ...
President Barack Obama's lack of a clear strategy to confront the Islamic State set off resounding frustration among Republicans Sunday.
U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., lamented Obama's reluctance compared to tough talk from British Prime Minister David Cameron, who raised his country's terrorism threat level to "severe" and announced new plans to seize jihadists' passports.
"What is President Obama waiting for?" King said on CBS' Face the Nation. "It was a year ago this all started. I remember being in the White House with (White House Chief of Staff) Denis McDonough talking about the importance of air attacks in Syria, and we had allies lined up and then the president pulled the rug out. And those allies are going to be very hard now to get back into a coalition."...
The killing of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb is raising questions about the makeup of the police department and its response to the Aug. 9 shooting.
In some cases, answers are hard to come by.
On Sunday, actor and civil rights activist Jesse Williams appeared on CNN's State of the Union to discuss the shooting. Williams, right, best known for his role as a doctor on Grey's Anatomy, emphasized that journalists should not sensationalize findings that don't answer questions about why 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by police — like a security video Ferguson authorities released of Brown allegedly robbing a convenience store minutes before he was killed....
President Barack Obama's second-term promise to tackle climate change has clashed with election-year politics.
Much of the political debate has focused on the Environmental Protection Agency's newly proposed regulations on existing power plants. If enacted, the rules would curb carbon emissions that scientists say cause global warming.
Misinformation about these new regulations started even before the EPA released them. ...
How Hillary Clinton at age 27 came to defend an accused rapist in rural Arkansas has suddenly become a contested piece of history in a case otherwise decided 40 years ago.
The case resurfaced in June when the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, published a previously unreleased interview with Clinton from the 1980s. Back then, Clinton discussed her early work at a University of Arkansas legal aid clinic, where she took on the case of an indigent man charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. ...
"In the last three years alone, 13 times, the Supreme Court, unanimously, 9-0, including all of the president's liberal picks, have struck down the president's executive orders."
Sean Spicer, RNC spokesman, July 6 on CNN's State of the Union
This was a bit of deja vu for us. Just one week earlier, we heard a very similar claim from Rep. Bob Goodlatte. We rated it False....
Will she? Won't she?
For more than a decade, Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations have lingered around the political rumor mill. Would she take on President George W. Bush in 2004? Would 2008 be her year? Would she dare leave the State Department to mount a primary challenge to President Barack Obama in 2012? Is she ready to run again in 2016?
Publication of Hard Choices, Clinton's memoir of her time as secretary of state, will only feed the speculation about her 2016 plans. In it, she portrays herself as a shrewd but pragmatic diplomat, and she responds sharply to Republican criticisms of her time at the State Department. ...
New carbon regulations will increase electric bills by "$17 billion every year" and "potentially put an average of 224,000 more people out of work every year."
House Speaker John Boehner, June 2 on his website
The estimates actually come from a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study that was released in late May. We took a look at it last month, and noted it made several assumptions about the Obama administration's proposal. We warned that the findings of the study would be relatively unusable if those predictions did not come to light....
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new memoir about her time heading the State Department arrives in a couple weeks, further fueling the "will-she-won't-she?" chatter surrounding her potential 2016 presidential bid.
In anticipation of her book Hard Choices, Clinton has hit the speaking circuit, providing fact-checkers a renewed opportunity to put the former and perhaps future Democratic contender on the Truth-O-Meter. Republicans, too, are discussing (and attacking) the former first lady as they await her decision....
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn't think much of the ads that have aired this cycle from Americans for Prosperity, a group close to billionaire libertarian industrialists Charles and David Koch. "All of them are untrue," the Nevada Democrat said in February.
In the slightest of backpedals, he amended that statement later. "I can't say that every one of the Koch brothers' ads are a lie, but I'll say this … the vast, vast majority of them are," Reid said....
If you don't know who the Koch brothers are — and the latest survey says half of you probably don't — get ready to hear their names a lot this election season.
David and Charles Koch are the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan., parent company of several manufacturers and energy companies, like papermaker Georgia-Pacific and refinery Flint Hill Resources.
They also like politics: Their financial backing helped found Americans for Prosperity, a group that has spent millions on ads this election cycle in battleground races like Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina to help Republicans win the Senate....
With a March 31 deadline fast approaching to purchase health insurance or risk a penalty, the White House is engaged in a media blitz encouraging people to check out healthcare.gov.
" Healthcare.gov works great now," President Barack Obama said this week during a video appearance on comedian Zach Galifianakis' faux talk show Between Two Ferns....