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The following is a fact-check from the June, 20, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:


REP. ED MARKEY (D-MA) | There is a BP document stating that oil flow may go up as high as 100,000 barrels per day – TRUE

REP. ED MARKEY (D-MA): Right now, again, we’re dependent upon BP and the execution of their capacity to be able to put a cap over this well. I actually have a document that shows that BP actually believes it could go upwards of 100,000 barrels per day, which would be about four million barrels a day.

According to an internal BP document which was released by Rep. Ed Markey, the oil flow rate on the Deepwater Horizon rig could get as high as 100,000 barrels per day (bpd). Here is what the document says:

Note: If BOP and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions – the rate could be as high as – 100,000 barrels per day up the casing or 55,000 barrels per day up the annulus (low probability worst cases)

Therefore, because the document clearly states the oil flow rate could go as high as 100,000 bpd, we will rate Rep. Markey’s statement TRUE.


This fact-check took 30 minutes.

The following is a fact-check from the June 13, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:


DAVID AXELROD

1) In 1994 the Republican Party had a nearly 60% favorability rating – LIKELY TRUE

2) Today, the Republican Party is at an all time low in favorability – FALSE

MR. AXELROD: Look, the Republican Party–everybody says, “Is this 1994?” In 1994 the Republican Party was nearly at 60 percent in favorability. Today, they’re at an all-time low.

According to the Pew Research Center, the Republican favorability rating in July of 1994 was 63%, and in December of 1994 it was 67%. This CBS News article indicates the average favorability for the Republican Party in 1994 was 57%. Looking at this Gallup chart tracking party favorability since 1993, it appears that they found the Republican Party’s favorability throughout 1994 to be somewhere in the low 50s (%).

According to a Gallup poll released on June 1, 2010, the Republican party currently had a favorability rating of 36%. A CBS poll in late May had the party’s favorability at 33%. The last Pew Research Center poll available on the subject was in April and that had the favorability rating for Republicans at 37%. None of these match the Republican Party’s lowest recorded favorability rating, 31%, which occurred in 1998 when the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted to impeach President Clinton.

1) Because the range of polls we were able to source regarding the favorability of the Republican Party in 1994 did average out to around 60%, we’ll rate Mr. Axelrod’s first part of this statement LIKELY TRUE(ED NOTE: We were unable to find direct links to 1994 polling results and instead relied on more recent articles by major polling firms  or news orgs that specifically referenced results from 1994.)

2) According to the Gallup, CBS, and Pew Research Center polls, the Republican party is not at an all time low in favorability but actually between 2% to 6% higher than the 1998 low. Therefore, we rate Mr. Axelrod’s second part of this statement FALSE.



This fact-check took a combined 3 hours.

The following is a fact-check from the June 13, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:


CARLY FIORINA | The last head of the MMS (who recently resigned) came from the oil industry – FALSE

MS. FIORINA: And may I just say, it was Ken Salazar who put in place the secretary or the head of MMS who just recently resigned and who came from the industry.

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL) | The last head of the MMS (who recently resigned) came from the U.S. House of Representatives – TRUE

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: The head of MMS was from the House of Representatives. Liz Birnbaum came from the U.S. House of Representatives. She was an employee for many years, and then she moved from the House of Representatives to MMS.

According to both a Washington Post article and a profile of Elizabeth Birnbaum (former MMS director) put out by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Ms. Birnbaum did not come from the oil industry before moving to the Minerals Management Service. Here is the Department of Interior on Ms. Birnbaum’s prior work history:

Before her appointment, she was staff director for the Committee on House Administration, where she oversaw strategy development, budget management and staff activities for the committee that manages legislative branch agencies. From 2001-2007, she was Vice President for Government Affairs and General Counsel for American Rivers, where she directed advocacy programs for the nation’s leading river conservation organization.

Not only had Ms. Birnbaum not worked anywhere near the oil industry, but that fact was even a point of criticism against her. Now although Ms. Fiorina only said that the former MMS head came from “the industry,” not specifically the “oil” industry, it seems obvious that based on the larger context of her statements she indeed meant the oil industry. Therefore, since Ms. Birnbaum did not work in the oil industry and did work most recently for the U.S. House of Representatives, we rate Ms. Fiorina’s statement FALSE and Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s statement TRUE.


This fact-check took a combined 1 hour, 45 minutes.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ) | There are 12 million unauthorized immigrants in America.TRUE

SEN. MENENDEZ:  And I’ve said to–you know, I’ve mentioned various times that the governor of Arizona should speak to her two U.S. senators and to her Republican colleagues in the Senate to make sure that they join us in an effort to make sure we control the borders and, at the same, time deal with the 12 million people in this country.

We fact-checked a similar statement from Senator Shelby on the 4/25/2010 Meet the Press. According to a Department of Homeland Security report released in February, as of 2009 the population of unauthorized immigrants in the United States was 10.8 million, while an April 2009 Pew Hispanic Center report indicated the number was then 11.9 million. Though his number may be a little bit high, we rate Sen. Menendez’s statement TRUE.


This fact-check took 10 minutes.

FACT-CHECK: Sen. Schumer on Stimulus Favorability

The following is a fact-check of the May 16, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | The stimulus, which was unpopular at first, is now getting more popular – FALSE

SEN. SCHUMER: The stimulus, which was unpopular at first, now, if you look at the polls, is getting more popular.

Looking at the polling we have found, Schumer is wrong on both of these assertions. All of the polling data in our research suggests that A) the stimulus package had a national approval rate over 50% when it was passed and B) it is not (nor is it getting) more popular now. Now there is a caveat that perhaps Sen. Schumer was referring to some poll he had seen that we have not been able to find – but if that is the case that poll is not supported by any others we have seen.

Here are a variety of numbers from stimulus polling over the past year: (sorry we are not more web design savvy to present them as a graph or table)

2/11/2009: Gallup poll indicates 59% approve of the stimulus bill
2/10/2009: CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll indicates 54% approve of the stimulus bill

7/24-28/2009: CBS/NY Times poll indicates 25% think stimulus has made the economy better, 13% worse, 57% no impact
8/6-9/2009:
USA Today/Gallup poll indicates 41% think stimulus has made the economy better, 24% worse, 33% no effect

12/4-8/2009: CBS/NY Times poll indicates 32% think stimulus has made the economy better, 15% worse, 46% no impact

1/10-14/2010: NBC/WSJ Poll indicates 49% approve of the stimulus, 43% disapprove
1/25/2010: CNN poll indicates 56% oppose the stimulus bill
2/5-10/2010: CBS/NY Times poll indicates 6% think stimulus has created jobs, 41% expect it to, 48% don’t expect it to
2/17/2010: Rasmussen poll indicates 35% agree stimulus has helped economy, 33% think it has hurt, 26% think it has had no impact

4/5-12/2010: CBS/NY Times poll indicates 32% think stimulus has made the economy better, 18% worse, 44% no impact
4/21-26/2010: Pew Research Center poll indicates 32% think the stimulus has helped the job situation, 62% think is has not
5/6-10/2010: NBC/WSJ poll indicates 18% think stimulus has already helped improve the economy, 20% think it will help, 42% think it will not help, and 18% have no opinion either way

Sen. Schumer gets a FALSE on this statement.


Special thanks to crowd-sourcer Joshua for assisting with this fact-check.


This fact-check took a combined 3.5 hours.