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Latest from W. Gardner Selby

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PolitiFact Texas: Claim about statues of Texans overlooks 11 swords
 A fundraising email staked a claim to uniqueness about Texans in the U.S. Capitol that made us wonder. Jonathan Saenz, who heads Texas Values, a group that says it’s dedicated to faith, family and freedom, wrote March 28 that during a recent walk through the U.S. Capitol, "I gazed up at the carvings and paintings that tell America&rsquo...

Posted: 11 days ago

A fundraising email staked a claim to uniqueness about Texans in the U.S. Capitol that made us wonder. Jonathan Saenz, who heads Texas Values, a group that says it’s dedicated to faith, family and freedom, wrote March 28 that during a recent walk through the U.S. Capitol, "I gazed up at the carvings and paintings that tell America&rsquo...
Pants on Fire: Phone calls about taxes and cops coming for you
 A phone message from a New York area code about “your tax filings” ominously indicated that if the Texas recipient didn’t call back, jail time and legal action loomed. By all indications, though, the message fielded this week by an Austin resident from a number with the 607 area code was a scam. Significantly, agencies say...

Posted: 11 days ago

A phone message from a New York area code about “your tax filings” ominously indicated that if the Texas recipient didn’t call back, jail time and legal action loomed. By all indications, though, the message fielded this week by an Austin resident from a number with the 607 area code was a scam. Significantly, agencies say...
PolitiFact: Just how much of a border threat is Mexico caravan?
 In a tweet, President Donald Trump ruled out a deal to restore DACA, the program protecting certain young immigrants from deportation, in part by warning that the U.S.-Mexico border could soon be besieged by a pile of people. “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat)...

Posted: 17 days ago

In a tweet, President Donald Trump ruled out a deal to restore DACA, the program protecting certain young immigrants from deportation, in part by warning that the U.S.-Mexico border could soon be besieged by a pile of people. “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat)...
PolitiFact: Say ‘howdy’ to your 150 new neighbors today

Posted: 17 days ago

An activist questioning plans to include a U.S. citizenship question in the 2020 census warned that if fewer Texans fill out the decennial survey, the state could be shorted government aid and full representation, both tied to population counts. “Additionally, I want to just emphasize the growth of Texas,” Jose Carrillo of the...
PolitiFact: Would 1 in 100 of us qualify as a sociopath?
 A Texas congressman commenting on the man linked to bombings around Austin before blowing himself up made a claim about the prevalence of sociopaths that made us wonder. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said on the March 26 edition of Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight”: “He’s a sociopath. He claims, ‘I&rsquo...

Posted: 22 days ago

A Texas congressman commenting on the man linked to bombings around Austin before blowing himself up made a claim about the prevalence of sociopaths that made us wonder. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, said on the March 26 edition of Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight”: “He’s a sociopath. He claims, ‘I&rsquo...
PolitiFact: ‘Criminal immigrant’ tally relies on faulty, inflated stats
 Four years ago, then-Gov. Rick Perry misrepresented state-posted numbers and inaccurately claimed that thousands of Texas murders had been committed by unauthorized immigrants. More recently, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity drew our attention when he dipped into the same pool of figures on his March 7 program, saying to a guest: &ldquo...

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 24, 2018

Four years ago, then-Gov. Rick Perry misrepresented state-posted numbers and inaccurately claimed that thousands of Texas murders had been committed by unauthorized immigrants. More recently, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity drew our attention when he dipped into the same pool of figures on his March 7 program, saying to a guest: &ldquo...
PolitiFact: With no action on gun laws, kids are told to duck and yell
 Potentially fatal guidance for children has been conveyed to parents at PTA meetings while Congress avoids acting against guns used in school shootings, U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke told voters. At a Feb. 24 stop in Waco, the El Paso congressman said: “How (expletive) up is it that PTA meetings are now being conducted to...

7:17 PM Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018

Potentially fatal guidance for children has been conveyed to parents at PTA meetings while Congress avoids acting against guns used in school shootings, U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke told voters. At a Feb. 24 stop in Waco, the El Paso congressman said: “How (expletive) up is it that PTA meetings are now being conducted to...
PolitiFact: Cruz’s campaign song misses a beat on facts
 Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas debuted a song the night of the Texas primaries that set Cruz on course to face Beto O’Rourke on the November ballot. It’s not a love song. The ditty portrays O’Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso in the U.S. House, as a liberal who’s unelectable in Texas. To the tune of...

5:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 17, 2018

Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas debuted a song the night of the Texas primaries that set Cruz on course to face Beto O’Rourke on the November ballot. It’s not a love song. The ditty portrays O’Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso in the U.S. House, as a liberal who’s unelectable in Texas. To the tune of...
PolitiFact: Dog in overhead bin? Feds let airlines govern pet travel

10:56 PM Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018

This week’s reported death of a dog while on a United Airlines flight made us wonder how Uncle Sam regulates pet travel. Not a lot when it comes to pets traveling inside airplane cabins, PolitiFact Texas found. The fact-checking project is based at the American-Statesman. According to news reports including this March 14 CNN account...
PolitiFact: Despite rhetoric, abortion not listed as a cause of death
 An Austin-area state representative says more black Americans die from abortion than any other cause. We wondered about that. During his unsuccessful run for U.S. Congress, state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, was asked by the League of Women Voters what policies he’d pursue to address safety and inequalities facing women and...

6:00 AM Sunday, Mar. 11, 2018

An Austin-area state representative says more black Americans die from abortion than any other cause. We wondered about that. During his unsuccessful run for U.S. Congress, state Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, was asked by the League of Women Voters what policies he’d pursue to address safety and inequalities facing women and...
PolitiFact’s fact-check guide to the Texas party primaries
 From checking on school spending and classroom instruction to whether abortions kill the most black Americans, we learned a great deal while researching fact-checks in advance of Tuesday’s Texas party primaries. Generally, a study says, Texas schools ranked 40th nationally heading into 2017. But Texas lately ranks fifth nationally for...

3:54 PM Tuesday, Mar. 06, 2018

From checking on school spending and classroom instruction to whether abortions kill the most black Americans, we learned a great deal while researching fact-checks in advance of Tuesday’s Texas party primaries. Generally, a study says, Texas schools ranked 40th nationally heading into 2017. But Texas lately ranks fifth nationally for...
True: Texas ranks No. 5 nationally for its high school graduation rate
 Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas ranks very high in its share of students graduating from high school. In a conference call with campaign supporters, Abbott said Feb. 19: “This is one of those facts that you are able to disarm liberals about. Listen, Texas has one of the top five states in the nation for high school graduation rate. More...

9:52 PM Monday, Mar. 05, 2018

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas ranks very high in its share of students graduating from high school. In a conference call with campaign supporters, Abbott said Feb. 19: “This is one of those facts that you are able to disarm liberals about. Listen, Texas has one of the top five states in the nation for high school graduation rate. More...
PolitiFact: These two Texas heroes had ties to slavery
 An Austin school board member hinted at the stain of slavery in the Old South when she warned that changing the names of schools named after Texans with Confederate roles makes it logical to change the names of even more schools. Austin school Trustee Ann Teich said at the school board’s Feb. 26 meeting that if the board was set on...

6:00 AM Saturday, Mar. 03, 2018

An Austin school board member hinted at the stain of slavery in the Old South when she warned that changing the names of schools named after Texans with Confederate roles makes it logical to change the names of even more schools. Austin school Trustee Ann Teich said at the school board’s Feb. 26 meeting that if the board was set on...
PolitiFact: Pence points to nonexistent border terrorists
 Vice President Mike Pence says terrorists are getting caught at the U.S.-Mexico border day after day. In his Feb. 17 remarks in Dallas, Pence mentioned his visit the day before to the port at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge in Hidalgo, a border town in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. “We’ve made progress but we still...

6:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence says terrorists are getting caught at the U.S.-Mexico border day after day. In his Feb. 17 remarks in Dallas, Pence mentioned his visit the day before to the port at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge in Hidalgo, a border town in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. “We’ve made progress but we still...
PolitiFact: Patrick’s teacher raise idea didn’t actually supply money
 Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says in a campaign video posted in advance of the March primary that he’s championed a big bump in teacher pay. The Houston Republican, who seeks a second term as lieutenant governor, says: “Last year, I proposed directing more of the education budget to teacher salaries, a move that would have resulted...

8:41 PM Friday, Feb. 23, 2018

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says in a campaign video posted in advance of the March primary that he’s championed a big bump in teacher pay. The Houston Republican, who seeks a second term as lieutenant governor, says: “Last year, I proposed directing more of the education budget to teacher salaries, a move that would have resulted...
PolitiFact: Bush’s military career didn’t reach ‘retirement’ level
 George P. Bush, seeking a second term as Texas land commissioner, touts his time in the Navy in a campaign mailer brought to our attention by his predecessor. “Did you know there are 1.7 million veterans in Texas alone?” Bush’s mailer opens. His message continues: “Retired U.S. Navy officer George P. Bush is committed...

6:00 AM Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018

George P. Bush, seeking a second term as Texas land commissioner, touts his time in the Navy in a campaign mailer brought to our attention by his predecessor. “Did you know there are 1.7 million veterans in Texas alone?” Bush’s mailer opens. His message continues: “Retired U.S. Navy officer George P. Bush is committed...
PolitiFact: State share of education spending declines
 A candidate for lieutenant governor says state government has whoppingly slashed its share of spending on public schools since the 1980s. Scott Milder, a former Rockwall City Council member challenging Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in the Republican primary, poses and answers questions on his campaign website including: “Does Texas spend enough...

6:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018

A candidate for lieutenant governor says state government has whoppingly slashed its share of spending on public schools since the 1980s. Scott Milder, a former Rockwall City Council member challenging Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in the Republican primary, poses and answers questions on his campaign website including: “Does Texas spend enough...
PolitiFact: Do Texas school districts offer sex education?
 Houston businessman Andrew White, a Democratic aspirant for governor, said that when he’s elected, he’ll step up sex education in schools. White, speaking on Texas Public Radio, declared: “There is a large number of schools in Texas that don’t even offer sex education. Now that, to me, it’s bizarre. So we have...

8:43 PM Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Houston businessman Andrew White, a Democratic aspirant for governor, said that when he’s elected, he’ll step up sex education in schools. White, speaking on Texas Public Radio, declared: “There is a large number of schools in Texas that don’t even offer sex education. Now that, to me, it’s bizarre. So we have...
PolitiFact: Texas tops in feral pig population
 A publication aimed at farmers and ranchers says Texas is home to most of the nation’s feral pigs. Southwest Farm Press declared in a January news story that while 39 states have reported wild pig problems, “Texas is home to more feral pigs than any other state — an estimated 50 percent to 75 percent of all feral swine in...

9:20 PM Monday, Feb. 12, 2018

A publication aimed at farmers and ranchers says Texas is home to most of the nation’s feral pigs. Southwest Farm Press declared in a January news story that while 39 states have reported wild pig problems, “Texas is home to more feral pigs than any other state — an estimated 50 percent to 75 percent of all feral swine in...
PolitiFact: Abbott’s vow to cut tests is unfulfilled
 Through Gov. Greg Abbott’s term, we’ve been tracking and updating progress on his campaign promises through the PolitiFact Texas Abbott-O-Meter. One promise came as Abbott told delegates to the Republican Party of Texas convention: “Teachers and parents know far better how to educate our children than do a bunch of bureaucrats...

11:20 PM Monday, Feb. 05, 2018

Through Gov. Greg Abbott’s term, we’ve been tracking and updating progress on his campaign promises through the PolitiFact Texas Abbott-O-Meter. One promise came as Abbott told delegates to the Republican Party of Texas convention: “Teachers and parents know far better how to educate our children than do a bunch of bureaucrats...
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