Ask FactCheck: Week ending Feb. 1

February 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST answers your questions about U.S. politics.

Feb. 1, 2008

Q: Does the official jobless rate fail to count people who have no unemployment benefits? A: They are counted, too. The rate is based on a huge survey and counts those who are out of work whether they get benefits or not.

Q: Is the Congressional Black Caucus racially exclusive? A: Yes. It has never had a white member in its 36-year history. However, its stated mission is to work for "America's neglected citizens," whatever their color.

Q: Did more soldiers die during Bill Clinton's term than have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan? A: Actually, even counting non-combat fatalities, more military personnel died during the first six years of George Bush's tenure than during the entire eight years that Bill Clinton was in office.

Q: What is an earmark? A: Earmarks are government funds that are allocated by a legislator for a particular pet project, often without proper review.

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