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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

April 22, 2009

Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, the same year the Environmental Protection Agency was created by President Nixon.
Source: EPA

April 21, 2009

The largest recorded lobster, caught off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1934, weighed 44.4 pounds and was at least 100 years old, according to scientists.
Source: National Geographic

Here There Be Pirates

We’ve been getting lots — you might even say a vast number — of queries about a new chain e-mail making the rounds. It’s about everyone’s new favorite topic: pirates. And the e-mail simultaneously praises the Navy SEALs who dramatically rescued Capt. Richard Phillips from three Somali pirates April 12 while blaming President Obama for failing to act more quickly. You may have seen the e-mail, even if you’re not one of the 46 people (so far) who have forwarded it to us in the past five days.

Hot Air on “This Week”

House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner was a guest on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday, and he made a remark that could use some clarification and correction.
A conversation about climate change included the following exchange:
Stephanopoulos: What is the Republican plan to deal with carbon emissions, which every major scientific organization has said is contributing to climate change?
Boehner: George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.

April 20, 2009

The two largest religious affiliations in the U.S. are Evangelical Protestant (26.3 percent of adults say they belong to churches in that group) and Catholic (23.9 percent).
Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Social Security for Immigrants and Refugees

Q: Do immigrants and refugees get more in benefits than a retired U.S. citizen gets in Social Security?
A: This is nonsense. The claims propagated by a viral e-mail are not even close to the truth.

Counting Mexico’s Guns

There’s no dispute that thousands of handguns, military-style rifles and other firearms are purchased in the U.S. and end up in the hands of Mexican criminals each year. It’s relatively easy to buy such guns legally in Texas and other border states and to smuggle them across. But is …

The Last Ad of the 2008 Campaign?

A new Democratic National Committeeradio ad in Minnesota asks listeners to call Norm Coleman to tell him "it’s time to concede" his long-fought race against Al Franken for the U.S. Senate, and  "to stop putting his political ambition ahead of what’s right for Minnesota." Earlier this week, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Franken, giving him a 312-vote victory, but Coleman has said he will appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The narrator oversimplifies, though,

Shot off the Mark

Earlier this week Americans United for Safe Streets, the gun safety advocacy group financially supported by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, released a television ad attacking former Attorney General Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a Republican running to be the state’s governor.

The ad features Omar Samaha, whose sister died in the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, speaking to camera. Samaha says that his sister’s "killer got his guns because of a gap in Virginia’s background check," and then challenges McDonnell for not wanting to close "another loophole"

Slavery Reparations?

Q: Would a bill in Congress require looking into possible reparations for slavery?
A: Such a bill exists but President Obama has nothing to do with it, contrary to what a chain e-mail implies.