A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

July 19, 2009

On today’s date in 1814, firearm innovator Samuel Colt was born in Hartford, Conn.
Source: PBS

July 18, 2009

The world population of Caribou is about 5 million.
Source: Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Canadian Straw Man

Two ads from related independent groups make claims about an overhaul of the health care system, saying Congress wants a government-run health care system. One ad claims that “Washington wants to bring Canadian-style health care to the U.S.” But the health care bills moving through Congress don’t call for a single-payer system like Canada’s …

Pelosi: Dubious “Leftovers”

The Hill newspaper reported today that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is already spending "leftover" money from a proposed new tax surcharge:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats could use a proposed new tax on the wealthy to pay down the deficit, if there’s money left over after funding healthcare reform.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) said if more savings are found than the initial amount estimated to help offset the $1 trillion-plus healthcare plan, the tax revenues carved out to offset the bill’s cost could be funneled toward deficit reduction.

July 17, 2009

A giraffe’s feet are 12 inches wide; its legs are 6 feet tall.
Source: San Diego Zoo

Our election coverage wins a Clarion Award

We’re going to have to get a bigger trophy case.
FactCheck.org’s 2008 election coverage has been selected by the Association for Women in Communications for one of its Clarion Awards. We’re both honored and pleased by this additional recognition, which comes on the heels of our third consecutive Webby “People’s Voice” Award for best political site on the Internet.
The 2009 Clarion competition attracted nearly 500 entries in various categories. Our election coverage won in the category of “Online Publication” 

Recycled Health Care Ad

A coalition of liberal and union groups called Health Care for America Now has announced the release of two television ads and several print ads thanking Democratic senators and members of Congress for supporting President Obama’s health care plan. The two television ads laud Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and will run in each senator’s home state for five days, according to a press release from the group. Here’s the one congratulating Reid:

If the ad looks familiar,

July 16, 2009

There were 66 nuclear power plants in the United States in 2007.
Source: Energy Information Administration

You Talking to Me?

In his remarks on health care legislation today, President Barack Obama didn’t hedge his bets on the subject of cost, stating expressly that a revamped health care system would lead to cheaper care for insured families. "But here’s what else reform will mean for you — and this is for people who have health insurance:  You will save money," he said. He probably should have been a little more equivocal. The House plan released a day ago is partly funded by tax increases on the wealthiest,

Tax-and-Spend Twittering

On July 14, House Democrats released their health care bill and Republicans were quick to criticize it. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took to Twitter, typing out: “The liberal health bill introduced by pelosi is a disaster. $1.5 trillion in new spending. Tax increases on virtually everyone.”
Gingrich wasn’t the only one to say the bill would cost $1.5 trillion (over 10 years, that is), but the other person who said it remains anonymous. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office,