A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Federal Pay Raise

Q: Did Obama grant federal workers a pay raise for next year when Social Security recipients are getting no increase?

A: The president acted to hold down the federal pay raise to 2 percent next year.

November 30, 2009

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born on Nov. 30, 1835, in Florida, Mo.

Source: Library of Congress

November 29, 2009

President Truman’s "The Buck Stops Here" sign, which sat on his desk, was made in the federal reformatory in El Reno, Okla., and mailed to Truman on Oct. 2, 1945.

Source: Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

November 28, 2009

In its pure form, tryptophan can induce sleep, but turkey’s tryptophan doesn’t cause drowsiness. Other foods, including beef and soybeans, have higher concentrations of the substance.
Source: National Geographic

November 27, 2009

The Truman Library cannot confirm the rumor that President Truman pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey in 1947, starting the White House tradition. According to the library, its staff has found "no documents, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, or other contemporary records" to back up the story.
Source: Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

November 26, 2009

In the first half of 2009, 99.3 percent of U.S. imports of live turkeys came from Canada, at a value of $9.2 million.

Source: Census Bureau

Extras: Gore, Dogs, Health Insurance and Bunkmail

Our pre-Thanksgiving round-up of bits and pieces of political bunk includes Al Gore, a fancy new dog park and chain e-mails that refuse to die.

Gore’s too hot
Al Gore overstated a key fact about geothermal energy during a recent appearance on "The Tonight Show":

Gore, Nov. 13: Two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, because the interior of the earth is extremely hot — several million degrees.

November 25, 2009

AAA estimates that 38.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the Thanksgiving weekend, the bulk of them (33.2 million) traveling by car. The total is a 1.4 percent increase over last year.
Source: AAA.com

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 17 – Nov. 23

This week, readers sent us comments on small businesses and health care, the recovery act and jobs, and a pimp Photoshop contest.
In the FactCheck Mailbag we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Lou Dobbs’ ‘Amnesty’ Claims

Q: Did CNN’s Lou Dobbs denounce an immigration bill “going through Congress right now”?
A: The three-and-a-half-minute video being circulated in chain e-mails is from 2007. Dobbs was criticizing a bipartisan Senate bill, which was supported by Bush and McCain, and which died soon after.