A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

December 23, 2009

The most popular holiday song played at malls is "Jingle Bells."
Source: International Council of Shopping Centers

More “Funding the Troops” Bunk

Democrats are running an attack ad in Washington, D.C., and nationally on cable networks that says Republicans "delayed funding for our men and women in uniform, then they voted against it." But it’s not true. Senate Republicans did delay a vote on military funding, as part of their strategy to drag out the fight against health care legislation. But the funding itself wasn’t delayed. And ultimately, Republicans voted overwhelmingly to approve the defense funds.

Sarah Palin’s Accomplishments

Q: Is an Alaska fisherman’s list of Sarah Palin’s accomplishments accurate?
A: There’s some truth to a number of his claims, but some are also false or misleading.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Dec. 15-Dec. 21

This week, readers sent us comments on climate change, dire health care predictions and private insurance in a single-payer system.
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.

Health Insurance Co. Stocks at 52-Year High?

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean doesn’t like the Senate health care bill, as he made clear during a Dec. 20 appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press." Arguing that the package is a gift to the health insurance industry, Dean said the insurers’ stock prices tell the story:

Dean, Dec. 20: It is not a coincidence, David Gregory, that insurance company stocks, health insurance company stocks, hit a 52-year high on Friday.

December 22, 2009

Of the $410 million in sales by U.S. Christmas tree farmers in 2007, Oregon farmers led the nation with $109.3 million.
Source: Census Bureau/USDA

December 21, 2009

It rarely snows when the temperature drops below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, not because it is too cold but because the atmosphere is too stable. Snow occurs when there is enough lifting of saturated air.
Source: NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

December 20, 2009

On average, 13 inches of snow equals 1 inch of rain. The ratio depends on the type of snow, however. Only 2 inches of sleet but nearly 50 inches of powdery snow can equal 1 inch of rain.
Source: NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

December 19, 2009

When lightning occurs in a snowstorm, it is called thundersnow. This can occur when there is strong instability and abundant moisture above the surface, such as above a warm front. 
Source: NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

Extras: Endorsements, Rockwell, Abortion

Our latest edition of Extras features doctors going to court to stop a conservative group’s ad, googly eyes and Catholic abortion attacks.
Says Who?
A television ad from the conservative Rethink Reform, a recently created advocacy arm of the Employment Policies Institute, uses doctors’ opposition to the Senate health care bill to attack the proposed plan.  "Many doctors fear new government plans to change our health care system," the ad says. "They understand that under the proposed rules,