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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Palin vs. Gore Climate Showdown

On Dec. 9, an op-ed by Sarah Palin on climate change ran in the Washington Post. Al Gore responded to Palin’s piece and made some fresh claims of his own later that day in an interview with MSNBC. We find that both engaged in some distortions and have been rightly called out by experts in the field. …

Public Option Vs. Single Payer

Q: What is the difference between a "public option" and a single-payer plan?
A: Single-payer is a complete government-run health insurance system under which everyone is covered, e.g., Canada’s system. The "public option" is a single federal insurance plan that would compete with private insurance companies.

December 18, 2009

As of 2008, the city of North Pole, Alaska, had a population of 2,212.
Source: Census Bureau

Executive Payola

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has unleashed a radio ad campaign targeting five Republican members of Congress. The ads claim that the Republicans "voted to allow the big banks to pay high-rolling executives unchecked compensation and bonuses." But that’s not quite right.

The ads are not based on any explicit vote for "unchecked compensation and bonuses." Rather, the Democrats are referring to Republican votes against H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,

December 17, 2009

Fourteen percent of department store sales and 18 percent of jewelry store sales in 2008 occurred in December.

Source: Census Bureau

December 16, 2009

Last December, retail sales by online shopping and mail-order houses totaled $24 billion, the highest total for any month of the year.
Source: Census Bureau

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Dec. 8-Dec. 14

This week, readers sent us comments on Climategate, Climategate, Climategate, Climategate, Obama’s Nobel speech and Hanukkah. We’ve included here a representative sample, and we respond to an e-mail whose author makes an argument that would allow cherry-picking of climate data. As legislation makes its way through Congress (or doesn’t), we’ll be returning to the climate change issue.
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.

December 15, 2009

The new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, 1791.
Source: Library of Congress

What Happened on Flight 297?

Q: Did Muslim terrorists stage a "dry run" on AirTran flight 297?

A: The airline and an eyewitness say this e-mailed claim is "an urban legend" spread by persons who "live in a fantasy world."

Extras: iPhone Death Panels, Newton, UFOs

This week’s political tidbits range from a new iPhone app to 17th century scientists’ correspondence.
There’s an App for That
OMG! We thought we’d seen it all. But an iPhone app designed to test your knowledge about the overhaul of the health care system? Seriously?
To play "Death Panel," the new game from People Operating Technology, players assume the role of a local official who must answer questions about health care. According to the creators,