A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

December 3, 2009

Afghanistan is 652,230 square kilometers, slightly smaller than the state of Texas.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Electronic Medical Records for Congress?

Q: Is the Social Security Administration paying $24 million to set up new electronic medical records for members of Congress?
A: False. The money is going to speed processing of applications for disability benefits. Furthermore, the money is coming from the stimulus bill and not from “withholding cost of living increases."

McCain Robocall Sounds Familiar

Last year, Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign proposed cuts to Medicare spending to finance his health care overhaul proposal. This year, Senate Democrats have proposed cuts to Medicare spending to finance their health care overhaul proposal.
Last year, the Obama camp promptly attacked McCain, falsely claiming, as we pointed out, that the Republican was going to reduce benefits and that seniors would "receive fewer services, and get lower quality care." This year (this week, in fact),

Public Financing Comes to Wisconsin Supreme Court

Prompted by escalating campaign spending and the increasing use of attack ads, Wisconsin state legislators and Gov. Jim Doyle have enacted a bill to provide public financing for the Supreme Court’s candidates.
Would-be justices would qualify for the funds by agreeing to limit spending and by raising small sums totaling between $5,000 and $15,000 from 1,000 different contributors. They could then receive up to $100,000 for a primary race and up to $300,000 for a general election – which,

December 2, 2009

The Atomic Age began on this day in 1942 in a tent on a squash court at the University of Chicago. At 3:25 p.m., Enrico Fermi and scientists engineered the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction.

Source: Library of Congress

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 24 – Nov. 30

This week, readers sent us comments on (what else?) health care legislation, cap and trade, and FactCheck.org as spam blocker.
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.

Stimulus Jobs, Re-revisited

Reports from journalists and the Government Accountability Office last month about problems with the data on Recovery.gov cast doubt on the site’s claim that more than 640,000 jobs had been created or saved by the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Meanwhile Obama upped the ante, putting the figure at more than 1 million. On Nov. 12, for example, in announcing this month’s jobs summit, he said that the stimulus had “created and saved more than a million jobs.”

New Ad, Old Claims

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights is out with a new ad, airing on CNN and Fox News, that repeats a few of the group’s claims about a federal health insurance plan: that it could prevent people from keeping their doctor or their health insurance.

The narrator of the ad says that 14 senators’ votes "on the government-run public option plan could decide" whether you keep your doctor or your insurance plan. The "could" makes the claim squishy, but the implication is that the inclusion of a so-called public option in the health care bill will put the public’s ability to keep their current doctors in jeopardy.

December 1, 2009

On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for disobeying state law by refusing to surrender her seat on the bus to white passengers.
Source: Library of Congress