A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Feb. 16-Feb. 22

This week, readers sent us a personal recollection of Obama’s Columbia years, and comments on climate change consensus and veep-to-veep combat.
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.

Cadillac Plans and Unions: Who Benefits?

When the White House and congressional Democrats agreed last month to scale back a Senate-passed tax on high-value health plans, it was widely portrayed as a giveaway to labor unions. For example, the New York Post reported that it was a "sweetheart deal" that would save union members $60 billion, and on its editorial page called it a "bribe" and a "big, fat wet kiss for labor unions," a view quickly echoed by Republican leaders.

Extras: Biblical Derivatives, Teleprompters and Pelosi’s Plane

In this edition of FactCheck Extras, we look at the history of derivatives, President Obama's use of a teleprompter, and an old piece of bunk that won't go away.
Deriving Derivatives
The liberal group Americans United for Change has released an ad that blames Wall Street for high unemployment.

The ad says that "a few years ago, Wall Street created something called derivatives" that were used to build "a house of cards that finally came tumbling down"

February 23, 2010

The Paralympic Games began after World War II in 1948, when Sir Ludwig Guttman organized a competition for British veterans who were in wheelchairs.
Source: Vancouver Organizing Committee

Still on the Table?

So, what about those Republican health care plans? Contrary to claims made by some Democratic detractors, detailed GOP proposals, and a bipartisan bill with several GOP cosponsors, do exist. And they’re scheduled to get attention at a half-day, televised “summit” meeting at Blair House on Feb. 25, with …

February 22, 2010

About 2,500 athletes are participating in the Olympics in Vancouver. There are more than 86 medal events.
Source: Vancouver Organizing Committee

February 21, 2010

Eleven women and 247 men competed in the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924.
Source: Vancouver Organizing Committee

February 20, 2010

The United States’ Charles Jewtraw, a speed skater, won the first gold medal at the first Olympic Winter Games.
Source: Vancouver Organizing Committee

February 19, 2010

While the first Olympic Games were held in 1896 (in summer), it was 28 years later when the first Olympic Winter Games were held, in Chamonix, France.
Source: Vancouver Organizing Committee

February 18, 2010

The median age at first marriage in 2008 was 27.6 years for men and 25.9 years for women.
Source: Census Bureau