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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

February 7, 2010

Permafrost is ground that remains frozen for at least two consecutive years.
Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center

February 6, 2010

December 2009 set a record for the greatest snow extent over North America in the 44-year history of snow cover maps produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Source: NOAA

February 5, 2010

The percentage of non-elderly persons in the U.S. with private health insurance was 79 percent in 1968; it remained around that level until 1980, and then dropped to 67 percent by 2007.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

February 4, 2010

In a 2009 survey, 6 percent of adults under age 65 said they had requested a refill of a prescription via the Internet and 3 percent said they had made a medical appointment online.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

The Big Bank Bailout Bill?

A third-party group, the Committee for Truth in Politics, is out with an ad blasting the House’s "Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act." The group, which has no Web site and has made no disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, was created by a North Carolina GOP operative, according to National Public Radio, and is represented by lawyer James Bopp, who sued the FEC on the grounds that the group shouldn’t have to file any kind of spending report to that agency.

Not A Fake, But A Stretch

Debunking e-mail rumors today seems to require that one be an image analysis expert. We regularly get requests to say whether pictures are real or a result of Photoshop. While some of the photos are obviously fabricated, like the one of the president and first lady in stereotypical "pimp and ho" getup, others are more subtle. For instance, we found that the picture being circulated as "Obama’s crotch salute" was a real photo, but that the circumstances were being grievously misrepresented.

February 3, 2010

In a 2009 survey, half (51 percent) of adults under age 65 said they had used the Internet to look up health information during the previous 12 months.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1

This week, readers sent us comments on Dr. Koop’s health care ad, FactCheck merchandising, and word choice in articles and letters. 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.

February 2, 2010

The Groundhog Day tradition was brought to the United States by German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania, and it has its roots in the Christian Candlemas Day.
Source: Punxsutawney Groundhog Club

Sunday Morning Stumbles

A lot of talking gets done on the Sunday morning shows, so it's no surprise that a verbal mishap or two might turn up.
For instance, yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union with John King," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dissed the Democratic health care overhaul bills, saying the American people don't like them either.

McConnell, Jan. 31: We know the public is overwhelmingly against the bill. In the NPR poll last week,