A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s Auto Team & ‘The Laws of Physics’

Q:Did the Obama auto team tell a Michigan engineer the government should change “the laws of physics”?
A: This is another Internet tall tale. The supposed source of the story says he has not even met with the Obama task force.

Obama & Naval Academy swords

Q: Did Obama order a "swordless graduation" at the U.S. Naval Academy?
A: This Internet scuttlebutt is false. Graduating midshipmen have gone without swords at graduation for decades, even when Bush and Cheney spoke.

Privately Owned Gun Tax?

Q: Would Senate bill 2099 put a yearly $50 tax on each privately owned firearm?
A: There is no such bill. A chain e-mail containing bogus claims refers to a bill that died more than eight years ago.

‘Dealergate’: Mistaking Anecdotes for Data

Ever since Chrysler announced that it wanted to shed 789 of its 3,188 nationwide dealerships, speculation and outright accusations have circulated to the effect that Republican donors were being singled out. The list of dealers slated for closing contained some who had given to Republican candidates, and far fewer who had given to Democrats. One blogger’s early tabulation, based on the first five pages of the 40-page list of closed dealers, showed $120,000 had been given to GOP candidates and $34,350 to Democratic candidates in 2004 and 2008 (exclusive of presidential candidates).

More “Birther” Nonsense: Obama’s 1981 Pakistan Trip

We continue to receive queries about claims and theories advanced by "birthers," who wish to believe that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the USA or that he somehow gave up his citizenship and thus is not qualified to hold the office he occupies. One is a claim, first advanced last year, that his trip to Pakistan in 1981 proves he must not have been a U.S. citizen because Americans were not permitted to travel there at the time.

Georgia Arms

 Q: Did the Obama administration shut down a Georgia ammunition supplier? Is it trying to create an ammo shortage?
A: Georgia Arms still is doing a booming business in reloaded military cartridges. The Pentagon quickly reversed a move to stop selling spent casings.

Obama: U.S. “One of the Largest Muslim Countries.” Not!

President Barack Obama claimed that the U.S. is "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world" in terms of population. That strains the facts mightily. The U.S. Muslim population probably doesn’t even rank in the top 50.
Obama’s remark came in a June 1 interview with French TV correspondent Laura Haim:

Obama: June 1: Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.

Sotomayer First ‘Hispanic?’

Q: Would Sonia Sotomayor really be the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court?
A: Depending on your point of view, the late Benjamin Cardozo might be considered “Hispanic.”

‘Godless Dollars’

Q: Did the government issue new dollar coins without the words "In God We Trust"?
A: Congress ordered the words to be stamped on the edges of the coins, but an unknown number of "Godless dollars" were produced by mistake.

Burned Bibles?

Q: Did the Obama administration burn soldiers’ Bibles?
A: The military destroyed Bibles printed in Afghan languages to prevent distribution to local Muslims. But it happened during the Bush administration.