A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

‘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.

Drop in the Bucket? See for Yourself.

In our "What’s in a Number" post on May 7, we noted a clever video by Salt Lake City software developer Matt Shapiro, showing how little $100 million in savings would amount to when compared with the $3.6 trillion in federal spending being proposed by President Obama (about one-quarter of a penny on the scale of the budget being equal to $100.)
Now Matt has come up with a second video to help us wrap our brains around the latest figures.

Misquoting Yamamoto

Advocates of gun rights often argue that in World War II Japan was deterred from invading the U.S. mainland by a fear of American citizens with guns in their closets. They frequently quote Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto as saying: "You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."
But this quote is unsubstantiated and almost certainly bogus, even though it has been repeated thousands of times in various Internet postings.

Was Obama Born in the USA?

Q: Has a “smoking gun” been found to prove Obama was not born a U.S. citizen? Did he attend Occidental College on a scholarship for foreign students?
A: This chain e-mail is a transparent April Fools’ Day hoax. It fabricates an AP news story about an nonexistent group, and makes false claims about Obama and the Fulbright program.

Did Obama Misquote Churchill?

In the New York Times‘ "Caucus" blog today, Kate Phillips offers a well-documented and thorough analysis of a lingering controversy: Did Winston Churchill really say about torture what President Obama says he did?
There has been considerable back-and-forth elsewhere regarding this passage in the president’s "100 days" news conference:

Obama, April 29: I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day, talking about the fact that the British during World War II,

H.R. 1388 Passed ‘Behind Our Backs?’

Q: Was H.R. 1388 passed “behind our backs”?
A: This latest e-rumor is a double-header. It recycles one false claim and alludes to another. We’ve debunked both before.

Warned About bin Laden?

Q: Did Oliver North warn Al Gore about Osama bin Laden at Senate hearings in 1987?
A: This ridiculous hoax has been circulating since 2001, even though the secretary of the U.S. Senate and North himself have debunked it.

100 Days of Spin

After 100 days in office, we find President Obama is sticking to the facts – mostly. Nevertheless, we find that the president has occasionally made claims that put him and his policies in a better light than the facts warrant. He has claimed that private economists agreed with the forecast in …

An Unlawful Congress?

Q: Have 84 members of Congress been arrested for drunk driving in the last year? Have seven been arrested for fraud?
A: We judge these statistics to be not credible. They originated nearly a decade ago with a Web site that still refuses to provide any proof or documentation, or even to name those accused.