A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

How Serious Is Swine Flu?

Blogs, news organizations and Twitter are all exploding with rumor and fact about the swine flu outbreak. But at the National Academy of Sciences today, President Obama said there was no need to panic:

Obama: We are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States. And this is obviously a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert.  But it’s not a cause for alarm.

So what’s the real terror alert level on swine flu?

Congress and Progress

Americans United For Change, a liberal labor-funded group, has released a new ad accusing congressional Republicans of opposing "progress."

The ad accuses Republicans of voting against children’s health insurance, equal pay for women, economic recovery, middle-class tax cuts and a budget that would lead to "long-term prosperity." We’ve called this group out before for unfounded claims about the Republican agenda, but this ad sticks closer to the truth. Democrats did push through bills on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and guaranteeing equal pay for women,

Hot Air on Wind Energy

Interior Secretary Salazar said that the amount of “developable” wind power off the East Coast could produce more energy than all the coal-fired electric plants in the U.S., and that wind’s potential to replace most of our coal power “is a very real possibility.” We find his claims to …

Plane False

The conservative Web site Judicial Watch has made public e-mails to and from the Department of Defense regarding Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s travel requests. The organization claims in a press release that these e-mails show Pelosi "issue[s] unreasonable requests for military travel" and "treats the Air Force like her personal airline." A number of readers have asked us for our response to this information, given that we have debunked claims about Pelosi’s air travel.

Eminently Nonsensical

Every so often, we here at FactCheck.org get a slew of questions about some huge clandestine shadowy government conspiracy. Here’s the problem with those questions: If it’s a clandestine shadowy government conspiracy, it’s a little hard to confirm or deny absolutely. In fact, that’s what the people who generate these rumors count on. They can say anything they like, and when someone refutes it, they can come back with, "Well, that’s what they
want
you to believe."

Uninsured U.S. Citizens

Q: How many of the uninsured are U.S. citizens?
A: The vast majority of the uninsured are citizens from working families.

Rahm Emanuel Property Taxes

Q: Does Rahm Emanuel pay property taxes?
A: The president’s chief of staff does pay taxes on his home. Failed attempts to find his records are the fault of shoddy research.

More Citizenship Quibbles

Since our article about Barack Obama’s birth certificate came out in August, we’ve heard many frivolous claims, nutty theories and made-up facts advanced by a small clique of Obama deniers. It seems that every time a rumor is debunked, a new one crops up to take its place. Sometimes contradictory rumors even circulate simultaneously.
The most recent claim is that Obama’s short-form birth certificate is legitimate, but that it was made up after his birth in Kenya,

Hamas Refugee Assistance

Q: Did Obama pay for Hamas-affiliated terrorists to emigrate to the United States?
A: This claim is false. The president’s memorandum to the State Department would pay for refugee assistance in Gaza, not for transporting anyone to the U.S.

Freedom of Choice Act

Q:What are the facts on the Freedom of Choice Act?
A:Some claims about this proposal’s impact are unfounded; others contain some truth. But the bill’s vague wording makes it hard to pin down what it actually would or wouldn’t do.