The rumor that President Barack Obama refuses, or doesn’t know how, to say the pledge of allegiance just won’t die. Since early in his presidential candidacy, we’ve been getting e-mails with photos that purport to show Obama failing to properly salute the flag during the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem. The photos have reliably been real, but taken out of context. The most recent example, for instance, included a genuine photo of Obama standing with hands folded while everyone else saluted or put their hands over their hearts —
The latest anti-Obama rant to show up in e-mail inboxes accuses President Obama of an “unholy” and “anti-American” series of omissions, which it claims no other president has committed. But the fact is, Obama was just doing the same thing that Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had done in similar circumstances.
It’s a brief e-mail that first showed up in our inbox Jan. 5:
Subject: Obama Trifecta
President Obama just completed the UNHOLY and ANTI-AMERICAN TRIFECTA:
1st president in 110 years to miss the annual Army-Navy Football Game.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running a false ad claiming that "52 percent of all lawsuits" target small businesses. The claim is contradicted by the very study the Chamber cites as its source, and it’s not even close to the truth. The study shows the true figure is somewhere between 5 percent and 8 percent.
A spokesman for the Chamber, Mark Szymanski, told us the ad began airing "nationally" in late December and will continue to air until the end of January.
Would you believe that one in six Americans is "going hungry"?
You shouldn’t, because it’s not true.
Nevertheless, the liberal group MoveOn.org claimed something close to that in an end-of-the-year appeal for donations to Feeding America, the national anti-hunger charity. MoveOn’s message said: "This winter, a record 49 million Americans are going hungry because of the economy." (To read the whole fundraising appeal, click the link below.)
Dear MoveOn member,
"I’m sure we’re going to run out of food today,
Expect January to be dominated by House-Senate wrangling over the final shape of the gargantuan bill to overhaul the nation’s health insurance system.
Some opponents of the measures, though, are readying themselves for another potential fight, this one in the courts. An Arkansas group called the Conservative Action Project says it believes the overhaul is unconstitutional, and it is preparing to sue to stop it from taking effect, according to several conservative blogs (we attempted to reach someone at the organization but were unsuccessful).
Democrats are running an attack ad in Washington, D.C., and nationally on cable networks that says Republicans "delayed funding for our men and women in uniform, then they voted against it." But it’s not true. Senate Republicans did delay a vote on military funding, as part of their strategy to drag out the fight against health care legislation. But the funding itself wasn’t delayed. And ultimately, Republicans voted overwhelmingly to approve the defense funds.
Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean doesn’t like the Senate health care bill, as he made clear during a Dec. 20 appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press." Arguing that the package is a gift to the health insurance industry, Dean said the insurers’ stock prices tell the story:
Dean, Dec. 20: It is not a coincidence, David Gregory, that insurance company stocks, health insurance company stocks, hit a 52-year high on Friday.
Our latest edition of Extras features doctors going to court to stop a conservative group’s ad, googly eyes and Catholic abortion attacks.
A television ad from the conservative Rethink Reform, a recently created advocacy arm of the Employment Policies Institute, uses doctors’ opposition to the Senate health care bill to attack the proposed plan. "Many doctors fear new government plans to change our health care system," the ad says. "They understand that under the proposed rules,
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has unleashed a radio ad campaign targeting five Republican members of Congress. The ads claim that the Republicans "voted to allow the big banks to pay high-rolling executives unchecked compensation and bonuses." But that’s not quite right.
The ads are not based on any explicit vote for "unchecked compensation and bonuses." Rather, the Democrats are referring to Republican votes against H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,
This week’s political tidbits range from a new iPhone app to 17th century scientists’ correspondence.
There’s an App for That
OMG! We thought we’d seen it all. But an iPhone app designed to test your knowledge about the overhaul of the health care system? Seriously?
To play "Death Panel," the new game from People Operating Technology, players assume the role of a local official who must answer questions about health care. According to the creators,