A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Nazi Symbols at Town Halls: The Real Story

Recent comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that swastikas and other Nazi imagery had been appearing at lawmakers’  town hall meetings on health care set off furious rounds of tweeting and blogging by outraged conservatives.
The episode began when the California Democrat was asked by a reporter whether she thought there was "legitimate grassroots opposition" at the meetings to congressional health care overhaul plans. She replied:

 Pelosi: I think they are Astroturf. You be the judge …

Pelosi: Dubious “Leftovers”

The Hill newspaper reported today that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is already spending "leftover" money from a proposed new tax surcharge:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democrats could use a proposed new tax on the wealthy to pay down the deficit, if there’s money left over after funding healthcare reform.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) said if more savings are found than the initial amount estimated to help offset the $1 trillion-plus healthcare plan, the tax revenues carved out to offset the bill’s cost could be funneled toward deficit reduction.

What’s in a Number?

The National Republican Congressional Committee has released a new ad attacking Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia for voting with "(Barack) Obama and Nancy Pelosi" for the Waxman-Markey energy bill. It’s part of a broader effort to target several Democratic members.

The ad says the bill will result in lost jobs and cost "middle class families" $1,870 a year. That sounds pretty dire, until you consider that this week we posted an item about the Office of the Republican Whip Eric Cantor’s claim that the same bill would "impose a national energy tax of up to $3,100."

Pelosi’s Tortured Denials

Speaker Pelosi said in February that she was “never” told that the CIA was using waterboarding in interrogations. Then in May she changed her story to say she was told, but still claimed it was not quite as early as the CIA said. On that point she’s contradicted, however, both …

Now THAT’S an Unemployment Crisis!

Fox News host Chris Wallace caught Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi drastically overstating the employment situation on January 18:
PELOSI: But in terms of what we have to do in the first 100 days, we must address the needs of this country. Five hundred million people will lose their jobs each month until we have an economic package.
WALLACE: No, 500,000.
PELOSI: What did I say, million?
WALLACE: Yes, 500 million. That would really be a recession.

Sliming Pelosi

Pelosi has taken her place with Obama and Palin as a favorite target of false claims in chain e-mails, judging by the examples our readers send us. Here’s the truth about some of the bunk being thrown at her by anonymous Internet rumormongers. Her husband does not own a …

Nancy Pelosi’s Personal Jet

Q: Did Nancy Pelosi order up a 200-seat jet for her personal use?

A: The Democratic House speaker normally flies in a 12-seat Air Force jet, just as her Republican predecessor did. This rumor stems from a request by the House sergeant at arms, not Pelosi, for a jet large enough to reach California without refueling.

Year-end Whoppers

Summary

We've often said that the spin never stops in Washington. And the weeks since Nov. 4 offer further evidence of that.
Consider some of the bogus claims we've debunked just since Election Day:

It's not true that unionized auto workers at Detroit's Big Three make more than $70 an hour, as claimed by some opponents of federal aid.
And no, 3 million workers won't be tossed out of work if aid is not forthcoming,

Special Favors from Nancy Pelosi?

Q: Did Nancy Pelosi get wage breaks and tax credits for the American Samoan operations of a company in which her husband owns $17 million worth of stock?
A: This widely e-mailed claim is false. Pelosi’s husband doesn’t own that stock, despite what a bogus Wikipedia entry briefly claimed. Furthermore, American Samoa never got the minimum wage exemption it sought.

IRAs, 401(k)s and You

Q: Are congressional Democrats talking about confiscating IRA and 401(k) investment accounts?
A: No. There’s no plan to seize these accounts. One House witness at a committee hearing proposed to allow some people to trade their old accounts for a new type that would be less risky.