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Pants on Fire!

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Published on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 11:49 a.m.

Ridiculous statements have set the Truth-O-Meter afire lately.

Not that we didn’t see plenty of absurdities in 2010. Since we launched PolitiFact Texas last January, 29 statements have made sparks — including three we rated this month.

In a recent opinion column, state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, said Texas students "do not spend any time in school learning our own U.S. Constitution." We found about 35 references to the Constitution in the state’s curriculum standards plus several appearances on student tests and one school district’s lesson plans. Also, we learned, schools observe Constitution Day each September.

Appearing on NBC’s Today show Jan. 13, Republican once-upon-a-time-hammer Tom DeLay suggested a Travis County jury convicted him of laundering corporate money to help GOP Texas House candidates because he "was tried in the most liberal county in the state of Texas, indeed in the United States." By Texas standards, Travis County is absolutely liberal. Nationally? It’s about 57th-most liberal.

Also in January, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, said that due to a lack of stability in Iraq, "the last Christians are about to leave there." We found a New York Times article about the last Christians considering leaving their hometown in Iraq. However, hundreds of thousands remain in the country.

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Researchers: W. Gardner Selby

Names in this article: Tom DeLay, Dan Flynn, Ron Paul

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