Friday, September 19th, 2014

Break the email chain of fools

Sing out the truth for all to hear.

Like bacteria, chain emails can lie dormant for years, then pop up to spread again. Texas readers have alerted us to some circulating now, addressing tax on home sales, Medicare payments and this "unprecedented" order from President Barack Obama:

Obama gave himself unprecedented authority to take over the U.S. economy in a national emergency.

This claim went out in a March 30, 2012, newsletter from U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, and quickly spread. When a reader asked us about it in May, we called Granger’s office and learned she had issued a clarification April 30, 2012. There’s plenty of precedent, it turns out: "The practice of issuing Executive Orders on emergency preparedness and national emergencies dates back to President Franklin Roosevelt," Granger wrote.

Just this week, though, we heard from another PolitiFact Texas reader who’d received the un-clarified version. We decided to present it here and round up some other persistent myths from PolitiFact's long, long list of fact-checked chain letters.

So here’s a shot in the arm to inoculate yourself (or that coworker who keeps sending these to you).

Can you guess which are fabrications before you click to see the answers?

If you sell your house after 2012, you’ll pay 3.8 percent sales tax on it.

Answer


Medicare insurance premiums will rise to $120.20 per month in 2013 and $247 per month in 2014.

Answer


The U.S. is giving seven Alaskan islands to Russia.

Answer


Homeland Security ordered enough .40 caliber ammunition to kill every man, woman and child in the U.S., possibly to combat massive civil unrest or an invasion.

Answer


Members of Congress, their families and staff are exempt from repaying student loans.

Answer           


Obama replaced the American flag on the tail of his plane with his campaign logo.

Answer


"What is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons? Believe it or not ... a Congress!"

Answer


Obama’s regulatory czar advocated a 'Fairness Doctrine' for the Internet that would require web pages to include links to opposing opinions.

Answer