Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Giving thanks for True statements

Happy Thanksgiving from PolitiFact!
Happy Thanksgiving from PolitiFact!

Let’s talk turkey.

We spend the entire year singling out politicians and pundits who, ahem, stretch the truth. And those false statements tend to get the most attention. After all, our Pants On Fire rating has burned quite a few buns in the past 11 months.

But there’s plenty of time yet for us to put together our naughty list for the year. ‘Tis the season for giving thanks, and we’re thankful that not everything out of the mouths of politicians is exaggerated, fabricated or just plain wrong.

In the spirit of the holiday, here are the 10 True statements from 2013 that we’re most thankful for, or at least found entertaining enough to keep you awake no matter how much tryptophan is in your system.

Says new Medicare billing guidelines "have nine codes for (injuries by) turkeys."

Ted Poe, April 25, 2013, in an interview on Fox Business Network

Cats have nine lives, but turkeys get nine codes in the most up-to-date "International Classification of Diseases" published by the World Health Organization. Doctors have to comply with the latest version of the publication when they submit claims to Medicaid and Medicare, and it includes three different variances for getting struck, pecked and some other injury caused by contact with a turkey. This won’t apply, however, if Grandpa cuts his hand while slicing the turkey this Thanksgiving.

"There was a Gallup poll in Egypt last year, and 70 percent of Egyptians don't want our money."

Rand Paul, July 8, 2013, in a Fox News interview

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has picked up the mantle from his father as the voice of the libertarian movement in the United States (and became a prime candidate for president in 2016 along the way). After the Egyptian military ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Paul questioned whether U.S. dollars should support a regime after a coup, and dropped this truth bomb during a Fox News interview: Most Egyptians don’t want America’s financial aid. Chew on that with your stuffing.

"Rand Paul’s speech ... on 'Gattaca' was totally ripped off of Wikipedia."  

Rachel Maddow, Oct. 28, 2013, in comments on her TV show

Speaking of Paul, we doubt he’ll be sharing his Thanksgiving dinner with Rachel Maddow. The left-wing MSNBC host conducted an investigation into a speech the Kentucky senator gave at Liberty University, only to find that portions of it were straight from the pages of Wikipedia. Our own fact-check into his remarks proved her right. But don’t worry, Senator Paul. Our invitation to Maddow’s Thanksgiving festivities was probably lost in the mail, too.

"Since Newtown, more people have died at the end of a gun than we have lost in Afghanistan."

Joe Biden, June 18, 2013, in a tweet from Barack Obama's Twitter feed

The gun control debate dominated headlines for a good part of the year following the deadly mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Speaking in June, some seven months after the shooting, Biden said more individuals had died from gunfire in the United States than American troops in Afghanistan, a conflict that has lasted more than a decade. He was doubly right.

Says wrestling was a favorite sport of Abraham Lincoln.

Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 17, 2013, in an op-ed in the Washington Post

It may be Thanksgiving, but America also recently celebrated the 150-year anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. So it’s the perfect time to reflect on the life of Honest Abe. We found it quite amusing that the 16th president loved to grapple, a fact brought to us by Donald Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary under Presidents George W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

If it is enacted, the Senate immigration bill is "going to make the Border Patrol bigger than the FBI — you could put one agent every 250 feet."

Bill Maher, June 21, 2013, in a roundtable section of the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher

The pilgrims may have been some of America’s first immigrants, but four centuries later, immigration is one of the diciest topics dividing the country. The Senate passed a bill in bipartisan fashion to change the system that drew scorn from many conservatives. So imagine our surprise when liberal comedian and late night host Bill Maher knocked the bill for expanding border patrol by nearly 20,000. His claim that it would mean more troops along the border than FBI agents turned out to be true, and his assertion that "you could put one agent every 250 feet" forced us to do math, which is always tricky for journalists.

"The income of the top 1 percent nearly quadrupled from 1979 to 2007, but the typical family’s incomes barely budged."

Barack Obama, July 24, 2013, in a speech in Galesburg, Ill.

President Barack Obama is one of our most checked politicians, if not the most, and he’s eaten quite a few slices of humble pie. But speaking in Galesburg, Ill., he made a pretty bold comment about income inequality that turned out to be dead on.

According to a recent poll, "there are more young Republicans enrolled in their parents' (health insurance) plans than young Democrats."

Bill Clinton, Sept. 4, 2013, in a speech in Little Rock, Ark.

The debate over the Affordable Care Act continues to rage on and if you take Obama’s advice, perhaps you’ll even be discussing it over your Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re skeptical of something Aunt Gladys says about Obamacare, you can read through hundreds of our checks on health care here to see if she’s right, including this statement by former President Bill Clinton.

Obama "had the legal authority" to strike Syria without a vote from Congress.

Joe Lieberman, Sept. 10, 2013 in a discussion on CNN's Crossfire

For days late this summer it looked like United States was on the brink of another military confrontation in the Middle East after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on rebel fighters. While the conflict was resolved without U.S. intervention, former Sen. Joe Lieberman said Obama could have taken action without asking Congress, a step the president deemed necessary to using force.

"We have a federal government that thinks they have the authority to regulate our toilet seats."

Ted Cruz, March 16, 2013, in a speech at CPAC

Eat out for Thanksgiving? Before you digest your dinner, know that slab of porcelain you plop down on may be regulated by the federal government. Most recently, the government intervenes just to make sure toilets are handicap accessible, but in the 1970s, the seats were also regulated for shape. We saved this one for the end, as to not disrupt your meal.