Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Busting those Obama myths (or not)

Our top story today (at least according to readers of Reuters.com):  President Barack Obama is to appear on “Mythbusters”, a television series that uses science to separate fact from fiction. It is part of a White House effort to highlight the importance of science, math and engineering, as experts warn that low interest in these subjects could damage America’s global competitiveness.

Among the myths the program has tackled before:

What’s worse, having an empty beer bottle smashed over your head or a full one?

Can a sniffer dog be thrown off the scent using household items?

USA/A myth Obama will help debunk:

The 2,000-year-old story that Greek mathematician and engineer Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using a system of mirrors to focus the sun’s rays.

Myths that Obama might wish he was debunking:

The president was not born in the United States

The economic stimulus plan failed to create any jobs

The president is a Muslim

Healthcare reform was an attempt to impose socialism by the back door.

The president is a communist.

And finally, one the president has arguably already debunked:

Obama can change the way Washington works.

Here are our (other) top stories from Washington today…

Midterm election weighs on Obama’s foreign policy

With the public fixated on high unemployment and a sputtering economy, and the 2012 presidential race approaching, President Obama is likely to keep his focus where the votes are — on domestic priorities. While predecessors have used foreign policy to stay relevant when stymied by a hostile Congress, Obama can hardly afford to be distracted from bread-and-butter issues. “The notion that somehow he’s going to earn his Nobel Peace Prize in the last two years of his term is not very realistic,” said James Carafano of conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

For more of this analysis by Matt Spetalnick, read here.

Obama seeks to rekindle enthusiasm of 2008 campaign

President Obama sought to recapture the magic of his 2008 campaign, holding a large open-air rally in Ohio to help struggling Democratic candidates in the Midwestern state. “Everybody said ‘No, you can’t,’ and in 2008 you showed them, ‘Yes, we can,’” Obama told a cheering crowd of 35,000 people at Ohio State University. But he acknowledged Democrats faced a tough fight.

Obama on science: “We don’t play for second place here in America”

President Barack Obama gave away the punchline at Monday’s White House science fair — he has taped a show for Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and he didn’t get to blow anything up.

USA/“I was a little frustrated with that,” Obama said, before he introduced a team of high school freshmen who built a solar-power car, seventh graders who designed a better sports helmet and high school students who designed a new kind of motorized chair for a disabled classmate.

The White House Science Fair, designed to highlight improved science and technology education, was a kickoff to a week-long science fair on the National Mall that is meant to get Americans kids fired up about science, math and engineering.