Unsubstantiated ideas are frequently published in the news media without a rigorous investigation into their veracity. Following their initial publication, these ideas are cited and re-cited by other news media organizations, and sometimes the originators themselves, creating a phenomenon known as "circular reporting," repeatedly breathing life into lies so long as they are not fact-checked.
Forty years ago today, President Nixon addressed the nation to announce he would be resigning the next day -- the only time in US history this has happened. Today, President Obama announced the US will be dropping bombs on Iraq once again. That's a pretty heavy-duty amount of the past to contemplate, in one week.
The bumper-sticker party of "these colors don't run" -- the party that practically branded the notion of American patriotism -- is only around half-sure that it doesn't want to abandon the United States. The other half is split between still making up its mind on secession and totally wanting to secede right away.