City LightsCity Lights's Journal
Sahil Kapur October 18, 2012, 6:30 AM 10081
On Tuesday, one of Mitt Romneys boldest claims that his new jobs plan will create 12 million jobs fell apart.
Quizzed about the claim by Washington Posts fact-checker Glenn Kessler, the Romney campaign cited three separate studies that, taken together, include numbers that add up to 12 million jobs created. But as Kessler found, the studies employ different time frames, and two of them have no bearing on Romneys policies.
And, it turns out, not all of the authors believe their research helps justify Romneys conclusion either.
I think the WP Washington Post story says it all, said Ed Morse, a managing director at Citigroup Global Markets, in an email. I have no comment to add.
Romney claims that Morses Citigroup study proves hell create 3 million jobs. But the paper actually concludes that the economy will add 2.7 million to 3.6 million energy jobs over the next eight years if existing policies, including fuel efficiency standards that Romney opposes, are continued.
More at TPM.com
McMorris-Santoro October 17, 2012, 1:35 PM 35348
Despite the immediate and mostly mocking internet reaction to Mitt Romneys binders full of women remark during the debate at Hofstra Tuesday night, Republicans appear determined to turn binders into a metaphorical theme of the campaign.
The Republican National Committee hosted a conference call Wednesday amidst reports that binders full of women was the third most popular Google search term after the debate and tried to claim the binder-based attack as its own.
The press release for the conference call advertised that RNC chair Reince Priebus and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) would talk about Obamas empty binder second term agenda. They were true to their word.
Obama didnt lay out a plan for a second term agenda. Hes had two debates, hes offered plenty of excuses but he hasnt offered a plan, Priebus said. And thats what were calling the empty binder. So either hes out of ideas or he likes the way that things are going.
Romneys binder metaphor came up during a discussion of women in the workplace and pay equality. Romney said he had sought and received binders full of women to consider when deciding who to appoint to his cabinet after being elected as governor. Ayotte defended Romneys record on women, and attacked Obamas. She also used the binder metaphor against Obama. Twice.
On this empty binder issue, its the president who has the empty binder because theres no legislation planned for the second term other than more spending. And how are we going to afford that given our $16 trillion in debt? she said.
More at TPM.com
By Igor Volsky on Oct 17, 2012 at 9:12 am
During the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado Romney managed to tell 27 myths in his 38 minutes of speaking time. But at his second encounter with Obama in New York, the GOP presidential candidate who has run a post-truth campaign from day one outdid himself and crammed 31 myths in 41 minutes:
1) I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. Were also going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school. Paul Ryans budget could cut Pell Grants for nearly 1 million college students and even Romneys white paper on education, A Chance for Every Child, suggests that he would reverse the growth in Pell Grant funding. It says: A Romney Administration will refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students that need them most and place the program on a responsible long-term path that avoids future funding cliffs and last-minute funding patches.
2) I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay. The Washington Posts in-house fact checker tore Romneys claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the new math in Romneys plan doesnt add up. In awarding the claim four Pinocchios the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.
3) And the presidents right in terms of the additional oil production, but none of it came on federal land. As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. 14 percent is a one-year number. Overall, oil production on federal land under Obama is up from 566 million barrels in 2008 to 626 million barrels in 2011, a 10.6 percent increase. Compared to the last three years of President Bush, there have been 241 million more barrels of oil produced from public lands in the first three years of Obama.
4) Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters. There are slightly fewer permits in 2009 and 2010, from between 8,000-9,000 permits to over 5,000, and they have not been cut by half. The oil and gas industry is sitting on 7,000 approved permits to drill, where it hasnt begun exploring or developing. Two-thirds of acreage leased by [oil] industry lies idle on public lands, according to the Department of the Interior.
More at ThinkProgress.org
Sahil Kapur October 15, 2012, 7:17 AM 4902
In response to the persistent and substantial questions about the math of his tax plan not adding up, Mitt Romney and his campaign frequently argue that six independent studies back him up by ratifying the arithmetic of the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.
But the talking point about the talking point is unraveling.
More and more mainstream from outlets are pointing out that they fail to validate its soundness. And on Sunday Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie was challenged on Fox News by Chris Wallace, who questioned whether the studies are really nonpartisan.
Those are very questionable. Some of them are blogs. Some of them are from the AEI [American Enterprise Institute], which is hardly an independent group, Wallace said. One of them is from a guy who is a blog from a guy who was a top adviser to George W. Bush. These are hardly nonpartisan studies.
These are very credible sources, Gillespie said.
More at TPM.com link
Big Ag is spending millions to keep labels off genetically modified foods in Californiaand with good reason.
By Tom Philpott | Wed Oct. 10, 2012 3:00 AM PDT
You'd be forgiven for not noticingunless you live in California, where you've likely been bombarded by geotargeted web ads and TV spotsbut this election could spur a revolution in the way our food is made. Proposition 37, a popular Golden State ballot initiative, would require the labeling of food containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients. The food and agriculture industries are spending millions to defeat it, and with good reason: As we've seen with auto emissions standards and workplace smoking bans, as California goes, so goes the nation.
At least 70 percent of processed food in the United States contains GM ingredients. Eighty-eight percent of corn and 93 percent of soybeans grown domestically are genetically modified. Soda and sweets are almost guaranteed to contain GM ingredients, either in the form of corn syrup or beet sugar. Canola and cottonseed oils also commonly come from GM crops. But if those stats make you want to run and examine the labels on the boxes and cans in your pantry, you're out of luck. Unlike the European Union, the US government doesn't require food manufacturers to disclose their use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Californians appear ready to change that: An August poll found voters in the state favoring Prop. 37 by a margin of 3-to-1. And if they do approve the measure, food companies might well start disclosing GMOs nationwide, since it would be expensive and cumbersome to produce one set of labels for California, home to 12 percent of the nation's population, and another for the remaining 49 states. California voters already have a record of being leaders in food reform: When they passed a ban on tight cages for egg-laying hens in 2008, the egg industry initially fought it. But by 2011, it had begun working with animal welfare groups to take the California standards national.
Why the push to label GMOs? After all, these crops have been marketed as environmental panaceas, and some prominent greens have been convinced. By opposing GMOs, environmentalists have "starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment, and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool," Stewart Brand wrote in his 2009 book, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto. So far, biotech giants like Monsanto, DuPont, and Syngenta have commercialized two main GM "traits," engineering crops with the bug-killing gene from the insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and crops that can withstand Monsanto's Roundup and other herbicides. Yet GM crops' herbicide resistance has caused a 7 percent net increase in pesticide use in the United States since 1996, according to a recent paper by Washington State University researcher Charles Benbrook.