Archive for October 1st, 2012
Well, if you do not accept my arguments to vote against California Proposition 37, how about those from three large Southern California newspaper editorial boards?
San Diego Union Tribune: Prop. 37 no way to address an important issue
Should genetically modified food be labeled and face more thorough regulation? That is a completely valid question, one that should be the focus of congressional hearings and possible federal legislation.
It is not, however, an issue that should be addressed via a weakly crafted state ballot proposition whose leading donor appears to stand to gain from its passage. We refer, of course, to Proposition 37. Its biggest backer is businessman Joseph Mercola, who runs the “world’s No. 1 natural health website.” Mercola doesn’t just sell a wide range of organic products. He is also a critic of child vaccinations, mammograms and other fundamental tools of medical science.
But Mercola’s key role in advocating the measure is not the prime reason to oppose it. Instead, we agree with the persuasive argument made by Tyler Cowen, the George Mason University economist and New York Times columnist: Proposition 37 “is full of bad ideas and questionable distinctions” and places such a burden on small farmers and retailers that it could kill them off. Cowen also believes, as we do, that the measure has some hard-to-fathom loopholes and could spawn a wave of costly lawsuits.
Proposition 37 may have some value in bringing attention to genetically modified foods and the somewhat laissez faire way with which the U.S. government has monitored their arrival in grocery stores. But it is not good legislation, and we urge its rejection.
Orange County Register: Editorial: No on Prop. 37 (food labeling)
Information about the food we eat ought to be readily available and accessible to consumers but Proposition 37 is not the right approach to achieving that outcome. Voters should reject it.
Prop. 37 would require labeling of foods that have been genetically modified. Backers believe that consumers are entitled to know about what is in their food and as such, government should demand labeling. While we would encourage the utmost disclosure especially as it pertains to food, we recognize that information comes at a cost and is best parsed in the marketplace, not with a coercive mandate. And in the case of this particular mandate, its vagueness opens the door to far too many unintended consequences.
Voters should be concerned that Prop. 37 would likely spawn waves of lawsuits, with the litigation and enforcement costs passed on to grocers and the consumers. The initiative’s language invites abuse, as a retailer “generally must be able to document why the product is exempt from labeling.” Prop. 37, according to the state’s independent Legislative Analyst, allows plaintiffs lawyers “to sue without needing to demonstrate that any specific damage occurred as a result of the alleged violation.”
Tom Scott, Executive Director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, charged that Prop. 37 would “allow anyone to sue small businesses and family farmers without any proof of a violation or damages.” He is concerned it would propagate “shakedown lawsuits.” We share his concern.
Berkeley attorney James Wheaton, Prop. 37’s author, has made a career of filing lawsuits enabled by Prop. 65. Enacted by voters in 1986, Prop. 65 required disclosure of hazardous chemicals. You’ve probably seen signs in public buildings warning that something on the premises is “known to the state of California to cause cancer.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Prop. 65 has spawned “16,000 legal actions – some legitimate, some designed to force business to settle quickly to avoid litigation costs.” Prop. 37 goes a step further. Even the minor checks in Prop. 65, like allowing the state attorney general to review lawsuits for excesses, are eliminated from Prop. 37.
What’s more, trillions of servings of “genetically modified organism” foods have been served up worldwide; and we’ve yet to see significant evidence of harm. The American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, among many others, deny that GMOs are bad for health, to date.
Were Prop. 37 to pass, the effect would be similar to what happens at the gasoline pump, where oil companies produce a California-specific fuel, which artificially drives up the overall price and acts as de facto protectionism. A California-only market for food reduces the food supply and food choices. And moreover,there are no exemptions for small grocers, but plenty for restaurants and alcohol sellers . That’s selective enforcement.
We like a California that makes room for all choices, from Walmart to Whole Foods, and allows consumers to choose what they chew and producers to be free to sell products their customers demand. Disclosure of GMOs isn’t a bad idea, and we would encourage retailers to do so voluntarily, but Prop. 37 is the wrong approach.
Vote No on Prop. 37.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise: ELECTION: No on 37
Capricious rules and endless litigation are not consumer protection. Prop. 37 counts on a superficially appealing premise to distract voters from the practical quagmire beneath it. Californians should see this poorly conceived mess for what it is, and reject Prop. 37.
Prop. 37 on the November ballot would impose new labeling requirements on some food made from genetically engineered ingredients. Stores would have to mark such food as produced with genetic engineering, either on package labels or on store shelves.
Foods modified through genetic science are no longer a rarity. In 2011, genetically engineered seeds produced 88 percent of all corn and 94 percent of all soybeans in the United States. The state’s legislative analyst estimates that 40 to 70 percent of food products sold in California grocery stores have some genetically engineered ingredients.
Prop. 37’s promise of giving consumers better information about food has a surface appeal — until consumers dig deeper into the details of this measure. Prop. 37 would apply a new mandate in arbitrary and burdensome ways that would undermine whatever good it purports to accomplish.
The measure, for example, would exempt some foods from the labeling requirements for no discernible reason. Meat from animals that had not been genetically modified would not need the new labels, even if those animals ate genetically engineered feed. Restaurants could serve genetically altered food without any restrictions, even if the same products would require the new labels in grocery stores. And the measure would appear to prohibit food from being marked as “all natural” or “naturally grown” simply for being milled, frozen or otherwise processed — even if the food has no genetically engineered ingredients. So much for providing consumers with clarity.
Prop. 37 would also swamp the food industry in new paperwork. Retailers would be responsible for labeling food correctly — and would have to provide documentation that any food not marked as genetically engineered is exempt from the law. Farmers, food processors and others in the industry might also have to keep such records.
And punctilious record-keeping would be necessary, because the measure would allow private citizens to enforce the law by suing over any labels they suspect are incorrect. Plaintiffs could sue regardless of whether the supposed violation caused any harm — a clear invitation to abuse. A raft of nuisance lawsuits over minor food identification errors would hardly improve California’s already tough business climate.
Common sense says Prop. 37’s demanding requirements, along with the threat of opportunistic lawyers, would likely drive up food prices. Yet the measure would provide consumers with neither reliable information nor real protection.
Prop. 37 is the wrong approach to addressing the merits or dangers of genetically engineered food. Whatever its intent, this badly written, logically muddled initiative stands to do more mischief than good. Voters have no need to create incoherent policy at the ballot box, and should vote no on Prop. 37.
Join me and many Californians – Vote No on Proposition 37.
Tags: California Proposition 37
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These are my links for September 27th through October 1st:
- Battleground Poll: Race still tight – James Hohmann – POLITICO.com– The presidential race is tight enough nationally that a strong performance in Wednesday’s debate by Mitt Romney could put him in the lead.A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows President Barack Obama ahead 49 percent to 47 percent, a point closer than a week ago and still within the margin of error.Romney now leads by 4 points among independents, up slightly from a week ago. The Republican must overperform with that group to make up for the near monolithic support of African-Americans for Obama, as well as the huge Democratic advantage among Latinos and women.
The head-to-head numbers mostly held steady through the past two weeks.
“The basic underpinnings of this race are just not changing, and that’s what’s going to keep this a very close race,” said Republican pollster Ed Goeas of the Tarrance Group, who helped conduct the bipartisan poll.
A solid 46 percent say they will vote to reelect Obama and 42 percent say firmly they’ll vote to replace him. Just 9 percent say they’ll consider someone else.
“We’ve never had a debate where the electorate was this polarized,” said Celinda Lake, the Democratic pollster who helped conduct the poll. “There’s a real question about how many voters are left to move in the debate.”
Obama’s overall job approval stands at 49 percent, with an identical number of respondents disapproving. The president’s personal favorability slipped to 50 percent, with 47 percent viewing him unfavorably.
- California Prison reforms’ results mixed after year– One year after Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison realignment program took effect, there is one thing everyone can agree on: California has a smaller prison population.But there is a broad difference of opinion about whether the plan, which handed California’s 58 counties responsibility for the incarceration and oversight of thousands of criminals, has made communities safer or reduced the number of criminals who re-offend, and there is no statewide data on those outcomes.California implemented realignment on Oct. 1, 2011, largely to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court order demanding that the state reduce the population of inmates in its overcrowded prisons. Today, the state has about 133,000 prison inmates, 27,000 fewer than it did a year ago.
“It’s on schedule, and it’s in practice in all 58 counties, which are quite diverse,” Brown said in a phone interview last week. “I think all in all, we made a solid transition, and thank God for the fact we had the realignment plan – or we would have been forced by judges to let felons out of prison or to build new cells, which we can ill afford.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses affair in interview– Arnold Schwarzenegger said he realized he was the father of his housekeeper’s child when the boy reached age 7 or 8 and the resemblance became apparent.Although he never discussed the matter with the boy’s mother, who kept the child’s paternity secret while continuing to work in the home of Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, he began secretly sending the woman extra money to help care for his son.Those details, revealed during an interview with CBS News’ Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, were the former governor’s first public comments on the affair that grabbed headlines and destroyed his marriage last year. They came a day before the release of Schwarzenegger’s new memoir, which is expected to delve into details of his relationship with Mildred Baena and their son, Joseph.
- Obama Leads on Expectations – But the Race Itself Stays Close– Registered voters by 2-1 think Barack Obama will win the upcoming presidential debates and go on to prevail in the November election. But expectations aside, the race remains close, with strengths and vulnerabilities for both candidates in the campaign ahead.After a challenging period for Romney, registered voters by 63-31 percent expect Obama to win re-election, his widest advantage in expectations in ABC News/Washington Post polls to date. A year ago, in sharp contrast, Americans by an 18-point margin thought he’d lose.Potential voters by a similar 56-29 percent also expect Obama to win the debates beginning Wednesday night in Denver – a result that ratchets up the pressure on the president to perform, leaving Romney, whatever his difficulties, greater opportunity to exceed expectations.
The contest between them, regardless, is far closer than those prognostications would suggest. Registered voters in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, divide by 49-44 percent between Obama and Romney, with the race a virtual tie, 49-47 percent, among those most likely to vote.
- Georgia College student faces deportation to England on 21st birthday, leaving family behind– Lauren Bell calls America home.She’s lived a decade in Georgia, yet hasn’t picked up a Southern drawl. But the British accent she brought over as an 11-year-old is gone — except for when she drops the occasional foreign-sounding word on friends.Bell, a junior at Georgia College & State University, and her family came from Great Britain in 2003 when her father accepted a job in Sparta. They settled in the quiet antebellum town of Madison, bought a house and started paying taxes.
Now, Bell faces deportation in January, when she turns 21 and will no longer be considered a dependent. She has a few relatives overseas, but her parents and younger sister, 17-year-old Emily, are here.
The family applied for a green card, which grants permanent residence, for Lauren in 2004, but her father says immigration officials rejected it in its final stages. Apparently they did not care for the wording in his employer’s original “help wanted” ad
- California allows driver’s licenses for young undocumented immigrants– oung undocumented immigrants will be able to receive California driver’s licenses under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Sunday.As many as 350,000 undocumented immigrants in California may be eligible for the Obama administration program, which waives the threat of deportation for two years for those who have no criminal record.According to The Times’ Patrick McGreevy:
Young people would qualify if they are accepted by a federal program giving work permits to those who came to this country before they were 16 and are now 30 or younger.
Brown spokesman Gil Duran said that by issuing the driver’s licenses, the state will merely be adhering to the new federal rules imposed by the White House.
- Obama 49% vs. Romney 47% in tight race nationally as first debate looms– On the eve of their first presidential debate, President Obama leads or is at parity with Mitt Romney on virtually every major issue and attribute in what remains a competitive general election, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.The new survey also highlights an emerging dynamic: the disparity between the state of the race nationally and in battleground states, where campaigning and advertising by the two candidates have been most intense and where the election will be decided.
- Ross Perot: No 2012 endorsement – warns of fiscal calamity– Ross Perot, the billionaire who shook up the 1992 presidential campaign, has largely remained silent since his emergence on the nation’s political stage nearly two decades ago and as he emerges from the shadows (in part to drum up interest in his forthcoming autobiography) he’s remaining silent about one more thing: The current top candidates running for office.Pressed by USA Today’s Richard Wolf to endorse a candidate, Perot declined, despite the fact that “members of his family have donated almost exclusively to Republicans in recent years.”
- Poll: Obama 49 vs. Romney 47 Race Remains Tight, But Debates Loom Large– President Obama remains in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released early Monday, but the incumbent has ticked up on many measures, including earning his highest approval rating for handling the economy in more than two years.Wednesday’s debate, however, provides opportunities and potential pitfalls for both candidates, the poll shows, with voters saying by a nearly 2-to-1 margin that Obama will win the series of three debates.Obama leads Romney among likely voters, 49 percent to 47 percent, the poll shows. Two percent prefer neither candidate, and just 1 percent are undecided. The result is virtually unchanged from the previous ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted immediately after the two party conventions, which showed Obama leading, 49 percent to 48 percent.
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-01 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-01 #tcot
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-30 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-30
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-30 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-30 #tcot
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-29 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-29 #tcot
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – foursquare – 8 miles done in Venice even with Carmaggedon. Now, some food and off to San Diego. (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-29 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-29
- Biden promotes free colonoscopies to seniors in Florida | WashingtonExaminer.com – Biden promotes free colonoscopies to seniors in Florida | #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Kaleida Health Agrees to $1.6 Million Settlement in Fraudulent Dental Medicaid Claims – Kaleida Health Agrees to $1.6 Million Settlement in Fraudulent Dental Medicaid Claims
- Biden promotes free colonoscopies to seniors in Florida | WashingtonExaminer.com – Biden promotes free colonoscopies to seniors in Florida | #tcot
- Biden promotes free colonoscopies to seniors in Florida | WashingtonExaminer.com – Hey Joe! I don’t want a “FREE” colonoscopy, thank you. I will pay for my own. #tcot
- Schwarzenegger calls affair with housekeeper ‘stupidest thing I’ve done’ – latimes.com – Stupid on steroids —> RT @LATPoliticsCA: Schwarzenegger calls affair with housekeeper ‘stupidest thing I’ve done’
- Memo to Mitt Romney: Go Large or Go Home – Flap’s Blog – Memo to Mitt Romney: Go Large or Go Home #tcot
- Charles Krauthammer: Go large, Mitt– In mid-September 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the bottom fell out of the financial system. Barack Obama handled it coolly. John McCain did not. Obama won the presidency. (Given the country’s condition, he would have won anyway. But this sealed it.)Four years later, mid-September 2012, the U.S. mission in Benghazi went up in flames, as did Obama’s entire Middle East policy of apology and accommodation. Obama once again played it cool, effectively ignoring the attack and the region-wide American humiliation. “Bumps in the road,” he said. Nodding tamely were the mainstream media, who would have rained a week of vitriol on Mitt Romney had he so casually dismissed the murder of a U.S. ambassador, the raising of the black Salafist flag over four U.S. embassies and the epidemic of virulent anti-American demonstrations from Tunisia to Sri Lanka (!) to Indonesia.
- Day By Day September 28, 2012 – Defaults are on DeLeft – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day September 28, 2012 – Defaults are on DeLeft #tcot
- USC – LA Times Poll: California Proposition 30 Not Winning Hearts – USC – LA Times Poll: California Proposition 30 Not Winning Hearts and Minds
- California: AFSCME Hits Dan Lungren, Chamber Slams Ami Bera | At the Races – RT @rollcall: California: AFSCME Hits Lungren, Chamber Slams Bera: via @KyleTrygstad #CA7 #tcot
- Florida: New Allen West Ad Blasts Patrick Murphy for Arrest | At the Races – Brutal is too kind RT @HotlineReid Wow, that Allen West ad is just brutal. Mug shot and all — #tcot
- California business leakage is a bummer – Katy Grimes: The word ‘leakage’ is the new politically correct term used by legislators, the Governor, bureaucrats and the California Air Resources Board to describe what happens when California businesses leave the state because of tax increases and stupendous regulations… as if any of them know what it means for a business to make the difficult decision to close a location, terminate hundreds of employees, and move a business.
- Romney Needs a Game Changer – Sarah Palin to replace Mitt in debates? RT @politicalwire Romney needs a game changer, soon… #tcot
- Quote of the Day – RT @politicalwire McCaskill on Akin: “I mean, this is somebody who kind of makes Michele Bachmann look like a hippie.”
- Kansas State’s Obamacare vision, dental mandate in flux – Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says pediatric dental and vision care coverage may be most affected by Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision not to adopt her agency’s recommendations for state health care exchange standards. The coverage standards, or benchmarks, for the exchanges are part of the federal health care reform law spearheaded by President Barack Obama and commonly called “Obamacare.” As expected, Brownback declined to sign off on Praeger’s recommendations this week, saying he won’t move to implement the federal law that has been the subject of withering criticism from him and other conservatives. “The people of Kansas have spoken clearly on this issue in two elections,” Sherriene Jones-Sontag, Brownback’s spokeswoman, said this week. “They know the Affordable Care Act would mean higher costs and fewer jobs. As the governor has said, his administration will not make any decisions regarding the implementation of Obamacare until after the November elections.”
- USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll: Support for Governor’s Tax Initiative Continues to Erode > USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – 54 percent of #CAvoters support Prop. 30 in latest USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll:
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-28 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-28
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-28 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-28 #tcot
- What About California’s Business Climate? – Flap’s California Blog – What About California’s Business Climate?
- Vote Obama and Get Your Free Phone – Flap’s Blog – Vote Obama and Get Your Free Phone #tcot
- California Proposition 37 Up in Polls, But… – Flap’s Blog – California Proposition 37 Up in Polls, But… #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Virigina Dentist Tran Vu Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Insurance Fraud – Virigina Dentist Tran Vu Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Insurance Fraud
- Atwater, Calif. rushing for budget fixes to avoid bankruptcy
| Reuters – Another California City = Atwater facing the possibility of bankruptcy #tcot #catcot
- CA-26: Tony Strickland and Julia Brownley to Debate Next Tuesday – CA-26: Tony Strickland and Julia Brownley to Debate Next Tuesday #tcot
- Is There Any Doubt that Hillary Clinton Will Run for President? – Is There Any Doubt that Hillary Clinton Will Run for President? #tcot
- Obama ducks meeting with ‘Bibi’; Clinton to meet with Israel’s Netanyahu – Washington Times – Obama ducks meeting with ‘Bibi’; Clinton to meet with Israel’s Netanyahu #tcot
- Obama ducks meeting with ‘Bibi’; Clinton to meet with Israel’s Netanyahu– The State Department confirmed late Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet in New York on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he delivers a speech to the U.N. General Assembly likely to focus heavily on the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.The meeting, which arrives amid heightened concern in Washington about the possibility that Israel is preparing a pre-emptive military strike against Iran, rounds out a week in which Mrs. Clinton has taken the lead for the Obama administration in connecting face to face with Middle Eastern leaders after the widespread anti-U.S. demonstrations that swept the region.While past U.S. presidential election years have seen incumbents from both sides of the isle avoid the hectic schedule — and sensitive politics — associated with such high-level U.N. meetings, Mr. Obama has faced harsh criticism for opting to personally avoid them this week.
In his place, Mrs. Clinton has met with, among others, Presidents Mohammed Morsi of Egypt, Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan and Mohamed Magariaf of Libya — three nations in which the anti-U.S. demonstrations tied to the recent YouTube clip denigrating Islam’s Prophet Mohammad were the most fierce this month.
While Mr. Obama gave a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Republican critics and several media outlets have pounced on Mr. Obama’s decision to avoid the face-to-face meetings with other leaders since then.
- Untitled (http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/world/africa/clinton-cites-clear-link-between-al-qaeda-and-attack-in-libya.html&OQ=_rQ3D1&OP=cfea520aQ2FPrTQ2BPx-Q2BP222P9Q2BejPQ2ArSvQ20rrQ2BQ24PQ24IQ60Q24PIQ2FPQ24Q23P2rQ20jQ2 – Clinton Suggests Qaeda Link in Libya Attack #tcot
- Day By Day September 27, 2012 – Playing Halo – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day September 27, 2012 – Playing Halo #tcot
- Clinton Suggests Qaeda Link in Libya Attack – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday suggested there was a link between the Qaeda franchise in North Africa and the attack at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the American ambassador and three others. She was the highest-ranking Obama administration official to publicly make the connection, and her comments intensified what is becoming a fiercely partisan fight over whether the attack could have been prevented.
- US ECONOMY GREW 1.3 PERCENT IN SECOND QUARTER– The U.S. economy grew at an even more sluggish pace in the April-June quarter than previously believed as farm production in the Midwest was reduced by a severe drought.The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the spring, down from its previous estimate of 1.7 percent growth, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The big revision reflected that the government slashed its estimate of crop production by $12 billion.About half of the downward revision to growth came from the decline in farm inventories. But other areas were weaker as well including slower consumer spending and less growth in exports.
- US economy grew 1.3 percent in second quarter – Yahoo! News – RT @StewSays: AP: The US economy grew at an even more sluggish pace in the April-June quarter than previously believed
- Obama: Industrial Age Solutions to Information Age Challenges– Obama’s policies, from Obamacare to high-speed rail, treat people as identical cogs in a very large machine, part of a mindless mass that would not be able to get along without government guidance.In the information age, these industrial age policies have prevented the vibrant economic growth which gives young people the opportunity to find work and community service that maximizes their own special talents and interests — to shape their own world and choose their own future.
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Day By Day by Chris Muir
Chris, just wait until you hear the “softball” questions from the MSM moderators at Wednesday night’s Presidential debates.
Do you really think that Obama will invoke it is Bush’s fault?
And, if the President does, do you think former Bush Administration officials or President “W” will actually defend themselves?
Wednesday night is shaping up to be quite a show…
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