Romney’s Unraveling Claim That Six Studies Validate His Tax Plan: “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. […] Of the six studies, two are blog posts by the conservative American Enterprise Institute; one is a report by the Republican-friendly Heritage Foundation; one is a paper by Princeton professor and former George W. Bush adviser Harvey Rosen; the fifth and sixth are a paper and Wall Street Journal op-ed by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, an adviser to the Romney campaign. In addition, not all the studies appear to reach the same conclusion as Romney. He contends they show that it’s possible to lower tax rates across the board by 20 percent and avoid adding to the deficit by unwinding deductions and credits for high incomes. That’s not the case.” From TPM.
HPV shots don’t make teen girls promiscuous: “The researchers didn’t ask girls about having sex, but instead looked at “markers” of sexual activity after vaccination against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV. specifically, they examined up to three years of records on whether girls had sought birth control advice; tests for sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy; or had become pregnant. Very few of the girls who got the shots at age 11 or 12 had done any of those over the next three years, or by the time they were 14 or 15. Moreover, the study found no difference in rates of those markers compared with unvaccinated girls.
The study involved nearly 1,400 girls enrolled in a Kaiser Permanente health plan in Atlanta. Results were being published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Whether vaccination has any influence on similar markers of sexual activity in older teens wasn’t examined in this study but other research has suggested it doesn’t.” From the San Francisco Chronicle.
Flipping houses is once again a booming business: “Flipping earned a bad reputation during the housing boom thanks to speculators who bought and sold millions of homes in search of easy profits. But the practice is gaining popularity again as the nation’s real estate market shows signs of life. The number of flips rose 25 percent during the first half of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, according to research firm RealtyTrac, and the gross profit on each property averaged $29,342. RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said the resurgence in flipping offers another indication that, in many parts of the country, housing prices have finally stopped falling.” Areas of the country that were hit particularly hard by the housing crash have seen the most pronounced boom in flipping, as investors gobble up foreclosures and short sales — properties sold for less than the owners owe on the mortgage — and resell them to buyers eager to take advantage of record-low interest rates. The Phoenix area leads the country with nearly 10,000 flipped properties during the first half of this year. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta also are high on the list. From the Washington Post.
Louis Farrakhan’s advice for Obama: “In marking the 17th anniversary of his 1995 Million Man March on Washington, D.C., Farrakhan […] offer[ed] advice to the president and country, describing a United States still ruptured by race. Then Farrakhan spent two hours hammering at racial – some critics will call them racist – themes. To begin, the highly controversial Farrakhan accused Republicans of having “overt” racist motives in their opposition to Obama, the country’s first black president. He attacked a political process that he says is controlled by monied interests and wants “to keep America white.” […] He asked his listeners if they were disappointed in Obama’s performance, and hundreds of hands rose throughout the coliseum. “Feels like your champion didn’t show up for the fight,” Farrakhan said. “If you lose the first round or two, you go to your corner. It’s called ‘adjustment time.’ Every good fighter knows how to make an adjustment. You don’t get lost.” He said he thinks Obama and his advisers worried about the president appearing like “an angry black man.” The reasoning: “You can’t go out there and beat up on a white man. You’re going to lose the white vote.” He then turned his comments back to the president. “You aren’t going to win any more white votes by being kind and gracious,” he said. “Be a little black.”” From McClatchy.
Americans Lloyd Shapley and Alvin Roth win the 2012 Nobel for economics: “This year’s Prize concerns a central economic problem: how to match different agents as well as possible. For example, students have to be matched with schools, and donors of human organs with patients in need of a transplant. How can such matching be accomplished as efficiently as possible? What methods are beneficial to what groups? The prize rewards two scholars who have answered these questions on a journey from abstract theory on stable allocations to practical design of market institutions. […] Even though these two researchers worked independently of one another, the combination of Shapley’s basic theory and Roth’s empirical investigations, experiments and practical design has generated a flourishing field of research and improved the performance of many markets. This year’s prize is awarded for an outstanding example of economic engineering.” From nobelprize.org
Stephen Fry on Swearing: