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Friday, February 24, 2012

In fact-based world

 After former house speaker Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary at the end of January, he was pretty much on top of the world. He was the front runner in the republican race for president, he was awash in cash. Look what happened to Mr. Gingrich since then. The green line on this graph. Yeah, total collapse. Newt Gingrich's disappeared in oblivion in the republican race over the last month, sung like a stone falling through water. So, newt Gingrich is a man currently in need of a path back to relevance. Enter potential path back to relevance.

Gas prices are at the highest levels ever for this time of year. Up 25 cents a gallon on average since the beginning of 2012.  the recent pike in gas prices while bad news for the US economy turned out to be great news for the politics of newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich released a nearly 30 minute, 30 minute long TV ad that is all about rising gas prices and what president newt Gingrich will do to bring them down. He speaks directly in the camera for 29 straight minutes. No video. No graphics, just "the wall street journal" reporting today that the Gingrich campaign will run the entire video in key cities until Super Tuesday on march 6th. Your regularly scheduled programming will not be seen tonight so we can bring you 30 straight minutes of newt Gingrich talking into the camera about energy while sitting in front of a blue curtain. 

The issue of gas prices and whether there is political advantage to be plunged from them has gotten republicans very excited in recent day. "The new York times" reporting that house speaker John Boehner has been using the potential rise in gas prices as a way to potentially buck up the spirits of republicans. Speaker Boehner instructed fellow republicans to embrace the gas pump anger they find among their constituents. Republicans are psyched!  
Republicans see political hay that could potentially get made here. And when republicans get psyched, when they think there is political hay to be made, they go on TV and they say stuff like this.

Look, president Obama has been anti-energy from the beginning. The president even gave a loan to Brazil, Brazil which is eating our lunch economically, internationally. He gave them a loan and told them, as you just alluded to, went down there and told them, we want to be your best customer.

that was Karl Rove on the fox news channel this week saying that president Obama is so anti-American energy that he gave money to Brazil, so we can buy that oil from Brazil. If you travel around conservative media circles, this has been taken as gospel for the last few years. President Obama loaned Brazil $2 billion so they can drill for oil, while he's all but stopped oil production here at home. Now, while that might make for an awesome conservative talking point, it also happens to be 100% total unadulterated bullpucky. 
Here’s Karl rove again:  Look, president Obama has been anti-energy from the beginning.
President Obama, anti-energy from the beginning. Now, according to Newt Gingrich and his 30-minute infomercial, the Obama administration is, quote, anti-oil. 

In fact-based world, here's what's actually happening to the American oil industry during the Obama administration. 
 "The number of oil rigs in U.S. oil fields has more than quadrupled in the past three years. The united states now has more rigs at work than the entire rest of the world." 

okay, Maddow, but just because we have more oil rigs now, that doesn't mean we're actually producing more oil. Yes, yes, it does, actually. 
This was U.S. oil production during the last four years of the bush administration. That’s the number of barrels produced per year. Here’s what's happened under president Obama. Yeah, oh, hey, look, oil production is up. We are producing more oil right now than we did at any point during George w. bush's second term.

Look, president Obama has been anti-energy from the beginning.

Sure he has. And I’m the homecoming queen.

The president even gave a loan to Brazil, which is eating our lunch economically.

Actually, no. no. on the eating our lunch thing, think what you will. That’s actually part of the appeal here. But the president did not give a loan to Brazil. A loan was made to the Brazilian oil company by something called the import/export bank of the United States. Not by the president. The remit of the import/export bank is to export more American goods around the world, and the way they do that is they make loans to foreign governments and foreign companies who commit to buying American products. When foreigners buy American stuff, that's an export. Now, you may like that kind of arrangement, or you may hate it, but it is not the president who made this deal. and as long as you care, this actual decision to extend this actual loan to Brazil, this was a decision made by export/import bank board members who were all appointed by George w. bush. 

Somebody, alert Karl Rove

When gas prices go up, as they are going up right now, it is essentially a certainty that some politician somewhere is going to try to make political hay out of it. Those politicians, those political commentators, they deserve to be fact checked when they say stuff like that. And when they are wrong, when they are lying through their teeth, it deserves to be called bullpucky. It’s very simple.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reading and Understanding Pet Food Labels

Reading and Understanding Pet Food Labels
Posted by: Dr. Lorie Huston // February 3, 2012

Choosing a good pet food can be a daunting and confusing process — even the names of pet foods can sometimes be misleading. Nevertheless, learning how to properly read a pet food label is a must for any responsible pet parent.

Here are a few tips to help you better understand pet food labels:

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), if a product name advertises a single ingredient of animal origin, such as “beef” or “tuna”, the food must contain at least 95% of that ingredient, not including added water. If there is a combination, such as “beef and turkey”, the combination must comprise 95% of the food. This applies primarily to canned foods.

If the product name of either a dry or canned food contains a descriptive phrase, such as “dinner”, “platter”, “entrée” or similar, the food must contain at least 25% of the named ingredient. However, the ingredient named may not necessarily be the primary ingredient in the food. With these foods, checking the ingredient list is necessary to determine what else is in the food.

For those products that carry a name that states “with” a specific ingredient, such as “with cheese”, that ingredient need only make up 3% of the total product.

Products that advertise specific “flavors”, such as “chicken flavor” or “beef flavor”, need to contain only a detectable amount of that ingredient.

Pet Food Lables
Once you’ve looked at and deciphered the product name, take a look at the list of ingredients. Ingredients must be listed by weight. It is important to remember, though, that the weight includes the ingredient’s moisture content as well. This can become important in evaluating the presence of ingredients with different amounts of moisture.

Also, a guaranteed analysis is included on the packaging of most pet foods, which will usually list the minimum amount of protein and fat by percentage and the maximum amount of fiber and moisture (again, by percentage). When comparing the guaranteed analysis of two different pet foods, a more accurate analysis is possible when the analysis is converted to a dry matter basis. Otherwise, the moisture content can significantly skew the comparison. Comparing the guaranteed analysis of a dry food to a canned food without taking into account the moisture content is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

Another good practice is to look for a nutritional adequacy statement on the label. This statement will indicate that the product is “complete and balanced” and will usually indicate whether the product is recommended for a specific phase, such as growth or maintenance. Nutritional adequacy may be determined by animal feeding trials or by providing a level of nutrients that meets an established nutrient profile. Feeding trials are considered a more accurate means of assessment in most cases.

Feeding directions should also be included on the label for your pet’s food. Though these directions provide a guideline for feeding, your individual pet may have a different requirement. Consult your veterinarian (or a veterinary nutritionist) for guidance if you are unsure how much or how often to feed your pet.