It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Obama and Romney Lay Out Science and Technology Positions

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 04:58 PM
link   
Obama and Romney Lay Out Science and Technology Positions


In the midst of the full-frontal politics that now passes for the nominating conventions of the two major political parties in the United States came a modest opportunity for sober reflection by the candidates on some crucial but oft-neglected issues—policies dealing with science and technology.


A Minnesota-based group called "SicenceDebate" (a media partner to Scientific American) has compiled a list of answers from both of the contenders for President of the United States. It is entitled; "The Top American Science Questions: 2012". Our source's author from the IEEE website also is a steering committee member of ScienceDebate so it appears that this source may be used in MSM for comments regarding the candidates’ positions...

I thought it might be a good exercise to take a look at what responses they received and what it is that we can infer from the deconstruction of their answers.

The author makes some comments that seem fairly balanced to me, but in true political fashion we must call out certain 'realities' that many political "consumers" rarely face.

- The candidates do not cook up these answers on their own. These are the politically-sanctioned products of the Duopoly, each providing the appropriate flavor which their team will use to build new rhetoric and should any be sufficiently problematic, may become the stuff of political theater for the perennial entertainment that accompanies the thespians who play at ‘serving us’.

- When reading the answers, we must accept that not only is the text not actually written by the candidate but may have been snipped or sourced from party white-papers... some of them being authored by teams of contributors before being finally approved as politically acceptable.

From the source:

One would think that such documents would be well-vetted and proofed. I did not unearth any particular howlers in the text, but I did have some chuckles following, for example, Obama’s space policy claim that “When our Orion deep space crew vehicle takes its first test flight in 2014, it will travel farther into space than any spacecraft designed for humans has flown in the 40 years since our astronauts returned from the moon. That is progress.” If by progress you mean doing better than any time other than 40 years ago.

Romney provided a moment of amusement as well when he admitted, “I am not a scientist myself, but my best assessment of the data is that the world is getting warmer, that human activity contributes to that warming, and that policymakers should therefore consider the risk of negative consequences.” More than being more IPCC than GOP, he really assessed the data himself?


www.sciencedebate.org...




posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 04:58 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 1. Innovation and the Economy. Science and technology have been responsible for over half of the growth of the U.S. economy since WWII, when the federal government first prioritized peacetime science mobilization. But several recent reports question America’s continued leadership in these vital areas. What policies will best ensure that America remains a world leader in innovation?

------------------
"Obama" Response:
Approximately 160 words
Flesch reading ease: 36.68
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 12-15 yrs

Opening thrust: Globally competitive, 21st Century; environment where invention, innovation, industry flourish. American economy to be built on manufacturing, energy, and skills.

Embedded "promise(s)": doubling funding on key-research agencies in support of scientists and entrepreneurs. Education to ensure highly-skilled workers... "Prepare" 100,000 science and math teachers in the next 10 years.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 680 words
Flesch reading ease: 32.90
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-14 yrs

Opening thrust: Economic growth, job creation, competitiveness, notes doubling of wage-growth in innovation oriented jobs.

Embedded "promise(s)": Stronger middle-class based on principles of hard work, free enterprise and innovation. Simplify tax-code, reform job-training, reduce regulatory burdens, and protect American intellectual property.

------------------

Innovation and the Economy.

President Obama's response (once again... his staff's approved" response)....

…can be criticized from the perspective of providing more government resources to key agencies... a perspective which many fiscal conservatives may scoff at... that is up until their political contributions come into play. He seems focused on industrial manufacturing, energy (innovation?) and a better (educated?) workforce.

Governor Romney's response (as above, his staff's approved response)....

…is far more robust, as a result opening much more room for dissent. Romney invokes a few bulleted categories in his response so my analysis abstract will be slightly more wordy (apologies). In the structure of the answer we see a more all-encompassing tone envelope the response: Romney offers what will promise to be an oft-repeated phrase "A growth Agenda," this is supposed to 'reward' innovation on the part of entrepreneurs and workers... the first item in this agenda is

- Human Capital - starting with immigration reform to "attract and retain" the best and the brightest... who I presume will 'equip more American' with the skills they evidently lack. I find the idea of "Human Capital" repugnant on its face, and find linking immigration reform to science innovation a bit of a stretch.

- Taxes - tax reform, lower corporate tax rate to 25% and permanently fix the R&D tax deduction... his concern is directly fixed to investors and entrepreneurs.

- Regulation - Reduce the power of unaccountable regulators. Require all major regulations go through Congress and that the potential for cost increases to due regulatory requirements be capped. Rather than eliminate unaccountable regulators, he wants to simply neuter them. And he wants to expand direct congressional (i.e. political) wrangling in regulation of industry.

- Trade - Open "new" markets, create "Reagan Economic Zones" (read trickle down.) Confront China, remove access to Chinese trade where intellectual infringement has occurred in the market. In previous analysis I have explained my understanding that "Trickle-Down" is a political term for allowing Congressmen and Senators to become obscenely wealthy by allowing them first access to profitable investment opportunities.... although the political veneer on the term seemed to imply that the wealth would trickle down to all citizens.., not just the politically relevant ones.

Romney's response also identifies a "Foundation for Innovation" with two pillars to support it

- Education - in which he defines K through 12 as "lagging" (but failing to note since when - which would demonstrate the coincidence that the lag started and intensified the more the federal government intervened.) He cites the American higher education system as the envy of the world (while failing to specify that the envy is about its profitability, not its effectiveness.)

- Basic Research - Attacking Obama by name (not the only time) Romney discourages the idea of an administration championing what a venture capitalist should be doing as with the failed solar energy company. He tells us that as president, he will focus government resources on that which will serve as a foundation for private sector innovation and commercialization.

________________________________

How cynical can I get about the first question?

Here it is: On one hand we have “America needs to have good workers… we don’t have them;” on the other we have “Middle-class Americans lack the value of “hard work.” Americans are less educated American commerce is all that matters, we need to generate revenue for the economy and that has to come from for-profit commerce via manufacturing … that’s it… that’s the formula for success in “science and innovation” we need riches…. Otherwise we can’t innovate, invent, or even research. Obama submits energy is as important… Romney thinks that more rich investors are the key to success.

How any of that directly fosters innovation and research is beyond me.

edit on 14-9-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 04:59 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 2. Climate Change. The Earth’s climate is changing and there is concern about the potentially adverse effects of these changes on life on the planet. What is your position on cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and other policies proposed to address global climate change—and what steps can we take to improve our ability to tackle challenges like climate change that cross national boundaries?

------------------
"Obama" Response:
Approximately 180 words
Flesch reading ease: 41.67
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 12-14 yrs

Opening thrust: Smart policies, clean energy generation growth, established historic standards in limiting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Made unprecedented investments in clean energy. International leadership on climate change.

Embedded "promise(s)": Will continue to reduce dependence on foreign oil and Lower emissions.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 490 words
Flesch reading ease: 32.47
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-15 yrs

Opening thrust: “I am not a scientist”, world is getting warmer, there is a “lack of scientific consensus” so we must continue scientific debate

Embedded "promise(s): Science will not dictate policy, oppose carbon tax, cap-and-trade, pursue a “no regrets” policy lowering emissions, government funding for low-emission technology as leader in emerging industry, new investment in nuclear power.

Climate Change.

President Obama’s response:

President Obama appears in this response to be quite content with his administration’s performance thus far. He has distanced himself from the tragic consequences of his investment in failing solar energy concerns, while maintaining the feather in his cap about it being an unprecedented investment in green energy. Tightening vehicular emission standards is true, but hardly significant on the scale of confronting climate change, where the majority of the offenders are in fact, industrial/corporate enterprises.

Governor Romney’s response:

Again, the response is more robust than, but as consistently vacuous as, his opponents’. While acknowledging his lack of scientific credentials, he cites a lack of scientific consensus on the topic… this will be met by many as hogwash, and I am certain the party knows this. He gingerly threads the needle here, appealing to the dissenters, and mollifying his comments with an air of innocence about his no being a scientist himself.

But he does clearly indicate that policy will not be based upon science only and that he determines policy in this regard (Scientists will no doubt feel less-than-comforted by the prospect of a catastrophic climate change triggered by political expedience.) Once again the author(s?) of the response includes jabs at President Obama for his affection for the idea of the new form of carbon currency that is “cap-and-trade.” Romney claims that economic growth and technological innovation are the key to the “climate change” problem… but rather disingenuously avoids noting that current technology, and the entire global industrial base, will not accommodate change without profit first. However, Romney assures the energy speculators that Nuclear is on the table and in full effect as an option.

How cynical can I get about the second question?

Neither candidate has a clue what really is the point of the question. They insist that business, economy, and revenue are the only way to drive the nation… (and they are… for their goals. ) There is no compromise in confronting an issue where the solution will neither be ‘free’ nor ‘profitable’ – such an idea is utterly alien to Obama and blasphemous anathema to Romney. Apparently, we have yet to suffer a devastating enough nuclear tragedy to consider it too-high a risk, and throwing tax-payer dollars at the ‘prettiest’ presentation is still an option too… even if it doesn’t work (as we have seen.)



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 04:59 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 3. Research and the Future. Federally funded research has helped to produce America’s major postwar economies and to ensure our national security, but today the UK, Singapore, China, and Korea are making competitive investments in research. Given that the next Congress will face spending constraints, what priority would you give to investment in research in your upcoming budgets?

------------------
"Obama" Response:
Approximately 300 words
Flesch reading ease: 27.14
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 14-17 yrs

Opening thrust: Invest more than 3% of the national GDP in public and private research, his administration’s “Recovery Act” committed over $100 billion for investments in research ($90 billion of which went to clean energy research); invest not only in research but the deployment of research products.

Embedded "promise(s)": Support making R&D tax credit permanent.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 210 words
Flesch reading ease: 32.27
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-15 yrs

Opening thrust: Continued funding will be a top priority in my budget. Obama wasted $90 billion (on a clean energy investment).

Embedded "promise(s)”: That federal research will be amplified by private sector research… ensure private sector research makes it to the marketplace (deployment).

Research and the Future.

President Obama’s response:

Obama’s response focuses primarily on past achievements (or what is characterized as such.) But fails to do more than imply ‘more of the same’ will follow… however it is notable that he joins his opponent in the idea that research and development in the private sector merits a permanent tax-cut to offset the effort for profit-oriented enterprise. Citing progress in Health research and investments to bolster national security and defense is also mentioned but also not in a ‘future’ context.

Governor Romney’s response:

The response offered provides more of an anti-Obama kvetch than any sense of a plan for the future. Evidently knowing what went wrong in the Obama administration’s policies appears to be extent of the intended “plan” for the Romney administration.

How cynical can I get about the third question?

Here it is: Neither party is concerned with, or focused on, the future of anything outside promoting the revenue stream that can be generated for private sector investment and the megalithic healthcare and defense industries. It appears that this particular question exemplifies the lack of focus on this issue. Specifically, while our potential future presidents are scrambling with all their might and political currency to coddle the same over-sized industries that continue to insist they cannot change; the idea of research as an avenue of investment can only be considered from a return on investment perspective. Both of these candidates would likely applaud the crushing of Tesla’s inventions were he alive today. Both believe that the tax-payer should subsidize private for-profit research.
edit on 14-9-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 04:59 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 4. Pandemics and Biosecurity. Recent experiments show how Avian flu may become transmissible among mammals. In an era of constant and rapid international travel, what steps should the United States take to protect our population from emerging diseases, global pandemics and/or deliberate biological attacks?

------------------
"Obama" Response:
Approximately 170 words
Flesch reading ease: 49.38
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 11-12 yrs

Opening thrust: Strengthen public health system through technology advancement, work with private sector to assess vulnerabilities, diligently seek out new threats.

Embedded "promise(s)": Remain vigilant and prepared to act.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 240 words
Flesch reading ease: 33.98
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-14 yrs

Opening thrust: This is nothing new; we are always at risk for a pandemic. Investment in a public health monitoring system to improve preparedness is called for.

Embedded "promise(s)”: I will encourage research and manufacturing to increase understanding of new pathogens; Obama didn’t do what I will: encourage private sector research.

Pandemics and Biosecurity.

President Obama’s response:

The President relies on strong health services to provide the countermeasure to any eventual pandemic, and he mentions our borders as a focal point for control efforts; demonstrating a failure to understand that there are no borders when it comes to disease. The key element mentioned as a ‘position’ is public health monitoring… “Monitoring” is not a particularly good word to use in this context… unless you’re all for being monitored.

Governor Romney’s response:

Romney is developing a patterned response here, namely that the private sector – well subsidized and exempted from taxation or regulatory restraint, will save us. Not missing an opportunity to bash his opponent he refers to Obama’s administration in terms of repression of research and stifling regulation. He mentions robust ‘tools’ of public health, which I am inclined to infer means more monitoring (see above.)

How cynical can I get about the fourth question?

Here it is: Be afraid. We are telling you, you are afraid. You will be getting sick in the future. But we’ll create a more “watchful” system to keep tabs on your illnesses and where you go. The private sector can help us… as long as they can make profit for the investment class. Between that and restricting your freedoms, we know at least the politician class will remain healthy and strong. Aside from them, and their owners; there’s really nothing to worry about.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:00 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 5. Education. Increasingly, the global economy is driven by science, technology, engineering and math, but a recent comparison of 15-year-olds in 65 countries found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 23rd, while average U.S. math scores ranked 31st. In your view, why have American students fallen behind over the last three decades, and what role should the federal government play to better prepare students of all ages for the science and technology-driven global economy?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 165 words
Flesch reading ease: 39.93
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 12-14 yrs

Opening thrust: Value to middle class, Cites “educate to Innovate” campaign including businesses, foundations and non-profits; plan to launch STEM teaching corps.

Embedded "promise(s)": Establish 100 sites and four year support of 10,000 STEM teachers.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 750 words
Flesch reading ease: 38.46
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-14 yrs

Opening thrust: This is nothing new; K-12 education is our greatest competitive weakness, blames unions to a large degree, special interest also.

Embedded "promise(s): Give parents educational choices.. And funding to follow students; increase standards, support charter schools, more technology in schools, make world class teachers.

Education.

President Obama’s response:

Obama’s staff once again focuses on a course which has already been charted, and recognizes the deficiency while failing to actually innovate their way into a new paradigm for education…

Governor Romney’s response:

Sadly, while immensely more wordy, Romney’s camp also thinks this is a problem that old solutions can fix. Citing a 40-year old book and it’s analysis of the educational system. Relying on the politically volatile notion that teacher’s collective bargaining is somehow ‘a problem’ he does not acknowledge the stark reality that federal involvement in education is, by definition, accompanied by commercial involvement which has not yet worked out well. The Romney paradigm is ‘business-like’ competition as a solution.

How cynical can I get about the fifth question?

Here it is: Education is a business opportunity. Perhaps, soon the federal government will creep into the position of making ‘work-schools’ for children to gain “skills” while providing free, or almost free labor and tax breaks for participating industry. The existing mindset in both candidates is this: “There is something wrong with our teachers.” They both think our teachers need to be whipped into shape. Expect under either an influx of ‘foreign’ teachers. Neither recognizes that teaching is an art (pedagogy) and as such cannot be regulated into submission.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:00 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 6. Energy. Many policymakers and scientists say energy security and sustainability are major problems facing the United States this century. What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 255 words
Flesch reading ease: 33.59
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 12-17 yrs

Opening thrust: An “all-of-the-above” energy approach, largest investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, America has regained its position as the world’s leading producer of natural gas.

Embedded "promise(s)": An ambitious Clean Energy Standard to generate 80 percent of our electricity by 2035; promoting the safe, development of America’s near 100-year supply of natural gas that will help support more than 600,000 jobs.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 531 words
Flesch reading ease: 25.70
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 14-17 yrs

Opening thrust: Stronger middle class via domestic energy production, partner with Mexico and Canada,

Embedded "promise(s): America’s trade deficit will decline and the dollar will strengthen, lease and royalty payments and taxes “paid to the American people” to yield trillions to the government, 6-part plan;
1. States to control onshore energy development, including on federal lands within their borders.
2. Open offshore areas to development.
3. North American Energy Partnership
4. Accurate assessment of the nation’s energy resources
5. Restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation
6. Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies.

Energy.

President Obama’s response:

The authors are of the mind that whichever country can best harness clean energy will lead the global economy. They do not however specify that this economic growth can only be anticipated in “carbon credits,” the latest virtualization of wealth. Citing various long-term expectations, the response manages to avoid another form of specificity… namely, how the cited policy will achieve such a goal. The response also demonstrates continued dedication towards the ethanol dilution of fossil fuel and the escalation of domestic “fracking” to tap local natural gas deposits.

Governor Romney’s response:

Another lengthy response… and again the zealous authors of the “Romney” response take aim at Obama and that which can be characterized as failure within his (or their) narrative. He revives the frequently aborted love affair with a North American partnership (a trade agreement which his cabal has been trying to solidify for decades.) Romney also seems to be fixated on the business opportunities lost by the refusal of the Keystone XL Pipeline deal. The characterization of Romney’s notional plan is to make America an “energy superpower” in the 21st century. He further cites cross-spectrum analysis by “energy experts, investment firms, even academics at Harvard University” which I imagine is meant to invoke confidence in his idea to ‘open access and embrace” to American energy resources. The response suffers from the hyperbole of his opponent, suggesting “millions” of new jobs from coast to coast by following his notional plan. His novel 6-part “plan” can be translated from new-speak to into human thusly:

1. The feds will “allow” the states to exploit resources within their borders
2. Anything outside the shoreline will be up for grabs by anyone with cash
3. The Energy Cartel will have access to North America as a whole via the consolidation of the landmass as a ‘partnership’ (eliminating the troublesome ‘sovereignty’ issues)
4. Scour the land for exploitable resources (because once found we can “take it” for the “good” of us all)
5. Adopt a casual approach to pesky regulation and permits, including those demanding accountability, transparency, and safety.
6. Subsidize for-profit development of new energy technologies. Tax-payers should pay to let the investment class get richer.

How cynical can I get about the sixth question?

Here it is: The duopoly has come to accept the inevitable migration of a fiat currency-based global economy into an energy-based economy. Both parties are in a hurry to extract the profits. Whereas the carbon-credit loving bunch wants to establish a quasi-governmental market monopoly similar to the current monetary monopoly of the supranational banking cartel; the self-proclaimed ‘free market’ lot is eager to suck the wealth right out of anyone else’s hands before that can happen. I suspect both sides of the coin know that neither is going to serve ‘the sustainability of the world’ or ‘the well-being of our sovereign nation’ but rather … the “right” people…. and their posterity.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:00 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 7. Food. Thanks to science and technology, the United States has the world's most productive and diverse agricultural sector, yet many Americans are increasingly concerned about the health and safety of our food. The use of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as animal diseases and even terrorism pose risks. What steps would you take to ensure the health, safety and productivity of America's food supply?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 285 words
Flesch reading ease: 40.75
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 12-14 yrs

Opening thrust: Foodborne illness, knowledge of proper nutrition; promote ‘certified’ organic food, minimize antibiotics and hormones. FDA reform

Embedded "promise(s)": increase “certified” organic “operations” by 20%, taking steps to limit antibiotic use in livestock.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 220 words
Flesch reading ease: 16.30
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 16-21 yrs

Opening thrust: Food safety, economic strength of agricultural sector, export markets, government regulators play an important role, monitoring products and processes…

Embedded "promise(s): FDA will cooperate with industry and research; state regulators to target commodities most associated with foodborne illness, state of the art monitoring.

Food.

President Obama’s response:

The first among the responses which were more robust than the Romney team; it is replete with the same ‘looking-back’ perspective. Obama’s response characterizes the food-safety issue as primarily one of industrialized food production. The response displays sensitivity towards the public’s growing discomfort with synthetics being introduced into the food chain via hormonal and antibacterial treatments in livestock and chemical pesticides… but makes no reference to the “GMO” phenomenon. Also, the disingenuous use of the terms “certified organic” opens the door to dissent for those who know that the FDA reform was one which created the lax definition of “organic” and the protections against revealing ingredients that the industry benefits from more today than ever before.

Governor Romney’s response:

Romney’s response clearly demonstrates the Governor’s love affair with mercantilism, using the terms which are germane to his ‘larger world;’ terms such as, “agricultural ‘sector’, business, farmers, ranchers, packagers and processors, supply chain, etc.” ..in other words, the business model. Like his adversary he calls for more monitoring and “mitigation strategies.” Governor Romney is content to see the FDA as a tool for the industry to succeed by making it the respondent to any food crisis.

How cynical can I get about the seventh question?

Here it is: We don’t acknowledge malfeasance as an issue of concern; only the ignorance of the consumer. We don’t speak about GMO – ever. All Food-related issues seem to be focused on someone carelessly contaminating food… but we are going to ‘big brother’ them and watch more closely than ever; that way, when tens, dozens, or scores of people die or hundreds get ill, we can send that person to jail… There apparently is such a thing as a “safe” pesticide – because we’ll be dishing out money to have it. The FDA will see to that. “Organic” is good – just don’t ask me what that means exactly. And we wouldn’t have this problem is the FDA would just get off the industry’s back.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:00 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 8. Fresh Water. Less than one percent of the world’s water is liquid fresh water, and scientific studies suggest that a majority of U.S. and global fresh water is now at risk because of increasing consumption, evaporation and pollution. What steps, if any, should the federal government take to secure clean, abundant fresh water for all Americans?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 280 words
Flesch reading ease: 28.47
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 14-17 yrs

Opening thrust: Obama administration’s national clean water framework, 92 grants to water conservation projects will save enough water for 950,000 people, climate change, water access, water infrastructure programs supporting 135,000 jobs

Embedded "promise(s)": continue to build on ‘achievements’

"Romney" response:
Approximately 170 words
Flesch reading ease: 19.51
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 16-18 yrs

Opening thrust: water (and air) quality laws are out of date,

Embedded "promise(s): Will modernize laws and regulations for smarter and more collaborative, flexible cost efficient approaches.

Fresh Water.

President Obama’s response:

Obama continues to focus on the present and status quo as an indicator of what’s to come. While boasting projects that can save enough water for 950,000 people (I wonder the remaining 299 million of us will do?) he is spreading some of the concern to water availability along the Mexican border. The author also points out that Obama’s 5,100 projects safeguard the health of 18 million residents and supports 135,000 jobs (presumably along the border.)

Governor Romney’s response:

In a departure from the pattern, Romney’s response doesn’t attack Obama (this time) but does mention that our current costly and inflexible approach to water management leads to inevitable litigation. He claims he will update laws and regulations, making them more flexible. He will combine incentives market-based programs and cooperative measures.

How cynical can I get about the eighth question?

Here it is: Very. I don’t think these two candidates have ever been thirsty. There is no indication of any policy change that will address issues like the monopolization (consolidation of ownership) of fresh-water aquifers around the world. Romney sees that as good business, Obama sees it as an opportunity to prosper (yes, there is a difference.) There is no mention of particulate, chemical, or pharmaceutical pollution of community water; no mention of the inevitable need for water purification on an industrial scale. No mention of health standards… except to make them more lax in Romney’s case. In short, neither candidate has a real clue about water --- none that they are openly discussing anyway. In the end, this will be ignored until it can be declared a crisis, and then used as an opportunity to gain more power for the duopoly. Such is the mentally of the club-members.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:01 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 9. The Internet. The Internet plays a central role in both our economy and our society. What role, if any, should the federal government play in managing the Internet to ensure its robust social, scientific, and economic role?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 94 words
Flesch reading ease: 0.43
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 17-21 yrs

Opening thrust: Internet as part of American society; IP protection legislation supported – but balanced against free expression, cyber-security, open innovation. Protect vital systems, enhance cyber-security, preserve privacy, confidentiality and civil liberties

Embedded "promise(s)": Recognize the civilian nature of cyberspace.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 248 words
Flesch reading ease: 14.12
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 17 yrs

Opening thrust: It is not any government’s role to manage cyberspace. Internet is shaped by market forces

Embedded "promise(s): will oppose efforts to subject the Internet to an unaccountable, innovation-stifling international regulatory regime. Will clear barriers to private investment.

The Internet.

President Obama’s response:

Stunningly brief, the narrative provided by Obama’s response is digestible and rather palatable. However, there is no indication of any curtailment of regulatory intrusion into, or the intelligence exploitation of the Internet. While mentioning civil liberties and cyber security, he fails to address the juxtaposition of the two. President Obama appears to believe that the Internet requires a government presence. He offers a respectful nod to the ideas of privacy and confidentiality; but in all fails to specify what will ensure the internet’s “robust social, scientific, and economic role”

Governor Romney’s response:

Romney’s response revisits the maladies of the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” blaming Obama for overreaching which has replaced investors and innovators with bureaucrats. He clearly positions himself against any attempt to impose governmental controls on the internet; favoring business and commerce as drivers for the construct. He states that the internet “bountiful private investment” which of course, in his world means that any regulation opposes that maxim. In rendering a lengthy response he has opened the door to criticism by presuming that everyone’s primary interest in the Internet is economic, not social; and would appear to hold that commerce is necessarily a ‘social good.’ No mention of rights, privacy, confidentiality, or any openness that doesn’t relate directly to commerce.

How cynical can I get about the ninth question?

Here it is: As is typical for people of a “higher” class; their direct understanding of the internet is lacking in breadth or depth. How it came about – and how people – not governments – decide what it is “for” and how it is “supposed” to function is alien to them both. It is to them, in this regard, a political tool and opportunity for commerce. While both recognize that the internet is a social phenomenon now, they still insist on injecting economics into the way it will be shaped. Most realize that in a perfect world, everyone has access to and can communicate with anyone on the Internet. The candidates however are only prompted by the applicability of social engineering or commerce towards that end. In other words, they have the cart in front of the horse. The internet is “people first” … despite that business ideologies desire to monopolize and exploit it.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:01 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 10. Ocean health. Scientists estimate that 75 percent of the world’s fisheries are in serious decline, habitats like coral reefs are threatened, and large areas of ocean and coastlines are polluted. What role should the federal government play domestically and through foreign policy to protect the environmental health and economic vitality of the oceans?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 240 words
Flesch reading ease: 37.71
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-16 yrs

Opening thrust: National Ocean Policy

Embedded "promise(s)": additional funding to Gulf Coast restoration; investing more in monitoring our fishing stock in coastal areas.

"Romney" response:
Approximately 180 words
Flesch reading ease: 18.22
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 15-19 yrs

Opening thrust: paramount economic and environmental importance ; market will not succeed without some form of governance

Embedded "promise(s)”: conducting sound science and making the resulting data available; seeking to accommodate the needs of these small businessmen

Ocean Health.

President Obama’s response:

It appears from Obama’s answer that there is nothing new he will implement, apparently citing existing initiatives as on-going. He mentions various hotspots of political concern, Gulf Coast, Everglades, Great Lakes, etc. But no opportunity was missed in that there is – apparently with most future plans a focus on “monitoring”.

Governor Romney’s response:

Romney included no jabs at President Obama or his administration here; which is noteworthy since most of the other questions include some form of criticism. The candidate demonstrates through his narrative the standard businessman’s primary concern regarding markets, but cautiously broaches the subject of regulation;… evidently government interference in the market is acceptable here unlike virtually every other sector he speaks of.

How cynical can I get about the tenth question?

Here it is: This would appear to be a topic in which both candidates are willing to expand government control, which means ‘bigger government.’ I fear the small businessman fisherman will have to lobby very hard to remain free to conduct their trade. I found no answer to the question in either response aside from pandering rhetoric about how important it is.

edit on 14-9-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:01 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 11. Science in Public Policy. We live in an era when science and technology affect every aspect of life and society, and so must be included in well-informed public policy decisions. How will you ensure that policy and regulatory decisions are fully informed by the best available scientific and technical information, and that the public is able to evaluate the basis of these policy decisions?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 250 words
Flesch reading ease: 14.86
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 16-20 yrs

Opening thrust: reaffirming America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation.

Embedded "promise(s)": continue seeking new ways to make scientific information more transparent and readily available to the public

"Romney" response:
Approximately 250 words
Flesch reading ease: 29.34
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 14-16 yrs

Opening thrust: use sound science in the regulatory process but also to do so in a transparent manner that allows for public participation and evaluation.

Embedded "promise(s)”: avoid the manipulation of science for political gain, limit regulation promulgation, and make sure that all regulations consider implementation costs.


Science in Public Policy.

President Obama’s response:

Obama’s response is focused on past and on-going initiatives. He does stress transparency and public participation (which would be new for any political club). Clearly the idea of using science as a justification for policy is fine with him, as long as it remains undistorted and un-manipulated.

Governor Romney’s response:

Romney says his administration will be informed by sound science and will be transparent allowing for public participation. He jabs at Obama for repeatedly manipulating the data to support his agenda. Romney’s response includes the almost obligatory criticism of Obama’s “Utility MACT” rule which reportedly according to the EPA, cost $10 Billion to implement, and saved only $6 million. He faults Obama for the apparent pending bankrupting of the Coal industry (costing hundreds of thousands of jobs). He promises to pursue legislation to reform regulation so that regulators always take cost into account when new regulations are established. He will impose a regulation cap.

How cynical can I get about the eleventh question?

Here it is: While politicians and their staffs can’t be expected to master all topics, in this case Obama’s writers failed to demonstrate any tangible objectives here. Both Romney and Obama seem focused on perpetuating the idea that in commerce-driven government ‘transparent and un-manipulated’ information is achievable ‘because they say so.’ Romney slams Obama and then tells the nation he will limit the amount of regulation that can be imposed and the cost to the ‘industry/enterprise/business will be a factor in its implementation. Gigantic corporate networks will love that. Obama makes no such promise, but then, he doesn’t have to – he’s already established the policy and practice as the incumbent.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:02 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 12. Space. The United States is currently in a major discussion over our national goals in space. What should America's space exploration and utilization goals be in the 21st century and what steps should the government take to help achieve them??

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 404 words
Flesch reading ease: 47.31

Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 12-14 yrs

Opening thrust: committed to protecting these critical investments in science and technology and ..

Embedded "promise(s)": … pursuing an ambitious new direction for NASA. Will maintain the lead in robotic space exploration

"Romney" response:
Approximately 560 words
Flesch reading ease: 36.77
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 11-14 yrs

Opening thrust: spur innovation through exploration of the heavens, inspire future generations, and protect our citizens and allies

Embedded "promise(s)”: Rebuilding NASA, bring together all stakeholders –NASA and other civil agencies, national security institutions, leading universities, and from commercial enterprises, will also direct the development of capabilities that will deter adversaries seeking to damage or destroy the space capabilities of the U.S. and its allies. Revitalizing aerospace Industry

Space.

President Obama’s response:

Obama’s response is full of enthusiasm for the ideals of a space program, openly recognizes the burgeoning commercial space industry, as well as the other players of the globe in space exploration. He boasts of our lead in robotic exploration, and cites his stated commitment to various manned programs, including manned Mars missions by the 3rd decade this century. He links his efforts in education to assist in achieving sustainable exploration.

Governor Romney’s response:

Far more robust than the incumbent’s answers; we see the flirtation with commerce being the key driver of space industry and enterprise. Romney includes a tie in with national defense (and that of our allies) as well as an interesting tangent about revitalizing the aerospace industry. The military industrial complex must be cooing…

How cynical can I get about the twelfth question?

Here it is: This topic is not as important to either candidate as those we have seen previously. While Obama wants to hinge education development and jobs to the topic, Romney evokes fear of attack and revitalization of commerce. Each of them do not see science for the sake of expanding human knowledge and understanding as an element of the issue. Romney mentions no specific goals that do not relate to his primary agenda, mercantilism. Whereas Obama mentions nothing in regards to the dilapidation of our capabilities in space… and failing to note that we no longer can get ourselves out there without another country’s help – for the first time since the inception of NASA.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:02 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 13. Critical Natural Resources. Supply shortages of natural resources affect economic growth, quality of life, and national security; for example China currently produces 97% of rare earth elements needed for advanced electronics. What steps should the federal government take to ensure the quality and availability of critical natural resources?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 280words
Flesch reading ease: 34.37
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 13-16 yrs

Opening thrust: support for the development alternatives to rare earth materials, energy industry, act in trade sanction against China’s restrictive exports

Embedded "promise(s)": promote U.S.-based electronics recycling to keep American manufactures competitive... reduce the amount of rare earths that we need

"Romney" response:
Approximately 306 words
Flesch reading ease: 25.98
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 14-17 yrs

Opening thrust: modernized regulatory regime… energy independence

Embedded "promise(s)”: open greater access to federal lands, and adopt streamlined regulatory processes that encourage rather than stifle resource development. give states authority to manage the development of energy resources within their borders, including on federal lands

Critical Natural Resources.

President Obama’s response:

Obama recognizes the market bottleneck in China and claims is acting on an international scale to address it. He wisely identifies the reality that all resources are finite; and seems to be taking steps to find a solution via alternatives. He offers the notion that electronics recycling can meaningfully help the situation. His focus is on efficiency and alternatives.

Governor Romney’s response:

Recalling an ancient time when the US was self-sufficient Romney (or his writers) miss the point that there was no need of the rare earths then as there is now. He spurns reliance on imports and focuses on the idea of “developing” our own from federal land – a big commercial plus…not so much for the citizen as for business economy. Romney forces the inclusion of energy production fuels while superfluously informing that these processes pose any greater environmental risks… and foolishly states that narrative by following it with the sentence that begins: “To the contrary…” which can be seen as an old marketing trick common to business press releases and plans. The phrase does not apply to the idea of environmental risk… but can and probably would be taken that way for sophistic effect. Essentially, giving the American resources to commercial enterprises is Romney’s apparent solution.


How cynical can I get about the thirteenth question?

Here it is: I have to give Obama (or his writer on this topic) credit for understanding the problem beyond the simple… “We gotta make a profit!” perspective. While shorter, his answer is more effective than the simple…. “Let the market take care of everything, promote industry, let them rape and exploit everything, and the money will flow again” answer. For Romney the problem is that the for-profit bunch should never be told “No” if there is profit to be made. That profit is more important than the inevitable end result of our children’s children living in a wasteland of deserts stripped of all resources. Romney’s team seems to think that there is no other aspect to this but commerce. Obama’s response is not much better… (“More of the same,”) but at least there is a tacit understanding that we will eventually have to develop alternatives to these finite resources. Or we will eventually be dependent on imports again… because we will run out of our own native resources… and sooner rather than later if it is a matter of for-profit commerce – which we know will have no restraints if they aren’t accountable for any future but their own.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:02 PM
link   
The Questions…. An analysis

Question 14. Vaccination and public health. Vaccination campaigns against preventable diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough depend on widespread participation to be effective, but in some communities vaccination rates have fallen off sharply. What actions would you support to enforce vaccinations in the interest of public health, and in what circumstances should exemptions be allowed?

"Obama" Response:
Approximately 190 words
Flesch reading ease: 33.49
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 14-16 yrs

Opening thrust: Affordable Care Act, the full suite of routine vaccines recommend by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Embedded "promise(s)": None

"Romney" response:
Approximately 225 words
Flesch reading ease: 19.69
Approximate grade-level requirement for comprehension: 16-17 yrs

Opening thrust: complex facilities and highly skilled workers; vast majority of Americans need to take steps to receive vaccinations.

Embedded "promise(s)”: ensure that America has adequate supplies of safe and effective vaccines, manufacturing capabilities, ensure that America remains the most attractive place to develop and commercialize innovative, life-saving products like vaccines

Vaccination and public health.

President Obama’s response:

It appears from his answer that Obama (or his writers) believe they have done all they need to do by changing Health Care laws. But he does point something out his notion that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices seems to be in the driver seat over this. There is of course no hint that there are any questions about the safety of today’s vaccines or the technology being used to produce, store, distribute, and administer them. Apparently the idea behind the answer is how it is ostensibly going to cost less. As if “price” were the only thing keeping people from getting vaccinated… not fear.

Governor Romney’s response:

In typical Romney fashion, this issue is about industry, labor, and commerce. He is – it seems – all for the idea of mandatory vaccination… vast majority and all… Even in the developmental area Romney’s answer is queued to “robust research and development enterprise” showing how it is the commercial market that will “provide” the solution to this dilemma. He closes by seeking to reverse the tide of of the exodus of investment from the US.


How cynical can I get about the fourteenth question?

Here it is: Neither would-be president wants to empower the people to create better health to naturally resist, and overcome disease… for each it is about injecting something into the body… something that the commercially-driven think-tanks and “committees” recommend. Both candidates in this regard abdicate action to a consensus of people the public does not know, and most of whom stand much to gain from the obligatory dispensation of commercially produced vaccines.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:02 PM
link   
IN CLOSING

This exercise was intended to allow for a more in-depth look at how political campaigns manage the public opinion they wish to foster. The validity of the answers, the crafting of the narrative, the selection of ‘talking points’ in this format demonstrated at least a few things to me.

Analysis of the whole set of answers leads me to believe it highly unlikely that they were even drafted by the candidates themselves. Obama’s responses seemed more consistent with his verbal delivery style, but were so focused on the past or on-going initiatives that it failed to address the “What does the future hold?” nature of the questions. It is possible that post-editorially, each candidate managed to add come of their wordsmithing style; but it is clear they are not the authors of every idea they’ve been handed to claim as their own.

The questions were in most cases, soft-ball, designed not to offend the respondents who have a litany of baggage in each category to avoid. Such is the nature of this kind of idea exchange.
If you have endured the length of this thread thus far, I welcome your responses. I make no claim to being expert or especially qualified to debate with the candidates on these matters…. But I would love to have a second chance for follow-ups with each… as they have yet to be exposed publicly to intelligent dissent… something the media shields them from without shame.

Thank you for your patience. Be well.

MM



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:14 PM
link   
I fail to understand how this is platform type release of information.

My issues result from not knowing if what they are saying is:

1. Economically feasable.
2. Does the current political environment provide for these new 'innovations' in policy?
3. I have a feeling that if the GOP win big in November, you'll see the same obstructionist behavior from the Dem controlled Senate that we've seen from the GOP controlled Congress over the last few years.

One thing that surprises me however, is how Romney's answers are actually better written, and thought out than Obama's. It's like Obama expects to win and he's put little to no effort into explaining to Americans what he will do in his NEXT 4 years.

He keeps talking about what he's done, which is not very much by anybody's standards considering the state of the economy, American's image abroad, Military Defense policy and even within Domestic issues like heatlhcare and immigration.

Now I'm no supporter of either one. I think Romney's "Regan Economic Zone" sounds dangerously like the idea of a NAU.

I think Obama's management of technology innnovations like Solaris and his meddling in the free market when it comes to government contracts for innovation were a waste of time and quite frankly, hurt the progress of a lot of technologies.

I think Mitt's response for Global Warming is better than Obama's.

It's a weird thing honestly. Either way, IMO they are both playing for the same team and these softball questions, along with responses that are designed for 5th graders are key to understanding why we are in this position.

All they are trying to do is create the illusion of better leadership, while once one or the other becomes the next POTUS, they will most likely carry the torch of current policies and failed promises forward.

Most likely because the political environment, as partisan as it has become, prevents any semblance of progress from occuring.

~Tenth



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Maxmars
 

Its about time Obamney laid out their positions. Like it matters...




posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 07:16 PM
link   
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


Romney had some really well thought out answers...excuse me, Romney's people had good answers. I'm sure if you set that man in front of a camera he'll patently deny anthropogenic global warming and contraceptives and stem cell research and claim that the 'free-market' will answer all of our scientific needs.




top topics



 
2

log in

join