Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech contained numerous falsehoods that originated in the right-wing media. Right-wing media have also echoed some of Romney's other dubious claims that were part of the speech.
Romney Convention Speech: "I Will Begin My Presidency With A Jobs Tour. President Obama Began With An Apology Tour." During his August 30 speech at the Republican National Convention, Romney accused President Obama of beginning his term "with an apology tour":
I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No Mr. President, America has freed other nations from dictators. [Mitt Romney speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention, 8/30/12]
Fox's Hannity: "Obama Apologizing For The Arrogance Of America?" In April 2009, Fox News host Sean Hannity played a cropped clip of President Obama's speech in Strasbourg, Germany, and asked if Obama was "apologizing for the arrogance of America." [Fox News, Hannity, 4/3/09, via Media Matters]
Fox's Scott Previewed Obama Trip To Europe And Missle East As "Another Apology Tour." In June 2009, Fox News anchor Jon Scott asked if "the president's upcoming trip [to Europe and the Middle East will] be what conservatives might call another apology tour." [Fox News, Happening Now, 6/2/09, via Media Matters]
Fox's Krauthammer: "It's A Line Of Attack That Republicans Can Easily Use On The President And Ought To Use On The President." On Special Report, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said of the apology tour line:
KRAUTHAMMER: I think both in the general and in the Republican campaign, that line is going to succeed. I think one of the things that the president has done when he -- especially when he goes abroad and apologizes for America, it's extremely unpopular. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 8/30/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Carlson: Obama Went On "A Big Apology Tour," While Romney Says "He'll Never Apologize For America." On April 25, 2012, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson claimed Obama went on "a big apology tour," and stated, "Mitt Romney says he'll never apologize for America." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/25/12, via Media Matters]
Fact: Obama Has Not Apologized For America
Associated Press: "Obama Has Not Apologized For America." In June, the Associated Press rejected a similar claim by Romney that Obama "traveled around the globe to apologize for America." The AP wrote that Romney "criticized the president for issuing apologies to the world that were never made," and added:
ROMNEY: "A few months into office, he traveled around the globe to apologize for America."
THE FACTS: Obama has not apologized for America. What he has done, in travels early in his presidency and since, is to make clear his belief that the U.S. is not beyond reproach. He has told foreigners that the U.S. at times acted "contrary to our traditions and ideals" in its treatment of terrorist suspects, that "America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy," that the U.S. "certainly shares blame" for international economic turmoil and has sometimes shown arrogance toward allies. Obama, whose criticisms of America's past were typically balanced by praise, was in most cases taking issue with policies or the record of the previous administration, not an unusual approach for a new president -- or a presidential candidate. Romney's actual point seems to be that Obama has been too critical of his country.
But there has been no formal -- or informal -- apology. No saying "sorry" on behalf of America. [Associated Press, 6/3/11]
PolitiFact: "It's A Ridiculous Charge" That Obama Has Apologized For America. PolitiFact twice investigated Romney's claims that Obama "apologized" for America and "traveled around the globe to apologize for America." The website found both statements to be false. [PolitiFact, 3/15/10, 6/3/11]
Wash. Post Fact Checker: "The Apology Tour Never Happened." The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler also debunked the charge that Obama went on an apology tour:
The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.
Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened. [The Washington Post, The Fact Checker, 2/22/11]
Romney Convention Speech: "Obama Has Thrown Allies Like Israel Under The Bus." In his speech, Romney attacked Obama for not standing by Israel:
Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden. But on another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran's nuclear threat.
In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.
President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus, even as he has relaxed sanctions on Castro's Cuba. [Mitt Romney speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention, 8/30/12]
Rush Limbaugh: Obama Urged Israel To "Destroy Itself" And "Submit Its People To Potential Genocide." Rush Limbaugh said of Obama's May 2011 speech calling for "a viable Palestine" and "secure Israel" with "mutually agreed swaps": "What kind of President urges a country to destroy itself and submit its people to potential genocide?" [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]
Fox's Hannity: Obama Has Thrown Israel Under "A Bus Full Of Suicide Bombers." During the May 19, 2011, edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated that Obama has thrown Israel under "a bus full of suicide bombers," adding: "I wonder if the members of the Nobel Committee over in Oslo are scratching their heads tonight wondering why one of their Peace Prize recipients is abandoning a key democratic ally." [Fox News, Hannity, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]
Bill Kristol: Obama Is "Acting To Weaken The Security Of The State Of Israel." A Weekly Standard blog post, titled "Blaming Israel First," quoted a statement by Bill Kristol, the editor and founder of the magazine, saying that Obama thinks "the world would be a safer, simpler, and more peaceful place if not for the troublesome Jewish state." [The Weekly Standard, 12/3/11]
Fact: Israeli Officials Agree Obama Has Stood By Israel
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "President Obama Is Doing, In Regard To Our Security, More Than Anything That I Can Remember In The Past." In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded to a question about the state of the current U.S.-Israeli relationship by saying, "I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing, in regard to our security, more than anything that I can remember in the past." [CNN, The Situation Room, 7/31/12, via Media Matters]
Israeli President Shimon Peres Has Repeatedly Praised Obama As "A Great President And A Great Friend Of Israel." In an interview with Charlie Rose, Israeli President Shimon Peres stated that Obama is "a great president and a great friend of Israel," and that security cooperation between the United States and Israel is "the best we've ever had." In an interview on ABC's The View, Peres also stated:
PERES: I think under President Obama we have the best relationship on the issue of security. Never was the security or the needs for the means of security better met than today under President Obama. This is a fact." [Media Matters, 3/2/12]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Has Similarly Praised Obama. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly praised Obama for various actions his administration has taken, including opposing a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state, for helping to free Israelis detained in Cairo in September 2011, and for helping fund a missile defense system. [Media Matters, 12/6/11]
Obama Recently Signed A Bill Increasing U.S.-Israel Security Ties. In July, Obama signed a congressional bill that increased security ties between the United States and Israel. As CNN reported:
In signing the measure Friday, Obama spoke of the "unshakeable commitment" of his government to Israel's security and announced a previously authorized $70 million in U.S. funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.
Carney said Obama directed the Iron Dome funding in May and the money was transferred "in recent days," leading to the announcement Friday in conjunction with the signing of the bill.
"This is a program that has been critical in terms of providing security and safety for Israeli families," Obama said of the Iron Dome system. "It is a program that has been tested and has prevented missile strikes inside of Israel. And it is testimony of the leadership of folks sitting here that we are going to be able to lock in that funding to make sure that program continues and that we are standing by our friends In Israel when it comes to these kinds of attacks."
He also announced that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta would travel to Israel soon to discuss additional ways the two nations can cooperate on defense and security issues. [CNN, The Situation Room, 7/27/12]
Romney Convention Speech: "The President's Entire Re-Election Campaign Is Attacking Success." From Romney's acceptance speech:
That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know ... These are American success stories. And yet the centerpiece of the President's entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it.
We weren't always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the real world of business.
That's what this President doesn't seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. [Mitt Romney speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention, 8/30/12]
Rush Limbaugh: Obama Has "Got Some Anger Issues" Regarding Success. In June 2009, Rush Limbaugh said of Obama: "I think he has got some anger issues he's dealing with about this country and success." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/2/09, via Media Matters]
Fox's Kilmeade: "There Seems To Be A War On Success In This Country." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said "one of the reasons" that Romney "does not want to release his tax returns" is "because there seems to be a war on success in this country." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/17/12, via Media Matters]
Radio Host Ramsey: "Our President Declared War On Success." On Fox, conservative radio show host Dave Ramsey responded to Obama's 2012 State of the Union address by saying: "Last night, our president declared war on success." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/25/12, via Media Matters]
Fox's Gutfeld: Obama Is "Running Against Success." Greg Gutfeld, co-host of Fox's The Five accused President Obama of "running against success." He continued: "He's waging a campaign against achievement" for comments praising the middle class. [Fox News, The Five, 7/6/12, via Media Matters]
Fox's Payne: Obama Is "Demonizing Success." After an Obama speech where he noted the values of the middle class, Fox Business' Charles Payne claimed Obama was suggesting the rich don't have values and said: "That is sickening stuff right there. It's divide and conquer and it's also demonizing success. Why isn't the job market moving? You're demonizing success." [Fox New, Fox & Friends, 7/6/12, via Media Matters]
Fact: Obama Has Made Clear That He Supports Successful Businesses
Obama Proposed The American Jobs Act To "Help America's Small Businesses Hire And Grow." In September 2011, Obama introduced the American Jobs Act, which would cut taxes for small businesses and put in place other measures to help small businesses prosper. From the description of the American Jobs Act:
New Tax Cuts to Businesses to Support Hiring and Investment: The President is proposing three tax cuts to provide immediate incentives to hire and invest:
- Cutting the Payroll Tax in Half for the First $5 Million in Wages: This provision would cut the payroll tax in half to 3.1% for employers on the first $5 million in wages, providing broad tax relief to all businesses but targeting it to the 98 percent of firms with wages below this level.
- Temporarily Eliminating Employer Payroll Taxes on Wages for New Workers or Raises for Existing Workers: The President is proposing a full holiday on the 6.2% payroll tax firms pay for any growth in their payroll up to $50 million above the prior year, whether driven by new hires, increased wages or both. This is the kind of job creation measure that CBO has called the most effective of all tax cuts in supporting employment.
- Extending 100% Expensing into 2012: The President is proposing to extend 100 percent expensing, the largest temporary investment incentive in history, allowing all firms -- large and small -- to take an immediate deduction on investments in new plants and equipment.
Helping Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Access Capital and Grow: The President's plan includes administrative, regulatory and legislative measures--including those developed and recommended by the President's Jobs Council--to help small firms start and expand. [AmericanJobsAct.com, accessed 8/31/12]
Obama Signed Bill To Increase Investment And Praised Private Sector As "The True Engine Of Job Creation." As USA Today noted, Obama signed a bill in April to encourage investment and praised the private sector in his signing statement:
President Obama signed a bill today designed to encourage investment in start-up businesses -- and also appeared to respond to Republican criticism that he promotes too much government involvement in the economy.
"I've always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government," Obama said during a signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. "Our job is to help our companies grow and hire."
Obama said that's why he pushed for the bipartisan Jump-start Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act that he signed Thursday.
"That's why I've cut taxes for small businesses over 17 times," Obama said. "That's why every day I'm fighting to make sure America is the best place on Earth to do business." [USA Today, 4/5/12]
Obama Campaign Official: "No One Is Questioning The Private Equity Industry." On a conference call following the release of an ad criticizing Romney's record at Bain Capital, Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter made clear that the ad was not an indictment of all private equity. From Politico:
"No one is questioning the private equity industry as a whole," Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter said on a Monday conference call.
"This is about the values that Romney lived by," Cutter told reporters. "This is about whether Romney's business experience qualifies him to make the right decisions as president."
"What exactly happened at Bain Capital that gives Romney the experience to run a national economy?" Cutter asked.
Cutter noted that when these attacks surfaced during the GOP primary, Romney consistently lost voters whose incomes were under $50,000.
"It really was damaging to Mitt Romney," Cutter said. [Politico, 5/14/12]
Romney Convention Speech: "I Will Not Raise Taxes On The Middle Class." Romney accused Obama of planning to raise taxes on the middle class, while claiming his own plan would not include similar tax increases:
Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class. [Mitt Romney speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention, 8/30/12]
Fox's Kilmeade Suggested Romney's Tax Plan Would Not Benefit The Rich At The Expense Of The Middle Class. Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade and Reagan administration economist Art Laffer suggested that the claim that Romney's tax plan would cut taxes for the rich "at the expense of the middle class" was not "the truth." From the show:
KILMEADE: When you talk about the message amongst both parties, about the middle class and the refrain from President Obama is Mitt Romney wants to become president to give himself a tax cut and do it at the expense of the middle class. What's the truth? What do the numbers really look like?
LAFFER: Well the truth is Jack Kennedy, which you showed right there, was a very wealthy family. He didn't cut the highest rate to help his family. He did it to help the country. Kennedy cut the tax rates across the board to stimulate. He cut government spending. He reaffirmed the dollar's convert ability to gold in May of 1962. And he did free trade, which is called the Kennedy round tariff negotiation. Every one of those is opposed to what Obama is doing. Obama is going just the opposite direction. And I just don't understand why the Democrats lost their play card. Why they don't really support what they used to be the champions of. [Fox News, Fox & Friends 8/6/12, via Media Matters]
WSJ Defended Romney From Study Showing His Plan Would Increase Middle Class Taxes. In response to a study by the Tax Policy Center of Romney's tax plan that showed it would likely hike taxes for the middle class, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote:
[Obama's] charge is that even though Mr. Romney is proposing to cut tax rates for everybody across the board, Mr. Romney will finance this by imposing a tax increase on the middle class. His evidence is a single study by the Tax Policy Center, a liberal think tank that has long opposed cutting income tax rates.
The political left always says Daddy Warbucks gets all the tax-cut money. So this is hardly news, except that the media are treating this joint Brookings Institution and Urban Institute analysis as if it's nonpartisan gospel. In fact, it's a highly ideological tract based on false assumptions, incomplete data and dishonest analysis. [The Wall Street Journal, 8/7/12]
Fox's O'Reilly And Crowley Claimed Study Showing Romney Hiked Middle Class Taxes Was "Bias[ed]" "Conjecture." Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said the Tax Policy Center's study was "basically theoretical." Fox contributor Monica Crowley stated that the study had "bias" built in:
O'REILLY: So the president is basing his projections of Governor Romney taking money from the poor and the working people and giving it to the fat cats on analysis by the Tax Policy Center, which is very complicated. It has to do with phasing out deductions, and all kinds of things that are basically theoretical; they're not real things. But the president is taking this and his guys have taken this and run with it, saying that now Romney wants to take from the folks and give it to the rich people. Now, I'm laughing because, and I'm not favoring Romney over Obama or anything like that. It's so patently absurd, yet the president clearly believes what is he saying.
CROWLEY: First of all, the Tax Policy Center, one of the two authors of what we are talking about here happened to serve on Obama's Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2010.
ALAN COLMES (Fox News contributor): The other served Bush.
O'REILLY: It doesn't matter whether they served. It's all conjecture.
CROWLEY: Right. And their bias is built into the conjecture.
O'REILLY: Right. It's all, it could, it might, they might have to do this. And he assigns it as fact.
CROWLEY: Correct. And that's very irresponsible on the part of the president.
O'REILLY: People should know this. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 8/8/12, via Media Matters]
For more right-wing media defending Romney from claims that his tax plan will increase middle class taxes, click here
Fact: Romney's Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes On The Middle Class
Tax Policy Center: Romney Tax Plan "Would Provide Large Tax Cuts To High-Income Households, And Increase The Tax Burdens On Middle- And/Or Lower-Income Taxpayers." A recent study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that Romney's plan would have to "provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers" in order to be "revenue-neutral":
Our major conclusion is that a revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed - including reducing marginal tax rates substantially, eliminating the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) and maintaining all tax breaks for saving and investment - would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers. This is true even when we bias our assumptions about which and whose tax expenditures are reduced to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible. For instance, even when we assume that tax breaks - like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance -are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality- the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households. [Tax Policy Center, 8/1/12]
Tax Policy Center: Romney's Tax Plan "Would Require Deep Reduction In Popular Tax Benefits" Like "Benefits For Low- And Middle-Income Families And Children." The Tax Policy Center study further found that to offset the $360 billion in revenue losses under Romney's tax plan, Romney would be required to make "deep reductions" in tax benefits:
Absent any base broadening, the proposed reductions in individual and estate taxes specified in Governor Romney's plan would decrease federal tax revenues by $360 billion in 2015.These tax cuts predominantly favor upper-income taxpayers: Taxpayers with incomes over $1 million would see their after-tax income increased by 8.3 percent (an average tax cut of about $175,000), taxpayers with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 would see somewhat smaller increases of about 2.4 percent (an average tax cut of $1,800), while the after-tax income of taxpayers earning less than $30,000 would actually decrease by about 0.9 percent (an average tax increase of about $130) due to the expiration of the temporary tax cuts enacted in 2009 and extended at the end of 2010.
Offsetting the $360 billion in revenue losses necessitates a reduction of roughly 65 percent of available tax expenditures. Such a reduction by itself would be unprecedented, and would require deep reductions in many popular tax benefits ranging from the mortgage interest deduction, the exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, the deduction for charitable contributions, and benefits for low- and middle-income families and children like the EITC [Earned Income Tax Credit] and child tax credit. [Tax Policy Center, 8/1/12]
Romney: I Have A Plan To Create 12 Million Jobs. During his speech, Romney claimed he has a plan to "create 12 million new jobs":
I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.
And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps. [Mitt Romney speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention, 8/30/12]
Fox's Steve Doocy: "Romney Said, 'If Elected, I'll Create 12 Million Jobs.' " During the August 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed that we don't know what President Obama's economic plan is, but "Mitt Romney said, if elected, I'll create 12 million jobs." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/22/12, via Media Matters]
Fox Nation Highlighted Romney Job Claim In Response To Jobs Report. After the most recent jobs report showed an increase in the unemployment rate, Fox Nation posted Romney's response, where he said: "My plan will turn things around and bring the economy roaring back, with twelve million new jobs created by the end of my first term." [Fox Nation, 8/3/12]
Wash. Examiner Pushed Romney Pledge To "Create 12 Million Jobs." From The Washington Examiner's report of Mitt Romney's acceptance speech:
Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night with a pledge to create 12 million jobs and to work for American families weakened by four years of economic distress.
Promising to begin his presidency with "a jobs tour," Romney said he was "running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement." [The Washington Examiner, 8/30/12]
Fact: Experts Say Romney Hasn't Released A Coherent Plan That Would Make Job Estimates Possible
UC Berkley Economist: Romney Has Not Released A "Complete, Coherent" Plan. Brad Long, a UC Berkley economist, explained that Romney has not released a "complete, coherent and scoreable" plan to add 12 million new jobs:
There is no Romney program -- a program is complete, coherent, and scoreable, Romney has repeatedly said that his statements are not scoreable. In order to estimate the economic effect of any program, you have to know what its pieces will do--you need to have it scored. Until Romney presents a complete and coherent program with scoreable pieces, [the conservative economists] have no basis for asserting anything about its economic impact. [Brad DeLong, August 2012]
Moody's: "There's Not Enough In Romney's Plan To Estimate How Many Jobs It Would Create." Mark Hopkins, a senior analyst at Moody's Analytics told The Washington Post that "there is not enough in Romney's plan to estimate how many jobs it would create." [The Washington Post, 8/3/12]
Economic Policy Institute: "Romney's Plan Is Really more Of A Conservative Wish List... Than A [Jobs] Plan." In a September 19, 2011, EPI report, budget analyst Rebecca Thiess noted that Romney's 2011 "Believe in America" plan "is really more of a conservative wish list... than a plan to put Americans back to work." Thiess continued:
In fact, nowhere in the 160 page plan could I find a stated job creation number -- 11.5 million is a number Romney has quoted in public appearances, but it does not appear anywhere in his plan. The math doesn't just appear to be fuzzy -- it appears to be nonexistent.
So Romney's plan is really more of a conservative wish list of supply-side policies for stimulating long-term economic growth than a plan to put Americans back to work today or next year (or the year after next). And he relies on assumptions that don't have a whole lot of foundation -- for instance that trickle-down economics works or that it's unhealthy for the federal government to ever run deficits. [Economic Policy Institute, Working Economics, 9/19/11]
Fact: Economic Analysts Predict Nearly That Much Job Growth No Matter Who Wins Election
Moody's Analytics Predicts 11.8 Million Jobs Created Over Four Next Years. New York Times economic reporter Catherine Rampell reported that the economic research firm Moody's Analytics predicts the creation of 11.8 million jobs from 2013 to 2016. [The New York Times, 8/7/12]
Moody's Analyst: Romney "Promising No More Jobs Than We Currently Expect To Gain Under Proposals Similar To" Obama's. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent reported that in an interview, Moody's senior analyst Mark Hopkins said:
The current Moody's Analytics baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016 (134 million to 146).
If Romney is elected and the trajectory of the U.S. economy plays out according to script, obviously he'll be able to take credit for those 12 million new jobs.
However, the economic assumptions embedded in our forecast include only an extension of Bush-era tax rates for those under 250K, which is more closely aligned with the Obama administration's position. We also assume a bipartisan deal to scale back sequestration and achieve a long-run fiscally sustainable path, with Democrats accepting reforms to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for the increase in top tax rates.
In effect, therefore, Romney is essentially promising no more jobs than we currently expect to gain under proposals similar to those advanced by the Obama administration. There's not enough in Romney's plan to estimate how many jobs it would create. If he's saying the net change will be 12 million jobs, that's exactly what we're estimating without Romney's plan. [The Washington Post, 8/3/12]
Macroeconomic Advisers Reportedly Also Predicts 11.8 Million Jobs Created. The New York Times also reported:
In its semi-annual long-term economic forecast released in April, Macroeconomic Advisers projected that the economy would add 11.8 million jobs from 2012 to 2016. That means Mr. Romney believes his newly announced policies would add an extra 200,000 jobs on top of what people already expected, or a jobs bonus of about 2 percent. The more jobs the better, of course, but that's not really much to write home about. [The New York Times, 8/7/12]