SNAKE OIL

You may have heard radio ads for a $248 ‘platinum gas saver’ guaranteed to make your car engine at least 22% more fuel efficient – all but government certified. Rightwing radio talk show host Michael Savage (Michael Weiner) endorses it, saying that ‘it increases the percentage of fuel that burns inside your engine from the standard 68% of each gallon’ to 90%.* Go to their website or call their 800-number and you’ll be sold.

The only problem (and, in context, a considerable one): it doesn’t work. Or so says Consumer Reports. (If it did work, wouldn’t most manufacturers build it into their cars to get the higher fuel rating?)

The FTC has issued a warning about such claims, followed by a listing of the things, mostly free, that do work.

*Never mind that this would be a 32% improvement, not 22% – to increase something from 68 to 90 is to increase it by 32%. Perhaps either he or the sponsor is purposely underselling the benefits?

ST. LOUIS

Last week I suggested that we either continue move forward November 2 or slide back. I had just come back from the DNC summer meeting in St. Louis, where the Vice President made the same case, and with a lot more charm. ‘Don’t compare me with the Almighty,’ he quoted former Boston Mayor Kevin White – ‘compare me with the alternative.’ Watch the whole speech, if you can (and Secretary Sebelius’s as well), here.

Tomorrow: Maine and Indiana

 

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