There's a new injury going around in political circles these days: it's called political whiplash. It's caused by the ever changing -- sometimes violently so -- perceptions of the presidential contest. This week started with dour predictions about Mitt Romney's chances. "He can't win Ohio and Wisconsin!" "His messaging is a mess!" "Donors are going to abandon him!" But by Wednesday night -- WHACK -- the views of the punditocracy shifted drastically. "Romney crushed the debate!" "President Obama was missing in action!" "This is a brand new race!!!" Then came Friday morning's job report.
The 1300's were a crucial time in world history: Fleas carried several waves of Black Death across Europe, killing countless millions. Many thousands of Jews were slaughtered for causing that. Kings and popes and their wars came and went, as did William "Braveheart" Wallace. Beheadings facilitated the process, as did stake-burnings for heretics. Vodka and corsets were invented. Construction began on the Bastille. (Snip) That time period was also when all of the beautiful light in the NASA photo above began its journey to this page. We'll find out what comes after trillion if Obama gets a second
US army officers have begun arriving in Israel ahead of joint military manoeuvres between the countries' armed forces, an Israeli newspaper said on Sunday. The officers will supervise the arrival of hundreds of US troops on October 14 for joint manoeuvres that will take place the following week and last for three weeks, according to Yediot Aharonot.(Snip) Time magazine reported on September 1 that Washington had significantly reduced the number of its joint military exercises with Israel, probably because of disagreement between them over how best to deal with Iran's nuclear
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak seemed to turn the page on their recent public bickering during a one-and-a-half-hour Saturday night meeting, saying that they had agreed to continue working together to overcome Israel's security threats. In a statement following the meeting, Barak said that he and Netanyahu "see eye-to-eye" on every aspect of the Iranian threat, as well as "the relationship with the United States under the Prime Minister's leadership."(Snip) Meanwhile, Barak’s office had said the meeting was being held neither to rebuke the defense minister nor to
Kudos to the Spanish-language television news network Univision for their incredible investigative report on Fast and Furious. (Snip) They documented the fact that 14 young man and women attending a birthday party were wantonly killed by drug cartel "hit" men using weapons that were traced to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and their Fast and Furious program. This is an investigative report that should have been done by the American press. They, however, are too busy finding incidents of 50 years ago so insignificant that they are off the radar screen in a week.
The rumble was bungled.A tech glitch derailed the wildly hyped online debate between Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly Saturday, triggering a mountain of mockery from frustrated fans. An untold number of viewers missed out on the event, which cost $4.95 and was billed as “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.” (Snip) With the joke on them, the debate’s organizers posted an apology on Facebook, saying their servers were overloaded “due to overwhelming demand.”
A presidential reelection campaign needs three key elements: a defense of the incumbent’s record, a successful effort to define the opposition and a compelling vision of a second term. President Obama may well celebrate a second term in Chicago next month, but the conventional wisdom underestimates the difficulty he faces, as his campaign has distinct problems with all three elements. His defense of his record is exceptionally weak, his effort to define Mitt Romney is nearly exhausted, and his vision for the next four years — perhaps the most important — has been largely missing from
The slimiest news coverage of 2012 has nothing to do with the presidential election. It concerns a massive ABC News campaign against an American beef company. Led by national correspondent Jim Avila, the network bombarded a South Dakota firm with a seemingly endless barrage of stories claiming that its lean beef was – it doesn’t get uglier than this – “pink slime.” According to that company, ABC’s reports cost it hundreds of millions of dollars, and cost more than 700 people their jobs. Now that company is suing ABC – for $1.2 billion. The heart of ABC’s campaign lasted nearly a month
Venezuelan citizens living as expatriates in Miami are trekking to New Orleans to vote in Sunday’s election, which sees socialist president Hugo Chavez is in the fight of his political career against centrist challenger Henrique Capriles. Andrew Morrison, a cofounder of the Venevox Foundation – an apolitical organization dedicated to ensuring “Human Rights and Democratic Values of the Venezuelan people around the World” — told The Daily Caller that his organization has pulled together enough funding to bring between 6,000 and 7,000 people from Miami to New Orleans to vote Sunday.
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney vowed in a campaign appearance earlier this year to “take a weed whacker” to the thicket of federal regulations adopted by the Obama administration and promised to impose a rigid freeze and cost cap on all new government rules. He has pledged to reverse a half-dozen major Environmental Protection Agency pollution and public health rules, to swiftly approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, to rewrite the ambitious new vehicle fuel efficiency standards and to open untouched coastal and wilderness areas to oil and gas exploration.
A free-to-use font designed to help people with dyslexia read online content is gaining favour. OpenDyslexic's characters have been given "heavy-weighted bottoms" to prevent them from flipping and swapping around in the minds of their readers. A recent update to the popular app Instapaper has adopted the text format as an option for its users. The font has also been built into a word processor, an ebook reader and has been installed on school computers. The project was created by Abelardo Gonzalez, a New Hampshire-based mobile app designer, who released his designs onto the web at the end
Predictably, skeptics about the federal jobs numbers released yesterday are being labeled as “jobs truthers” in many quarters. Those alleging a flat-out conspiracy are being treated as nutcases. As Politico notes, even some Republicans are trying to throw cold water on the theories being floated that assert the unemployment rate is only declining because of an effort to cook the figures to benefit President Obama. The skeptics, like former GE CEO Jack Welch and Rep. Alan West, are taking a beating in the press. Though the dip in unemployment is both anomalous in terms
Eli Lake reports on White House deliberations over retaliation for the killing of Amb. Christopher Stevens and other Americans in Benghazi. U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly have compiled a list of suspects in the assault. According to some intelligence officials, there is enough detail to take military action to kill or capture ten of the operatives tied to the planning of the attack. The administration supposedly is considering whether to pursue these operatives through law enforcement or via military means like drone strikes or special operations. It is also weighing the risk that delay will enable the suspected terrorists to flee
The global pop sensation of the year has got us all excited about South Korea. Welcome to the world of K-culture. Gangnam Style, a novelty song by the South Korean rapper Psy, is the global pop sensation of 2012. It is No1 on the UK singles chart and has been viewed more than 360 million times on YouTube. Britney Spears asked Psy to teach her his rodeo-riding dance live on Ellen DeGeneres’s TV show. Even a YouTube clip of five Korean girls dancing to Gangnam Style has been viewed more than 35 million times.[Snip] Here is your instant, 10-point
Activist Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested on Friday while in Minnesota and the police reported him to immigration officials, but they declined to issue a detainer that would have seen Vargas handed over to the ICE and possibly deported. Vargas was arrested for a traffic violation on Friday morning for driving without a valid driver's licence. Vargas was originally pulled over for driving while wearing headphones. Vargas' arrest is notable because, as MinnPost points out, the county he was arrested in regularly participates in the Bush-era immigration initiative Secure Communities:
The New York Times reports that the Obama administration has abandoned its limited goal of a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, leaving the Afghans to do it in the years after we leave. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi rebuffed President Obama's call for free speech in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, calling in his United Nations speech for repression of any speech that offends Islam. President Obama intervened militarily in Libya after his then-defense secretary, Bob Gates, said America had no national security stake in that nation. The result, in the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
There will be lots more to write on this topic, but here's a snippet at this link: After Congress passed the RESTORE Act to direct any monies from a federal lawsuit against BP (related to the oil rig blowout) to the affected Gulf States according to a formula set in the act, the Obama administration, as is its wont, is trying to make an end run against a law the president himself signed, by reaching a legal settlement with BP that directs the money elsewhere so the feds have control of it. This is an outrage.
Our Founding Fathers spoke much about the importance of “freedom of conscience” and its underpinning of all other freedoms. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson said, “We are bound, you, I, and every one to make common cause even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience.” Recent decisions by the Obama administration and Pentagon leaders threaten this common right, and their assault on freedom of conscience raises new and serious concerns — especially for our servicemen and women. Our armed services were created with an apolitical framework, and this unique platform has helped maintain
There were 13 violent attacks and ominous incidents near the US consulate in Benghazi in the months before terrorists murdered the US ambassador to Libya on Sept. 11. Militants even videotaped Ambassador Chris Stevens on his morning runs outside the wall — and threatened to kill him. But if that wasn’t enough to clue in the State Department that trouble was at hand, the US mission in Libya also “made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” according to congressional investigators — but was “denied these resources by officials in Washington.” Sure enough, on the 9/11 anniversary,
We have a clueless ideologue, or, more likely, a hopelessly dishonest ideologue, as commander-in-chief. There can’t be any other explanation. The Hill reports that President Obama has said he would have had Osama bin Laden sent to a civilian U.S. court for a criminal trial if the Navy SEALs had captured him, as opposed to killing him. The report is based on a Vanity Fair article derived from Mark Bowden’s new book, The Finish. Using the constitutional term “Article III” as lawyers often do in referring to the civilian federal courts, the report quotes Obama as explaining,
Friday’s jobs report might, but only might, have been the last one that will have any effect on the race to the White House. By the time the next report is published on November 2, only four days before the election, about 40 percent of all voters will have cast early or mail ballots. But the American Enterprise Institute’s Karlyn Bowman, a polling analyst, says that although we don’t really know how many undecided voters there are, “the best bet” is that about 5 percent of voters are undecided—7 percent in the key swing state of Florida.
A new poll shows a slight change in the presidential race immediately following Wednesday night's debate in Denver, with a 4-point lead for President Obama the day before the debate becoming a 1-point deficit the day after his uninspiring peformance. On Tuesday, the Washington, D.C.-based Clarus Research Group surveyed 590 likely voters and found Obama leading Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 45 percent. On Thursday, Clarus found, in an identical number of interviews, that Romney had inched ahead by 1 point, 47 percent to 46 percent. Obama's support slipped by 3 points and Romney's ticked up by 2 points.
Barack Obama gave some lively performances on the stump after that sorry debate, including before 30,000 roaring people in Madison, so someone seems to have told him how bad it was.(Snip)There’s no doubt that he did envision himself as transformational. Almost everything that had happened in his life before becoming president—succeeding at everything, often leaving observers in awe of him—clearly suggested to him that he’d conquer the presidency. He also believed, I think really genuinely believed, that he was and could be a post-partisan figure.
Wednesday the public got to see the president as I have always seen him -- a lazy, superficial thinker who is over his head as Chief Executive. There were so many witty tweets and columns that our side of the aisle was kept laughing as the night wore on. "Mene mene tekel upharsin", tweeted the great Iowahawk, reminding readers of the words written by a mysterious hand that to the Biblical Daniel correctly signified the end of a king (Belshazzar) and his reign.
Vice President Biden, a man with nearly four decades of experience in politics, has not been taking lightly his preparations for his debate against Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), holding practice sessions and perusing briefing books in recent months. Now, in the wake of President Obama’s widely panned performance last week in his first debate against Mitt Romney, the stakes for Biden are suddenly higher than ever. In the Oct. 11 vice-presidential debate he must not only avoid making any gaffes but also try to puncture his Republican opponent’s arguments on taxes, entitlement reform and deficit reduction,
It seems that one unexpected group of people may have gotten a decided lift from Mitt Romney’s success at the first presidential debate. According to Business Insider, coal miners – lately in tremendous fear for their livelihoods – may have reason to hope for saving their jobs if Mitt pulls out a win next month. The biggest winners today were coal companies. Last night, Romney gave high praise to coal and clean coal technology. Shares of Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal soared today. It’s no secret that coal miners, along with all of the subsidiary industries