Friday, August 31, 2012

News Nuggets 1045

DAYLEE PICTURE: A Lion's Mane jellyfish in the White Sea north of Russia.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

A Syrian Defector’s Mission (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post 
"Syria’s most prominent military defector says the key to political transition there is to provide a “safety net” that convinces Alawites they won’t be massacred if they break with President Bashar al-Assad."

U.S. Court Knocks Down Texas Law Requiring Photo ID to Vote (Meteor Blades) from Daily Kos
"A law that would have required Texans to present a photo ID at the polls before being allowed to vote has been rejected by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The law would, the court said,
disenfranchise African American and Latino voters."

Lagging Faith in Romney is GOP Challenge (Charles Babington) from the Associated Press via Yahoo News
"Americans like winners, pollsters say. The "who do you THINK will win" question has a strong — but certainly not infallible — track record of signaling where an election is going. The numbers are startling. Poll after poll shows Obama and Romney roughly even when people are asked the "horse race" question: who do you support for president? But Romney trails Obama badly when the same people are asked: Who do you believe will win?"

NBC News-WSJ Poll: Romney is Not in the Black — Literally (Jonathan Capehart) from the Washington Post
"Rare is the time that a poll number makes me gasp. But there is one in the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll that elicited one. While it was no surprise to see that President Obama snared 94 percent of African Americans surveyed, the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney got nuthin’, zilch, niente, a big fat 0 percent."
WOW!  Zero percent!

Republicans Playing Brutus (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post 
"Exploiting the tepid enthusiasm for Romney, up-and-comers in the party are using the convention to put down markers for their own presidential bids in 2016. They haven’t gone so far as to disparage Romney — such flagrant disloyalty would be a turnoff — but they are using their moments on stage as auditions. Unfortunately for Romney, the implied assumption is that he’s going to lose."

Some VERY interesting follow-up to the Babington article.  A big excerpt is in order:
No One Thinks Romney Will Win, Because He Won't (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos
"Yesterday, Chuck Todd on MSNBC talked about how Republicans wanted to refocus on Wisconsin as they see Ohio slip away. They. See. Ohio. Slipping. Away. I'm not sure how Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes makes up for Ohio's 18, or Pennsylvania's 20. Even if Republicans surrender both those states, winning Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia—states Obama won in 2008—that wouldn't be enough for Mitt Romney to get to 270. Fact is, Republicans are losing. Just watch their convention and note the utter lack of energy. Nothing. We all hated Sarah Palin, sure, but she lit that convention hall on fire. George W. Bush knew how to amp it up. Zell Miller had the place rocking. On Tuesday night, Chris Christie had to order people to stand up."
"Ohio slipping away" -- can that be true?  Without Ohio, Romney is going down.

Will They Decipher the Cipher? (Maureen Dowd) from the New York Times 
"Mitt Romney doesn’t elicit passion, as Ronald Reagan did in Detroit. Or respect, as Poppy Bush did in New Orleans. Or excitement, as W. did in Philadelphia. Or admiration, as John McCain did in St. Paul. The emotion he evokes is pity."

Paul Ryan and the Post-Truth Convention Speech (James Fallows) from the Atlantic
"I am impressed, in a bad way, that Ryan thought he could just brazen it through. But it is also impressive that, at least in the short run, parts of the press are responding as they must in an era when politicians don't care. That is, they're not simply quoting "critics" about things Ryan made up. They are outright saying that he is telling lies. [MANY examples follow].

An example: this item from FOX NEWS!!
Paul Ryan’s Speech in 3 Words (Sally Kohn) from Fox News
"... [Word No. 2]: Deceiving.  On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was  Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold."

Turning Point? Media Backlash Continues Against Paul Ryan’s Misleading Speech from Talking Points Memo
"The media’s backlash against Paul Ryan and the factually unsound premises of his Wednesday convention speech continued well into Thursday, and turned what the GOP hoped would be glowing headlines into a less lustrous mix of fawning and criticism."

Major Republican Speakers Avoid Two Words: "Tea Party" (Rosie Gray) from Buzzfeed
"Not a single prime time mention of the movement after two days of the Republican National Convention. Not Romney's crowd?"

GOP Convention, Mitt Romney Haunted By Ghost Of George W. Bush (Dan Froomkin) from the Huffington Post
"... his absence is not just physical; it's metaphysical. That's because Bush's very existence belies two of the most critical selling points of GOP nominee Mitt Romney's presidential campaign: That tax cuts for the rich will create jobs, and that Romney is bringing a fresh new approach that can turn the country's fortunes around."

Ron Fournier: Romney is Playing a Racial Game (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"What makes this all noteworthy is who Fournier is. He’s well respected in Washington journalism, having worked as the Associated Press’s Washington correspondent — where he was called on first in many presidential press conferences — before becoming editor in chief of the National Journal Group. Having him come out and explicitly charge the Romney campaign with race-baiting will make this a safer topic among some of the top-shelf commentator and journalist types who might otherwise have shied away from it."

Ann Romney and Chris Christie (Peggy Noonan) from the Wall Street Journal 
Peggy Noonan hasn't made an appearance at this blog in years.
"I want to tell you they marched out of the hall Tuesday night on fire for their side. But I was there and they did not. They walked out like people who weren’t quite sure what to think or how to feel but were hoping for the best.”"

Political Passions are on the Loose Across the Land from the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"The judge, who is a Republican, the county's emergency management director and head of its commissioner's court, told a local Fox television station that the possibility of "civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe" existed if Mr. Obama won and then tried "to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N. ... In Texas, no leading Republican so far, including Gov. Rick Perry, a former presidential candidate, has condemned Mr. Head's remarks."

Three States Hold the Keys to the Election (David Rothschild) from the Huffington Post
"If you have limited time to devote to following the presidential election this fall, I suggest you follow the data on just three states: Florida, Virginia, and Ohio. Mitt Romney's only likely path to victory over Barack Obama is to win those three states. Conversely, if Obama can carry just one of those states, he will likely win the election."

‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ ‘Ted,’ ‘Battleship’: Summer’s Biggest Movie Winners and Losers (Chris Lee) from the Daily Beast
"With fall already in the air and popcorn movie season ending next week, we look back at the season’s surprise hits, biggest flops, and career-killing screw-ups, from ‘The Avengers’ to ‘Ted’ to ‘Abraham Lincoln.’"
A few hints on what to put in your Netflix queue -- and what to drop.

CYBORG NUGGET [of a sort]!!
Half Man, Half Machine: Scientists Engineer First 'Cyborg' Tissue from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"It like it’s something out of a science-fiction movie – genius scientists engineer a synthetic skin that’s part living, part electronics. But scientists at Harvard University have done just that, creating meshes of electronic and biological tissue. The end result is cyborg tissue, which is created from electrodes and wires combined on a Nano-scale."

Dog Who Had its Front Paws Cut Off is Back on its Feet with Prosthetic Limbs (VIDEO) from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Pay de Limon's horrific injuries are believed to have been inflicted by members of a Mexican drug gang Staff at a Mexican rescue centre raised nearly £4,000 to pay for a new pair of prosthetic legs for the mutilated dog"

What Kind of Book Reader Are You? A Diagnostics Guide (Jen Doll) from the Atlantic
"...for as many books as exist, there are also any number of different reading types a book lover (or even a book hater) might demonstrate. What kind are you?"

ACADEMIC CHEATING NUGGET [what else can I call it?]!!
Harvard Investigates "Unprecedented" Academic Dishonesty Case from the Harvard Crimson
"Nearly half of more than 250 students in "Introduction to Congress" are under investigation."
OMG!!  Now -- I should say, having looked over the article and the exam in question, the professor of this course was ASKING for trouble.  His exam instructions were "“The exam is completely open book, open note, open internet, etc. However, in all other regards, this should fall under similar guidelines that apply to in-class exams. More specifically, students may not discuss the exam with others—this includes resident tutors, writing centers, etc.”"  GOOD LUCK with that.  The professor should dust off his cv.  One way or the other, he'll take the fall for such a humiliating story.

Remarkable 500-year-old Leonardo Da Vinci Casting of Horse and Rider Unveiled After Original was Lost for Centuries from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Famed artist, scientist, and engineer Leonardo di Vinci created a beeswax sculpture of a man riding a horse in 1508, thought to be a model for a larger commission. But the Italian Renaissance master died before the model could be cast in metal, and mysteriously vanished from public sight for centuries. But after painstaking search, the casting was recovered, and a bronze sculpture of the horse and rider was finally unveiled."
How completely AMAZING!! This bronz is the only surviving work of sculpture of this great Italian master!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

News Nuggets 1044

DAYLEE PICTURE: Film noir-style image of girls walking through a park in the UK.  From National Geographic.

A Breakthrough in U.S.-Indian Relations? (Bruce Riedel) from the National Interest
"A potential new weapons deal could mean that Washington's aggressive courting of New Delhi is paying off."

Federal Judge Will Permanently Remove Florida Voter Registration Restrictions from Talking Points Memo
"A federal judge said Wednesday he would permanently remove harsh restrictions on third-party voter registration groups that have handicapped registration efforts in Florida this year. "

Confessions of a Seventh-Grade Texas History Teacher (John Spong) from Texas Monthly
"Bobby Jackson has taught students in the Aransas County school district about the Plains Indians, the Battle of San Jacinto, and Spindletop since the state celebrated its sesquicentennial. How he does it bears no resemblance to the class I took when I was stuck in middle school."

The Legitimate Children of Rape (Andrew Solomon) from the New Yorker 
"Women raising children conceived in rape face realities that Todd Akin hasn’t come close to recognizing."

The Secret Weapon: All of Us (Nicholas Kristof) from the New York Times  
"Behind every successful business stand the American taxpayers."

Republicans Have Become a Party of Naysayers (Gregor Peter Schmitz) from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"Mitt Romney has succeeded in securing the Republican nomination in Tampa this week. And while he may want to govern as a statesman, he won't be able to count on his party for support. For years, many US conservatives have given up political responsibility in favor of hardline ideology."

The Sad Spectacle of the GOP Convention’s Fact-Free Foreign Policy (John Judis) from the New Republic
"The speakers kept calling for a “robust” foreign policy and insisting that America should lead, and they denounced the Obama administration for failing to lead, but they offered very little indication that Romney would act any differently from Obama. That’s clearly what they intended to do."

In Modern GOP, the Old South Returns (Harold Meyerson) from the Washington Post
"Founded as the party of the anti-slavery North and committed to deep governmental involvement in spurring the economy (land-grant colleges, the Homestead Act, the transcontinental railway), today’s GOP is the negation of Abraham Lincoln’s Republicans."

Obama’s Ground Game Advantage (Aaron Blake) from the Washington Post 
"Democrats are winning at least one key aspect of the 2012 campaign: voter contact. Some Republicans are starting to fret a little bit about their ground game and a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that fear is at least somewhat justified."

Republicans Boast About Voter Suppression in Tampa, but the Ground Is Shifting (George Zornick) from the Nation
"...Haley’s timing was awful—the ground beneath voter-suppression efforts is falling away, in her state and elsewhere. On the same day Haley spoke, a trial was underway in South Carolina in which the state is suing Obama’s Department of Justice for blocking the voter identification law. And it isn’t going so well for the state...."

The Gender Gap Is Hurting Romney, Beyond His Control (Adam Sorenson) from Time Magazine
"... she insisted the episode wouldn’t reflect poorly on the presidential ticket. “I think that undecided women are going to look at [the candidates] individually.” Maybe. But it’s hard to sugarcoat Romney’s struggles with women voters. In the end, it’s not just about Mitt."

Why I’m Breaking Up with Paul Ryan (William Saletan) from Slate
"I don’t want to see you anymore. Two weeks ago, I declared my love for you. I said you would focus the election on fiscal responsibility. I envisioned you leading a movement of young people to control runaway spending. ... Since Mitt Romney tapped you as his running mate, you haven’t stood for fiscal restraint. You’ve attacked it."

Neocons Carry Bush’s Banner (Alex Seitz-Wald) from Salon
"The leaders on GOP foreign policy are still all Bush alums, despite his failures."

Chris Christie's Flop at the GOP Convention (John Harris) from Politico 
"There is no mistaking what a successful keynote speech for Chris Christie would have looked and sounded like. There would have been an electric reaction from the crowd in the convention hall. It would have been followed by waves of effusive media commentary about how people had just heard the future of the Republican Party. Judged by these standards, there is also no mistaking what the New Jersey governor delivered instead: A prime-time belly-flop, one that notably failed to clear either of those two high bars."

What It's Like for a Deaf Person to Hear Music for the First Time (Rebecca Rosen) from the Atlantic
"With new hearing aids, Austin Chapman is listening to music for the first time in his life, and it sounds glorious."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

News Nuggets 1043

DAYLEE PICTURE:  The Tham Lod cave in Pang Mapha, Thailand.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Why Is Obama So Confident? (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine  
"...the actual behavior of both campaigns suggests agreement on this point. Obama is running the same game plan he embarked on last year. Romney has changed things up, junking his original game plan ... The best explanation I can muster is that the polls are assuming a much different, and more
GOP-friendly, electorate than either party."

Court: GOP’s Texas Redistricting Plan Intentionally Discriminated Against Hispanics from Talking Points Memo
"A redistricting plan signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Tuesday. The judges found that seats belonging to white incumbent members of Congress were protected under the plan while districts
belonging to incumbent minorities were targeted for changes."

Young Barry Wins: A Review of Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss  (Darryl Pinckney) from the New York Review of Books
"Obama’s hold on the middle ground frustrates old liberals and engaged youth. But it remains one of his great assets that the Republicans can’t shove or provoke him from the middle ground. His entrenchment is perhaps why his opponents cannot make him lose his cool, his own understated black swagger."

Can the GOP Evolve? (David Frum) from the Democracy Journal
"Throughout the Obama years, Republicans built a powerful coalition of the rich and the old. The coalition was built on two principles: militant rejection of any and all new taxes, and unyielding defense of existing government benefits for those at or near retirement age."

The Millennials Grow Up (Andrew Baumann & Anna Greenberg) from the Democracy Journal
"...while these voters continue to evince some frustration with Democrats and Obama, their view of the Republican Party has soured dramatically since 2010 (going from 38 to 50 percent unfavorable) as the GOP’s radical anti-government, anti-gay, anti-contraception Tea Party agenda has come to the fore. Indeed, Pew’s excellent survey from late last year on the generation gap shows that millennials overwhelmingly view the GOP as extreme and unconcerned with people like them."

Among the Republicans (V.S. Naipaul) from the New York Review of Books 
"... the message of convention week was that there was no contradiction, that American endeavor and success were contained within old American faith and pieties. Karl Marx and homosexuality were on the other side of these pieties and could be lumped together. The fundamentalism that the Republicans had embraced went beyond religion. It simplified the world in general; it rolled together many different kinds of anxieties—schools, drugs, race, buggery, Russia, to give just a few; and it offered the simplest, the vaguest solution: Americanism, the assertion of the American self."

No Enthusiasm Gap (Ed Kilgore) from Washington Monthly
"...we need to understand a fundamental truth that is often forgotten: “Enthusiasm” which exceeds the willingness to cast a ballot only matters if it is communicable to other voters. It’s beginning to become apparent that the exceptional passion of Obama-hatred among conservative “base” voters does not translate into some sort of thumb-on-the-scales on November 6."

Will Romney Discover His Inner Nixon? The Coming GOP Fight Between Realists and Neocons (Jacob Heilbrunn) from Foreign Policy Magazine 
"Bereft of any real ideas about foreign policy, Romney, like George W. Bush, has become a vessel for some of the most retrograde ideas about foreign affairs that a Republican candidate has ever advanced."

Team Romney White-Vote Push: ‘This Is the Last Time Anyone Will Try to Do This’  (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"The Republican strategist told Brownstein, “This is the last time anyone will try to do this” — “this” being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election."

Mad Murdoch Maligns Mousy Mitt: Why Rupert Hates Romney (Michael Wolff) from the New Republic
"Romney is “unprincipled”—one of Murdoch’s bad words—by which he usually means too camera-ready, too media-attuned, and too market-focused. And the larger point: He is just plain grumpy about the uninspired Republican nominee, with the implicit threat that, if unappeased, he is capable of throwing a wrench into the works."

Romney's Tasks in Tampa (John Cassidy) from the New Yorker
"The Mittster says he has been working hard on his speech. That’s a bad sign…"

Reporters: Why Are You in Tampa? (Jeff Jarvis) from the Huffington Post 
"Take that $60,000,000 and divide it by a fully loaded labor cost of, say, $100,000 per head and it would pay for 600 reporters for a year. At $50,000 for a hyperlocal reporter, we'd get 1,200 towns covered -- more than Patch! What could they do versus what you will do in Tampa and Charlotte transcribing marketing messages and horrid memes?"

What I Saw On David Frum's Blog (Noah Kristula-Green) from the Daily Beast 
"A colleague once compared working on Frum's blog to "monks preserving knowledge during the Dark Ages." If this is true, then what were we preserving? I've thought about this for several weeks, and I think the following are the most important lessons I've learned from my time on this project...."

Oldest Insects Preserved in Amber Found from United Press International 
"Researchers say insects preserved in amber found in Italy are 100 million years older that any previously collected amber inclusions of arthropods."

How to Kill Student Curiosity in 12 Easy Steps from Alternet
"Want to stamp out the curiosity in even the most eager of learners? Here's how."

As many of you know, Daylee News Nuggets promotes the work of the animal rescue organization, Hope-for-Paws in LA.  Here's Eldad Hagar's latest video rescue of a dog that had been on the streets for TEN YEARS!  Check it out!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

News Nuggets 1042

DAYLEE PICTURE: An aspen forest in Colorado.  From National Geographic.

Iran Said to Send Troops to Bolster Syria from the Wall Street Journal [partial subscription wall]
"Commanders and Hundreds of Elite Soldiers Deployed to Damascus, Members Say, as Deepening Conflict Worries Key Ally."

The Untouchable Economy: Why Americans Are Turning Against 'Stuff' (Michael Mandel) from the Atlantic
"Young people are thinking entrepreneurially, viewing themselves as microbusinesses operating in a highly uncertain economic environment."

Why do Republicans Bash Obama for Being Divisive? (Jonathan Bernstein) from the Washington Post
"The hallmark of Republicans in the Frank Luntz era has been to find words that test well and embrace them, and find words that test badly and tar the opposition with them. Not concepts, not ideas, and certainly not policies. Words."

Huggability and Helium (Frank Bruni) from the New York Times
"The Republican convention in Tampa will be a pantomime of passion for a candidate who doesn’t inspire it."

Obama Poised to Win on Isaac Either Way (Major Garrett) from the National Journal
"He holds the incumbent advantage as the tropical storm barrels toward New Orleans."

Candidates Just Don’t Bounce Like They Used To (Ronald Brownstein) from the National Journal
"Even before Tropical Storm Isaac forced GOP convention planners to upend their schedule, senior party strategists were already braced for the prospect that the gathering was unlikely to produce a major postconvention bounce for Mitt Romney."

Operation Rescue: No Votes for Mitt Romney Until Todd Akin Gets Cash (Niels Lesniewski) from Roll Call
"The leader of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue wants GOP delegates to hold off on formally nominating Mitt Romney until funding is promised to the Senate campaign of Rep. Todd Akin."

Republicans Give Up on Pennsylvania (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos 
"The only surprise in Pennsylvania was that conservative groups were willing to keep pissing away their money in a state that clearly wasn't going anywhere. One of the few left is finished:"

Most Americans Still Predict Obama Will Win 2012 Election (Jeffrey M. Jones) from Gallup
"Romney supporters less optimistic than Obama supporters. ... Americans' prediction of who will win is significant since they have generally been correct in predicting the winner of past presidential elections."

Why CNN's Latest Florida Poll Should Panic GOP (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos
"CNN has a new Florida poll of the presidential race that has some serious bad news for Republicans everywhere. It's not just the toplines, which are bad enough: ... 50 and older: Obama 47 Romney 49."

On Mitt Romney’s Bubba Strategy (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast
"Romney is doubling down on the white working class. Peter Beinart on the internal GOP rift over neglecting women and minorities—and how his strategy will hurt him this fall."
Can he win relying so much on just white men?

Michael Tomasky on How Tricky Mitt Romney Is Aping Richard Nixon (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"With Romney’s likability at record lows, Republicans appear to have given up on getting America to like their candidate. Instead, they’d rather divide and conquer like it’s 1968."

The Top 10 Political Conventions That Mattered the Most (Kenneth C. Davis) from Smithsonian Magazine
"As the two parties bring together their faithful supporters, we look at those conventions in the past that truly made a difference in the country’s political history."

Revealed: The Sinister Wraith Land Drone (Capable of Deploying Smoke, Taking Pictures and Even Firing Fearsome 250rpm Shotguns) on Standby at the Republican Convention if Protests Get Out of Hand from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Sinister-looking unmanned ground vehicles called Wraiths are being deployed alongside aerial drones to police the Republican convention should protesters try to disrupt proceedings."

Fall of the Soviet Union—The Inside Story (James F. Collins) from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
"The fall of the Soviet Union and end of communism in Russia caught the world by surprise twenty years ago. In a  Q&A, Ambassador James F. Collins, the most senior American diplomat in Russia at the time, describes how the United States responded as history unfolded and reflects on the personal diplomacy between the Cold War foes as an August  1991 coup ultimately led to the breakup of the Soviet Union in December."

Monday, August 27, 2012

News Nuggets 1041

DAYLEE PICTURE: A real close-up of a wild brown bear in Kamchatka, Russia.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

What the *#@% Is Wrong With Republicans?! (Kathleen Parker) from Newsweek
"It's not just Akin. By pushing some of the most invasive state policies in modern history, the men of the GOP are driving their party off a cliff."

The New G.O.P. (Bill Marsh) from the New York Times
"A guide to the distinct camps that make up the party."

The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era (Mike Grunwald) from Talking Points Memo
" new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It’s the story of President Obama’s $800 billion stimulus bill, which—wait, don’t click away!—was one of the most important and least understood pieces of legislation in modern history. The much-mocked Failed-Stimulus was actually a remarkable success. It was also the purest distillation of what Obama meant by change."

Convention Is Sign That Republican Grip on Sun Belt Is Loosening (Adam Nagourney) from the New York Times
"The Sun Belt remains a force, but the Republican National Convention is a sign that the Republicans’ grip on it is loosening."

GOP Divide Deepens on Abortion, Immigration, Gay Rights (Paul West) from the Los Angeles Times
"A party civil war could be looming over social issues, especially if Romney fails to defeat Obama."

Poll: Obama Running Away With Latino Vote (Henry Decker) from the National Memo
"The poll shows that 65 percent of Latino registered voters support President Obama’s re-election, compared to just 26 percent who support Romney. One key factor in Obama’s huge lead is his big favorability advantage; 74 percent of Latinos hold a favorable opinion of the president, compared to just 27 who view Romney favorably."

Poll: Female Voters Say Romney 'Out of Step' on Women's Health Issues from The Hill
"By a 20-point margin, women surveyed in the Planned Parenthood Action Fund poll said Romney is "out of step" on women's issues. That number increased as women heard "specific information about Romney's on-the-record statements about women's preventive and reproductive health..."

While Romney Campaign Talks of Forging Ahead, Isaac May Prompt Convention Cancellation from the Boston Globe
"There is a distinct possibility that the 2012 Republican National Convention will be cancelled. ... Rather, it may happen because of the damage the high winds and rain would inevitably wreak elsewhere on the Gulf Coast just before the delegates are slated to reconvene Tuesday in the Tampa Bay convention hall."

Why Tropical Storm Isaac Could Blow Away Mitt Romney’s Convention Moment (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast
"The storm could spare Florida, but the GOP convention may never recover. From Tampa, Howard Kurtz on why the media are chasing the more dramatic story—a possible Category 2 hurricane barreling toward New Orleans."

So, Mitt, What Do You Really Believe? from the Editorial Board of the Economist [of London]
"Too much about the Republican candidate for the presidency is far too mysterious... But competence is worthless without direction and, frankly, character. Would that Candidate Romney had indeed presented himself as a solid chief executive who got things done. Instead he has appeared as a fawning PR man, apparently willing to do or say just about anything to get elected."

Republican vs. Republican (Philip Gourevitch) from the New Yorker
"... the culture war that Buchanan trumpeted is no longer an insurgent cause but a permanent condition of the Republican Party, and, increasingly, it is being fought within the Party."

Romney’s Losing Strategy (John Judis) from the New Republic
"Mitt Romney and his party are oblivious to their longer term prospects. They are committed to a strategy that may win this year, but will lead to another Democratic landslide in two or four years."

Mitt Romney's Zero Percent Support from Blacks: Can He Still Win? from The Week
"A new poll shows President Obama clobbering his Republican challenger among minorities, leaving the GOP campaign increasingly reliant on an all-white strategy."

Joementum: Biden prepares for 2016 (Noam Scheiber) from the New Republic 
"In a not-for-attribution conversation, one longtime Biden adviser who doesn’t currently work for the vice president, but would play a key role in a 2016 campaign, sketched out a surprisingly detailed strategy."

Denmark's Recipe for a Model Democracy (Manfred Ertel and Gerald Traufetter) from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"Hailed as a "miracle of modern politics," Denmark consistently earns top marks for its efficient governance, innovation and transparency. Nowhere is this more apparent than with its successful embrace of wind power, making it a role model for the world."

Radio Receivers Will be Fitted to a Thousand Ants in World First Experiment Probing their Habits and Means of Communication from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"One thousand ants are to be fitted with tiny radio receivers in a world first experiment to find out how they communicate and travel between their complex nests."

Why Cell Phone Bans Don't Work: MIT Study Reveals Drivers who Talk are More Prone to Accidents with or without the Distraction from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"A new study from the MIT in Boston has revealed that cell phone bans might be ineffective because people who talk on their phones while driving might already be unsafe drivers."

Friday, August 24, 2012

News Nuggets 1040

DAYLEE PICTURE: Monkeys in Indonesia.  From National Geographic.

Desperation in Damascus, Panic in Tehran (Ali Alfoneh) from The Commentator
"The more desperate the situation in Damascus, the more Tehran panics, distancing itself further away."

Unsold Goods Keep Piling Up as China Tries to Spur Growth from the New York Times
"The severity of China’s inventory overhang has been carefully masked by the blocking or adjusting of economic data by the Chinese government — all part of an effort to prop up confidence in its economy."

Diaoyu in Our Heart: The Revealing Contradictions of Chinese Nationalism (Helen Gao) from the Atlantic
"The same patriotic feelings that send Chinese to rally for national sovereignty over disputed islands might also explain their surprising and apparently conflicting answers to an online discussion."

The Life and Death of a Great Russian City: The Tragic Plot to Destroy Nizhny Novgorod's Centuries-old Historic City Center from Foreign Policy Magazine
"The master plan was eventually canceled and for a few more decades Gorky, which in the Perestroika years was given back its original name, Nizhny Novgorod, continued to charm its inhabitants. Rare in Soviet times, that sort of victory of culture and history over business and development is nearly unheard of today."

Study Finds Big Loss in Income for Those Near Retirement from the New York Times
"The typical American between the ages of 55 and 64 has a household income almost 10 percent less than it was when the recovery began three years ago."

Quinnipiac/CBS/NYT Poll: Swing state voters trust Obama on Medicare (Joan McCarter) from Daily Kos
"Mitt Romney might have gotten the far-right off his back by allowing himself to be bullied into choosing Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential nominee, but that's about all he gained with the pick. New polling from  Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News in three swing states—Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin—show that Medicare has become one of the three key issues in this election, and President Obama has a strong advantage there."

Battleground Snapshot: The Race in the Electoral College Isn't Tightening from Daily Kos
"So do this week's numbers tell us? That the only place the Romney ticket got a legitimate Ryan bounce was in his home state of Wisconsin. Other than that, there's little here to be worried about, and plenty to be excited about."

The above article is in response to this item:
Electoral College Prediction Model Points To A Mitt Romney Win In 2012 (Matt Ferner) from the Huffington Post
"To predict the race's outcome, the model uses economic indicators from all 50 states and it shows 320 electoral votes for Romney and 218 for Obama, according to The Associated Press. The model also suggests that Romney will win every state currently considered a swing state which includes Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Colorado."
I view this model as fundamentally flawed on two fronts: first, that its focus on economic indicators since 1980 can't adequately account for people's views during the Great Recession we're in right now. There is just no comparison -- and I think most Americans are making fundamentally different assessments about the candidates than they might during a normal economic downturn.  Second, as the Daily Kos item suggests, I don't think there is any way Romney is taking all those states. Period.

All the Single Ladies (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"After listening to Republican politicians and their proxies on TV and radio, I'm left wondering why any women vote for Republicans."

Early Warning: Ryan Medicare Plan Imperils Battleground Republicans from the Carville-Greenberg Memo
" this moment, our latest battleground survey in the 54 most vulnerable Republican-held districts -- many of the same Republicans who 'shellacked' us in 2010 -- shows that GOP incumbents are paying a heavy price for misreading the 2010 election results and overreaching on a conservative Paul Ryan agenda that voters did not mandate.""

GOP Grassroots Furious at Romney Over Akin, Abortion Rape Exception (Michelle Goldberg) from the Daily Beast
"Anti-abortion activists are incensed at the candidate’s claim that he wouldn’t ban abortion for victims of rape—and at his rejection of Todd Akin, who’s trying to capitalize on that anger with a fundraising push."

The GOP Had the Todd Akin ‘Legitimate Rape’ Debacle Coming (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"The average American, courtesy of Todd Akin, is now learning that banning abortion for rape or incest victims is an official GOP platform. But it was only a matter of time before voters learned how extreme the party has become—and now Romney must deal with the fallout."

Akin Puts GOP’s Chance Of Regaining Senate Majority At Legitimate Risk—But Not For The Reasons You Might Think (Brian Beutler) from Talking Points Memo
"Missouri should’ve been a relative gimme for Republicans. But for strategic purposes, Akin was enough of a liability before the legitimate rape fiasco that Republicans had to approach the map under the assumption that McCaskill would hold on. That’s not a friendly map."

MO-SEN: Election 2012: Missouri Senate: Missouri Senate: McCaskill (D) 48%, Akin (R) 38% from Rasmussen Reports
"What a difference one TV interview can make. Embattled Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill has now jumped to a 10-point lead over her Republican challenger, Congressman Todd Akin, in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race. Most Missouri Republicans want Akin to quit the race while most Missouri Democrats want him to stay."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

News Nugget 1039

DAYLEE PICTURE: A beach off of Kitaibaraki City in Japan.  From National Geographic. 

We Need a ‘Conservative’ Party (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times 
"...we need more than debates. That’s all we’ve been having. We need deals on all four issues as soon as this election is over, and I just don’t see that happening unless “conservatives” retake the Republican Party from the “radicals” — that is, the Tea Party base. America today desperately needs a serious, thoughtful, credible 21st-century “conservative” opposition to President Obama, and we don’t have that, even though the voices are out there."

Democratic Convention To Feature Prominent Women Speakers from the Huffington Post
"The Democratic National Convention Committee Wednesday announced a lineup of convention speakers who will further solidify the party's standing with female voters."

GOP Rejects Rape Exception in Platform from Politico
"Even as Mitt Romney sought to quash the furor surrounding Todd Akin’s “legitimate” rape comments, the Republican platform committee here approved an abortion plank that includes no exemptions for rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother."

Signs of Divine Intervention for Republicans? (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"Has God forsaken the Republican Party? Well, sit in judgment of what’s happened in the past few days: ..."

Eleven Reasons Akin Didn’t Quit (Jeffrey Smith) from Salon
"It's after 6 p.m., and Todd Akin is still on the Missouri ballot. Why did he remain in the race?"

Akin Is The Christianist Mainstream (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast 
"Lying behind all of this is some kind of notion that women claim they have been raped to get an abortion. It's this loophole they are trying to fill. It becomes much less obviously cruel or drastic if the odds of pregnancy by rape are close to non-existent."

Just Think No (Maureen Dowd) from the New York Times
"In asserting that women have the superpower to repel rape sperm, Akin ratcheted up the old chauvinist argument that gals who wear miniskirts and high-heels are “asking” for rape; now women who don’t have the presence of mind to conjure up a tubal spasm, a drone hormone, a magic spermicidal secretion or mere willpower to block conception during rape are “asking” for a baby."

Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Timing Couldn’t Be Worse for Republicans (Mark McKinnon) from the Daily Beast
"Just as voters are taking a serious look at Romney and Ryan—and the Republican convention is finalizing its anti-abortion platform—Todd Akin’s stunning ignorance has women rushing for the exits, says former Bush and McCain adviser Mark McKinnon."

Todd Akin and Republican Men’s World of Unicorns, True Love—and No Rape (Judith Regan) from the Daily Beast
"Judith Regan counts the ways she loves Republican men—the guys who still believe in immaculate conception and Santa Claus, and think rape is sex between two adults and that women bewitch men."

Todd Akin's Words About Rape Aren't the Problem (Kathleen Parker) from Newsday 
"Whether mandating transvaginal probes prior to abortion under "informed consent" logic or misunderstanding basic biology, Republicans have managed to alienate a fair portion of the female population. Even pro-life women will have a hard time standing by men who are so willfully ignorant."

Akin to Romney: Mind your Business from Politico
"Rep. Todd Akin told Mitt Romney to mind his own business Tuesday, accusing the presumptive GOP nominee of “making a bigger deal” than necessary out of Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape.""

In Tight Race, Romney Faces Hurdles from the Wall Street Journal
"Mr. Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has stirred excitement within the GOP that he can defeat the president. But the poll found little evidence the pick will affect the election, beyond helping unify Mr. Romney's conservative base."

WA-SEN: Michael Baumgartner, Washington GOP Senate Candidate, Admits Telling Reporter To 'Go F--- Yourself' from the Huffington Post
BOY -- GOP Senate candidates are really helping themselves this week!! 
"Michael Baumgartner, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington State, took exception to an article written about him this week, emailing the author to tell him to "go fuck yourself.""

Naked Prince Harry Photos Shock (Tom Sykes) from the Daily Beast
The question of what to do about a problem like Prince Harry reared its ugly head again this morning, when photos of the third-in-line to the throne, butt-naked during a game of strip-billiards during his recent boozy trip to Las Vegas, appeared on the website TMZ."

$40 Million in Pa. Transit Funding Delivered: Officials Dig Deep to Maintain Bus, Rail Service from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"While many of the details haven't been worked out, state and local officials said Tuesday that they have forged a long-term solution for chronic funding problems at the Port Authority. For transit riders and advocates, it was one of the better days in a long time as these events unfolded:"
The Tribune-Review covers this story HERE.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

News Nuggets 1038

DAYLEE PICTURE:  The Snake Mountain Cave in Thailand.  This is one of MANY pictures of Thailand's caves in an article from the Daily Mail of the UK.  Check them out.  They are stunning!

China and Japan: Two Nations Locked in Mutual Loathing from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK]
"The historic enmity between the two countries – now resurfacing in a dispute over sovereignty – threatens stability in East Asia."

Obama Abroad: The Report Card (Joseph Lelyveld) from the New York Review of Books
"Are they tantamount to assassinations? Does the struggle against al-Qaeda qualify as an “international armed conflict” under the Geneva conventions or is it essentially lawless? But there’s one question such critics seldom attempt to answer: Just how is a president supposed to take on terrorists thousands of miles away whom he believes to be targeting the country he’s sworn to protect in a constitutional manner? "

Collision Course (Roger Cohen) from the New York Times
"I may have missed it but I’ve not seen a war that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don’t want to fight. ... When he sniffs the possibility of war Romney drops his frequent imitation of the Beatles’ Nowhere Man (“Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to”). He becomes a Real Man fired up. After more than a decade of inconclusive U.S. wars, this is not reassuring."

Obama Campaign This Time Around: Brutal... And Purposely So (Major Garrett) from the National Journal
"Democrats laud Team Obama's tenacity, in part because they want to protect the hard-won gains of his first two years. They want a harshly protective president to defend health care, bank regulations, and
green-energy investments, not to mention education spending, Medicaid, Medicare, and environmental regulations. Discouraging words about the combative Obama ... are rare."

Poll: Most Opposed To Ryan’s Medicare Reforms, Voucher System from Talking Points Memo
"A new poll released Tuesday lends credence to what Democrats — and even some Republicans — have warned about Paul Ryan being thrust onto the GOP ticket: Most Americans don’t much care for the Wisconsin Congressman’s sweeping proposal to reform Medicare."

Todd Akin: 'I Am in This Race to Win' from Politico
"Top Republicans in Washington and Missouri are abandoning Rep. Todd Akin in droves and calling on him to quit his Senate race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after his explosive remarks that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant. Akin’s response so far: Sorry, but I'm not going anywhere."

Todd Akin: The Man Who Said Too Much (Sally Kohn) from Salon
"The Republican Party turned on Todd Akin because he made plain their creeping extremism and political strategy."

Please Don’t Go, Todd (Irin Carmon) from Salon
"Todd Akin has until 5 p.m. today to drop out of the race. Why liberals should hope he stays the course."

Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Claim a Peek Behind Anti-Abortion Curtain (Kirsten Powers) from the Daily Beast
"The Missouri Senate hopeful’s misogynist claptrap about ‘legitimate rape’ and pregnancy—which has GOP leaders scrambling to denounce him—has been circulating among abortion opponents for years. Kirsten Powers on his Kinsley gaffe."

In Akin’s Remarks, a Clash Between Pro-life Politics and Principles from the Washington Post
"Both the Susan B. Anthony List and Family Research Council have stood by Akin. They don’t see him as a politician who has made a career ending gaffe. In their view, he’s a strong abortion right opponent who articulated a tenet of the pro-life movement: Abortion should be illegal in all situations, rape included."

NRSC Sends Out List of Conservative Pundits Calling for Akin to Step Down from The Hill
"The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) on Tuesday released a list of conservative columnists and pundits around the country who are calling for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to step down from his Missouri Senate bid."

Should Akin Stay In The Senate Race? Poll Shows Division Among Missouri Republicans from the CreveCoeur Patch
"While Republicans nationally question if Rep. Todd Akin's U.S. Senate campaign can survive, an unscientific poll of Missouri GOP insiders finds his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy will hurt his standing with conservative voters."

The Only Big Idea Coming Out of the Romney-Ryan Camp Is the Big Lie (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"The addition of Paul Ryan was supposed to infuse the Romney campaign with big ideas that would be argued in big debates with the Democrats, but so far, Michael Tomasky writes, all the GOP campaign has done is grossly distort the truth."

Let It Fly (Jordan Conn) from Grantland
"This week, former LSU goalie Mo Isom will try to become a kicker for the Tigers football team. But even if she makes the team, her greatest accomplishment may be surviving the past five years."

I am usually not one to tout 'bloody crime' stories -- but this one has always fascinated me.
"Some 17 miles south of Independence, the township of Osage became the scene of a brutal campaign of murder by a family that became known as the Bloody Benders."

Stunning Moment a Humpback Whale Breached the Water as He Fed in the Middle of a Sleepy Californian Fishing Harbour from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
All the pictures are quite stunning!
"An amateur shutterbug happened upon a stunning scene as a pod of humpback whales emerged from the water as a curious crowd of watchers gathered around."

Monday, August 20, 2012

News Nuggets 1037

DAYEE PICTURE: Descent into a dormant volcano in Iceland.  
From the Daily Mail of the UK.

'God’s Little Shield’: A Short History Of The False No-Pregnancy-From-Rape Theory from Talking Points Memo
"A search of news archives by TPM shows a short history of Republican politicians espousing the idea of a biological defense against pregnancy in cases of rape, though there’s little consistency in their explanations of how such a mechanism works."

Gu Kailai, Wife Of Bo Xilai, Receives Suspended Death Sentence from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post
"The wife of a disgraced Chinese politician received a suspended death sentence Monday for the murder of a British businessman, as authorities move to tidy up a huge political scandal ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition this fall. Gu Kailai's sentencing clears the way for the ruling Communist Party to deal with her husband, Bo Xilai..."
Yeah -- her death sentence is suspended -- so long as she keeps her trap shut about what she knows about the REST of the Chinese leadership.  She and her husband know PLENTY!

Myanmar: Government Ends Censorship Of Local Media from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post
"Myanmar's government said Monday it would no longer censor local media outlets, the most dramatic move yet toward allowing freedom of expression in the long-repressed nation. The Southeast Asian nation's media had long been regarded as among the most restricted in the world. "

Republican Governors Should Want Health Care Exchanges (Elena Marks) from Bloomberg News Service
"All the governors in this group -- including Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rick Scott of Florida -- are states’ rights advocates. Yet if they don’t create the exchanges, they will bring about precisely what they oppose: a federal takeover of a major part of their states’ insurance systems."

University of Pittsburgh Bomb Threat Suspect Called Publicity Hound from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Adam Busby, the Dublin-based Scotsman charged with emailing 40 bomb threats targeting the University of Pittsburgh, is a publicity-obsessed narcissist who enjoys creating just the kind of fear and disruption that occurred at Pitt, according to a retired journalist in Scotland who has known him for more than two decades."

Exclusive: GOP Scolded After Drinking, Nudity in Israel from Politico 
"The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff - and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses."

Chris Cillzza: Why Campaigns Don't Need the Media (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast
"Are journalists capable of elevating the debate?"

Rahm Emanuel, Tim Kaine, Among Convention Speakers from the Washington Post
"The Democratic convention will feature a slate of familiar faces and up-and-comers who will frame the race for the White House ...  The Democratic National Committee is set to release the roster of names early Monday morning, a week before the Republicans kick off their convention in Tampa."

Mitt Romney's Tax Returns: the 'Voter Fraud' Theory (M.S. Bellows) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"There has been much speculation about why Romney refuses to disclose earlier tax returns. Could it be as simple as an address?"

GOP has Good Reason to Worry About Paul Ryan on Presidential Ticket (Juan Williams) from The Hill
"No one wants to say it out loud. But the political professionals are saying quietly that Mitt Romney conceded the presidential race by putting Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on his ticket. The muzzle is on for good reason."

MO-SEN: A Canard That Will Not Die: 'Legitimate Rape' Doesn't Cause Pregnancy (Garance Franke-Ruta) from the Atlantic
"Republicans have been getting in trouble for asserting this since at least 1988 -- but anti-abortion politicians keep hauling out this old idea for a reason."

MO-SEN: Scott Brown Calls on Akin to Drop Out of Missouri Senate Race from the Boston Globe
"In a rare intra-party rebuke, Senator Scott Brown called on Missouri Representative Todd Akin this morning to withdraw from the US Senate race in his state, after Akin made controversial remarks on rape."

MO-SEN: Akin Comments Could Swing Missouri Senate Race (Nate Silver) from the New York Times
"No two controversies are alike, and we’ll have to wait for polling data to see what impact this has on the race. But based on some loose historical precedents, the remarks could be enough to swing the polls to Ms. McCaskill."

MO-SEN: Akin's Abortion View: More Widespread in GOP Than You Think (David Frum) from the Daily Beast
"Akin was attempting to justify his view that abortion should be banned in nearly all cases. And yes, the use of the phrase "legitimate rape" suggests a certain lack of verbal nimbleness. Yet stupidity is not really the problem here. Akin's view of abortion—no exception for rape, incest, and life of the mother—is not his belief alone."

Time’s Up for Nation’s Coin-Operated Parking Meters from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"In small towns and big cities, drop-a-quarter-and-crank meters are being replaced with high-tech units fueled by credit cards or smartphone apps. They’re so sophisticated that drivers can dial from anywhere — from hair salons to concert halls — to add more time to their meters."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

News Nuggets 1036

DAYLEE PICTURE: One of the biggest dust storms in memory hits Phoenix, Arizona in 2011.  From National Geographic via the Daily Mail of the UK.

'Gay Cure' Ban Heads For Vote In California from the Huffington Post 
"Two months ago, Guay testified at a hearing on a new bill in the California State Legislature that would ban the "gay cure," as this type of therapy is known. The bill is the first of its kind in the U.S., and observers expect it to pass by the end of August. If Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs it, licensed therapists who try to change the sexual orientation of minors will run the risk of losing their licenses."

Chinese Take to Streets as Japan Dispute Escalates from the New York Times 
"Protesters filled the streets in nearly a dozen Chinese cities in response to Japan’s detention and deportation of activists from Hong Kong, Macau and China who had landed on a disputed island."

How WikiLeaks Blew It: The Sad Downfall of Julian Assange and His Empire of Secrets (Joshua Keating) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"How did an organization that once touted itself as the future of journalism -- and for a time seemed to have a credible case for the claim -- devolve into one man's soap opera? If one looks back, several key tactical errors landed WikiLeaks in its current predicament."

Exclusive: White House Studying Potential Oil Reserve Release from Reuters 
"The White House is "dusting off old plans" for a potential release of oil reserves to dampen prices and prevent high energy costs from undermining sanctions against Iran, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday."

Obama’s (Perceived) Transformation (Ta-Nahisi Coates) from the New York Times
"For those of us who remember the attacks on Obama in 2008, this is a notable shift. Four years ago the book on Obama was not that he would fight dirty but that he would not fight at all."

Big Gulf Between Political Parties, Divisions Within (Dan Balz and Jon Cohen) from the Washington Post
"American politics has long been defined as red vs. blue, and everything about the 2012 election speaks to the chasm that separates the two parties. But a major new study highlights how those divisions are only a part of the dynamic shaping the political landscape."

For Selfish Seniors Only (David Firestone) from the New York Times 
"Those three words “not for you,” encapsulate the Republican Party’s approach to that “massive” program, the Affordable Care Act, as a wedge issue. It’s not enough to say that President Obama took $716 billion out of Medicare, because Paul Ryan’s budget did the same thing. The point is that those billions are being spent on the wrong people, those unnamed others who inevitably lurk just outside of Republican ads."

Romney Tax Plan on Table. Debt Collapses Table (Ezra Klein) from Bloomberg News Service
"I can describe Mitt Romney’s tax policy promises in two words: mathematically impossible. Those aren’t my words. They’re the words of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, which has conducted the most comprehensive analysis to date of Romney’s tax plan and which bent over backward to make his promises add up. "

Fareed Zakaria’s Critics Are Just Jealous (Tunku Varadarajan) from the Daily Beast
"The celebrity journalist was suspended from Time and CNN over trumped-up charges of plagiarism—and then quickly reinstated. Why the public lynching reeks of envy."

Republican Senate Nominee: Victims Of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don’t Get Pregnant from Talking Points Memo
"Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of
“legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy."

And another for good measure:
Doug Priesse: Ohio Early Voting Process Should Not Accommodate Black Voters from the Huffington Post
""I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban -- read African-American -- voter-turnout machine," Doug Priesse said in an email to the Columbus Dispatch Sunday. "Let's be fair and reasonable.""

OLYMPICS NUGGET [of a sort]!!
The Best and Worst Countries to be a Returning Athlete (J. Dana Stuster) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Some will receive heroes' welcomes, others, less so. Where are the best and worst places to go home to as an international athlete?"

A related story:
What the Olympics Medal Count Says About Who Runs the World (Richard N. Haass) from the Washington Post
"Now we can focus on the question about the Olympics that is truly on everyone’s mind: What does the final medal tally reveal about contemporary theories of international relations?"

Adorable Moment Chendra the Elephant Befriends Sea Lion at Oregon Zoo from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Chendra, the smallest Asian elephant at the Oregon zoo, was taking her morning stroll with a couple of her handlers when someone caught her eye. Stopping for a breather at the zoo's Stellar Cove, Gus the sea lion swam over to make an acquaintance.  And, as this heart-warming photo shows, Chendra was delighted that he did."

USS Constitution Sails Again to Mark 200th Anniversary of Warship's Triumph over British Warship in 1812 from the Daily Mail [of the UK] 
"The U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned warship sailed under its own power for just the second time in more than a century to commemorate the battle that won it the nickname 'Old Ironsides.'"