Thursday, October 4, 2012

News Nuggets 1079

DAYLEE PICTURE:  Prayer flags near Mato Tipilia (Bear Lodge) or Devil's Tower in Wyoming.  From National Geographic.

China Needs Its Own Dream (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times 
"The so-called American Dream won’t work for China. How will its new leaders handle the dramatic growth of its emerging middle class?"

U.S., Europe Nowhere Close to Ending Crisis, Krugman Says from the Bloomberg News Service
"The U.S. and the European Union are “nowhere close to ending” the financial crisis and German-led austerity efforts may lead to a 1930s-style economic depression, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman said. Five years into the crisis, the U.S. needs “another round of stimulus” and Federal Reserve officials “should be doing whatever they can” to aid the recovery, while Europe needs a fiscal union to save its single currency, Krugman said in a speech in Belgrade today."

Religious Right to Sue CA Over “Pray Away the Gay” Ban from Americablog  
That didn't take long.
"Following up on John’s post about California banning the incredibly dangerous practice of reparative therapy (“Pray away the Gay”) for children presumed to be gay, it appears that NARTH, the National
Association of Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (an anti-gay “cure” group), and the Liberty Counsel (the fundamentalist project of the Liberty University School of Law) will be challenging the law in court."

For the most part, the reactions have been quite favorable to Romney and mixed (at best) for Obama.  My view: the Obama who showed up last night reminded me of the Obama late in the Democratic primaries of '08 when he was running against Hillary.  If you recall, by April and May of 2008, Obama and his team knew they had the delegate count to win but the candidate still had to campaign full out.  At that time, Obama routinely had the rather flaccid, defensive, and uninspired demeanor that Barack showed last night.  The meme at the time was that Obama was struggling to "deliver a knockout" or to "put Hillary away."  It leaves me wondering (and concerned) if Obama is in that mental space right now: convinced that he has this thing wrapped up and that all he needs to do is run out the clock, phone it in, and that the wise thing to do is play it super-safe.  I don't believe his performance last night was a "game-changer" or a disaster (as Andrew Sullivan suggested in the primal scream of a reaction he had) but what Obama may have done was let Romney back into the race when he had the chance to put him away.  Having said that, I'm somewhat surprised at how some pundits drew almost opposite conclusions concerning each candidate's performance. Note: the Daily Beast has the most
interesting, thoughtful and varied reactions -- check them out. More substantive or compelling analysis will have to wait for tomorrow.

Republican Brand Tanking with Electorate (Joan McCarter) from Daily Kos 
"The favorability ratings for both the GOP and the tea party are totally underwater, with just 39 percent approving of the GOP and 32 percent liking the tea party. ... Intensity of sentiment is another challenge for the Republican Party: Substantially more Americans see it “strongly” negatively than strongly positively, 33 percent vs. 18 percent, while the Democratic Party breaks even (28 percent on both sides)."

Blue Truth, Red Truth (Michael Scherer) from Time Magazine
"... compared with the Obama campaign's, the Romney operation's misstatements are frequently more brazen. But sometimes the most effective lie is the one that is closest to the truth, and Obama's team has often outdone Romney's in the dark art of subtle distortion."

Why Do So Many Republicans Really Hate Obama? (Gene Lyons) from National Memo
A very interesting assessment of the source of Republican rage and where the GOP & conservatives can go if Obama wins.
"To an awful lot of white Protestant evangelicals across the Deep South especially, President Obama has become no less than a secular stand-in for the Antichrist — a smooth-talking deceiver representing liberal cosmopolitanism in its most treacherous disguise. Dislike of Obama has grown to cult-like proportions across the region. ... Should he prevail in most of the nine “swing states” where everybody agrees that the contest will be decided, and where Obama currently appears to lead by strong majorities, the white, GOP-accented South will find itself politically marooned. Again. Richard M. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” will have been dismantled and a new, moderately center-left Democratic coalition built by President Obama. For the first time since 1972, the Rush Limbaugh/Mike Huckabee wing of the GOP will find itself with no clear path to power."

Obama leads Romney by 50 points with Latinos (Domenico Montanaro) from NBC News
"Obama leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney among Latino registered voters, 70 percent to 20 percent, and with an equal margin among likely Latino voters, 71 percent to 21 percent. That is an increase of 15 points from August, and outpaces Obama’s 2008 split (67 percent to 31 percent) over John McCain."

A Referendum on Romney (Margaret Carlson) from Bloomberg News Service 
"He had two big opportunities to turn the election back into a referendum -- his choice for his running mate and the convention. But by choosing Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, an archconservative famous for his draconian budgets, Romney made the race even more about Romney."

Duel In Denver: Debate Day Arrives (The Note) (Amy Walter) from ABC News 
"The most recent polling confirms what we’ve been hearing from the ground. Florida and Virginia remain tight, but Ohio continues to lean strongly toward Obama. Moreover, there’s also growing evidence that Wisconsin, the state that the Paul Ryan pick was supposed to put in play for Romney, is sticking with Obama. If Romney loses both Ohio and Wisconsin, he’d have to win every single other battleground state — North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire — to win the Electoral College and to take the White House."

Romney's Disrespect for People Who Need Help Backfires (Robert Creamer) from the Democratic Strategist
"The reason that Mitt Romney's condescending comments about the "47 percent" have done such damage to his candidacy is simple. As Republican consultant Alex Castellanos said in Tuesday's Washington Post: "The only thing in politics that is worse than voters deciding they don't like you is when voters decide you don't like them.""

Polls Show Romney’s 47 Percent Moment Breaking Through, ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Fizzling from Talking Points Memo
"Mitt Romney’s remarks decrying about half of Americans as “victims” are hurting him with at least as many voters, according to a mounting body of evidence. ... At least as discouraging, for Republicans, however, is that Romney’s favorite Obama quote — “You didn’t build that” — isn’t even a net drag for the president."

The Decline And Fall Of Tucker Carlson (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
"All that Carlson did is clip it to get an "angry black man" in the minds of Americans. It's at once one of the most desperate and lame and vile plays of the race card I can remember - an obvious recognition that the 47 percent tape can only really be countered emotionally with race-baiting. ... Carlson used to be a brilliant writer. He's now a racist demagogue. He's a story in one person of how degenerate and disgusting much of American "conservatism" has become."


Incredible Photos Show Croatian Night Sky Glowing in Spectacular Lightning Storm from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
All the photos here are truly breath-taking!
"The city of Split looked tiny and insignificant as the night’s sky came alive with electricity. A huge thunder and lightning storm last night in Croatia seemed to surround the city in a spectacular display of mighty weather."

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