Monday, October 15, 2012

News Nuggets 1085

DAYLEE PICTURE: Close-up of the teeth of a crocodile.  From National Geographic.

Benghazi: The October Mirage (Joe Klein) from Time Magazine
"For the life of me, I can’t understand why the Republicans are harping so hard on the Benghazi security debacle–except, maybe, you know…politics. There is no reason, or evidence, that the request of a consulate–or even an embassy–for beefed up security would ever get anywhere near the President’s desk."

China's High-Speed Crash (Evan Osnos) from the New Yorker
"A deadly train wreck exposes the dark side of China's economic boom."

Asking the 3 a.m. Question (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post 
"Any presidential election is in part a referendum on the 3 a.m. question: Whom do you trust to answer and make a wise decision if the red phone rings in the middle of the night with a nuclear crisis? ... And it should help concentrate our minds that this month marks the 50th anniversary of the most dangerous moment in modern American history, the Cuban missile crisis."

The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent (Chrystia Freeland) from the New York Times
"Elites that have prospered from inclusive systems can be tempted to pull up the ladder they climbed to the top. Eventually, their societies become extractive and their economies languish. That was the future predicted by Karl Marx, who wrote that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction. And it is the danger America faces today..."

The GOP’s Demographics Problem from the Boston Globe
"If demographics is destiny, the Republican Party has a rendezvous with irrelevance — unless its policies change. This is the message some Republican leaders have been sending in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign. “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” Senator Lindsey Graham recently told the Washington Post with characteristic bluntness. “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”"

Obamacare Gets My Vote: Romney and Ryan's Alternative Nearly Killed Me (Clancy Sigal) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"I'm critical of Obama's presidency, but my medical emergency convinced me that for Obamacare alone we must re-elect him."

Obama Campaign Hypes Expectations For Second Debate from Talking Points Memo
"Reeling from an admittedly lousy performance in the first presidential debate, President Obama’s reelection team is building up expectations for Round Two against Mitt Romney this Tuesday evening in Long Island."

Democrats Say Obama Will Be More Aggressive, Energetic in Second Debate Tuesday (Daniel Politi) from Slate
"David Axelrod, another Obama adviser, told Fox News that the president would be making “adjustments” and voters can expect the president to be “aggressive in making the case for his views of where we should go as a country.” Yet CNN’s Kevin Liptak points out that Obama may not be able to be as aggressive as some Democrats would like because of the debate’s town hall format, “which requires a likability factor not completely compatible with aggressive attacks.”"
Obama faces a tough choice tomorrow evening -- does he basically try to re-do debate #1 and be more aggressive/assertive/combative OR does he try to play to the town hall format and emphasize the Bill Clinton "feel your pain" side"?  All the prep in the world won't matter if he chooses wrong on this fundamental question.  My guess: he should Bill Clinton this crowd -- and A LOT of pundits out there are saying the opposite, that he should really "bring it" to Romney.  The danger there lies in making Romney look like the cool/calm/collected moderate with Obama flailing and attacking in ways that turn off the audience.  Obama should play to his strength, that he DOES feel people's pain and that he connects in ways that Romney rarely does.  Unfortunately, after Debate #1, Obama cannot play it safe this time around.  Whichever he does, he really needs to go for it and pull it out.

PPP: Obama Weathers Post-Debate Fallout, Leads Ohio By 5 from Talking Points Memo
"The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama leading Mitt Romney among likely Ohio voters, 51 percent to 46 percent. That’s little change from PPP’s pre-debate poll of Ohio two weeks ago, which showed Obama up 4."

Don't Worry, Obama's Still Got This (Toure) from the New York Daily News
"Despite a bad debate and some rough polls, the President remains in the driver's seat."

Bill & Hillary Forever (John Heilemann) from New York Magazine
"If Obama wins, it may be because the former president saved his presidency—but what exactly do the Clintons get in return?"

How the GOP Destroyed its Moderates (Jonathan Chait) from the New Republic 
"Thus the “debate” in the Republican Party is entirely between genuine ideological warriors and unwilling conscripts, with intraparty skirmishes generally taking the form of hunts for secret heresies. In this sense, Romney’s capture of the nomination is perfectly emblematic of the state of the party."

HONEY BEE NUGGET [of a sort]!!
Colored Honey Made by Candy-Eating French Bees from National Geographic 
"Beekeepers in northeastern France found themselves in a sticky situation after bees from their hives began producing honey in shades of blue and green (pictured). ... An investigation by beekeepers in the town of Ribeauville (map) uncovered the cause of the problem: Instead of collecting nectar from flowers, local bees were feeding on remnants of colored M&M candy shells, which were being processed by a biogas plant roughly 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) away."
Were they shells from plain or peanut M&Ms? Inquiring minds want to know!  For real, bakers and candy makers AROUND THE WORLD are taking notes about this!!

The Fastest Thing That Ever Flew Takes Two Days to Cover 12 Mile Journey Through LA Streets to Museum from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Endeavour's 12-mile road trip kicked off shortly before midnight on Thursday as it moved from its Los Angeles International Airport hangar to the California Science Center.  Operators are walking beside Endeavour - top speed two miles per hour - maneuvering the craft over freeways and through residential neighborhoods, and some spots are narrower than Endeavour's wingspan."

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