Thursday, October 18, 2012

News Nuggets 1088

DAYLEE PICTURE:A forest of coraline algae and kelp stalks swaying in the current around Cortes Bank in California.  From National Geographic.

China's Growth Continues to Slow from the Wall Street Journal [partial subscription wall]
"Growth in China's gross domestic product fell to 7.4% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, down from 7.6% in the second quarter and the weakest since the beginning of 2009."

Hunted: A First-hand Account of Gaddafi’s Desperate Last Days from the Washington Post
"Gaddafi’s final days are detailed in a new report from Human Rights Watch, which painstakingly reconstructs his movements — and those of the citizen militia that captured and executed him — over his final weeks. At many points, the story rests on the account of loyalist fighters who were with him and sometimes on the recollection of a single associate whose information is difficult or impossible to verify, but it is so far the most complete account we have of the final days of the “mad dog of the Middle East.”"

Officials: Obama Ready to Veto a Bill Blocking ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Without Tax Hike for Rich from the Washington Post
"President Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, collectively known as the “fiscal cliff,” unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy, administration officials said. Freed from the political and economic constraints that have tied his hands in the past, Obama is ready to play hardball with Republicans, who have so far successfully resisted a deal to tame the debt that includes higher taxes, Obama’s allies say."

Voters say Obama Beat Romney in Second Debate from Reuters
"Forty-eight percent of registered voters gave the victory to Obama, while 33 percent say Romney prevailed in the Tuesday debate, the online poll found. The poll reflects the broad consensus of debate observers who said Obama's forceful approach gave him the upper hand over Romney, who was widely seen as the victor in their first matchup on October 3."

The Hofstra Debate Through the Eyes of the Pundits (Daniel Politi) from Slate
"Before the second presidential debate kicked off, the conventional wisdom among many political pundits was that the town hall format did not lend itself well to political attacks. Boy, were they proved wrong."

Obama's Epic Debate Performance and Romney's Implosion (Bob Cesca) from the Huffington Post
"Not only did President Obama significantly redeem himself from his lackluster first debate, but he delivered one of the top two or three finest debate performances I've ever witnessed. That's a big statement, but indeed Barack Obama and Bill Clinton can certainly enjoy the same debate-master company after Tuesday night."

Romney Goes from Etch a Sketch to Sketchy (EJ Dionne) from the Washington Post
"For Obama’s supporters, the fact that the president played offense, had a strategy and seemed happy in his work was reason enough for elation. But the most electorally significant performance was Romney’s. Under pressure this time, the former Massachusetts governor displayed his least
attractive sides."

Group Behind Romney’s ‘Binders Full Of Women’ Doesn’t Remember Story The Way Romney Does from Talking Points Memo
"The binders of prospective female appointees that Romney claimed to have had compiled upon being elected to the top job in the Bay State a decade ago were actually made without his guidance before he won, officials with MassGAP, an advocacy group focused on getting more women into top
Massachusetts government jobs, said Wednesday."

Team Romney Won't Rein in GOP Nominee During Third Debate (Justin Sink) from The Hill
"Mitt Romney's campaign indicated Wednesday they have no plans to rein in the GOP nominee during the third and final presidential debate. Romney's aggressive performance Tuesday night — directly challenging President Obama and quarreling with moderator Candy Crowley — had Democrats and even some Republicans arguing he came across as too assertive, which could turn off undecided voters."
Romney finds himself in a box.  The GOP base desperately wants him to be aggressive and assertive in the debates -- but as Tuesday's performance shows, Romney is prone to be petty, quarrelsome and "unpresidential" when he really goes there, characteristics that not only turn off moderate and many independent voters but also tend to turn off most of the pundit class, even many conservatives.  It's unclear to me whether this little missive from The Hill is really what Team Romney plans -- or just some red herring thrown out for their base.  Given Romney's relative weakness on foreign policy and Obama's skill as political counter-puncher, a "not-reined-in" Romney could be Obama's best friend in debate #3.

Leaked Audio Captures Romney Asking Employers To Tell Their Employees How To Vote from Think Progress
"Romney: I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. ..."

GOP’s Problems Exposed in Struggle for Senate from Politico
"In 2010, when Republicans stumbled on what had been a clear path to winning control of the Senate, GOP operatives comforted themselves with a defiant vow: Just wait ‘til next time. Now, next time is here — and the GOP is in danger of blowing its shot at a majority for the second cycle in a row."

Islamic Inscriptions On Obama’s Wedding Ring, And Other Things I Learned At A Romney Debate Watch Party from Think Progress
"If I learned anything from watching last night’s presidential debate in a room full of Mitt Romney supporters, it’s that President Obama cannot speak English, wanted Americans in Benghazi to die, hopes America will be taken over by the Islamic world, carries a literal Communist Party card, and should be sent back to Mexico. These were among the accusations flying at a Romney debate watch party Tuesday night ..."
The folks at this party are so dauntingly stupid, it takes one's breath away!

MA-SEN: Poll: Warren Up By 9 In Massachusetts Senate Race from Talking Points Memo
"Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has built a 9-point lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in the closely watched Massachusetts Senate race, a poll released Wednesday shows."

'The Hobbit': Peter Jackson Replaced Guillermo Del Toro, But Kept Some Of His Ideas from the Huffington Post
"Del Toro, who co-wrote the film with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, was eventually replaced by Jackson, and the rest is history: Three Jackson-directed "Hobbit" films will arrive between now and July of 2015."
I had not heard that this prequel series had evolved into THREE films!  Check out the trailer that accompanies this story!

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