I think these pictures are just amazing. Click here for HUGE photos of this historic space adventure.
There are not too many people who think the rancid video, which was produced by an idiot who does not appreciate the responsibility that comes with the First Amendment, was the real reason for the unrest that has spread throughout the Muslim world.
There are real factors worthy of a national discussion about the list of grievances that Muslims have with Americans, and many others around the globe.
First, there are the drone strikes. (For the record I am not in accord with those who find drone strikes the worst evil in the world. I think these serve a military purpose, and have achieved a very desired result. While no one wants to have civilian casualties, the damage caused to our national image by the use of these attacks has to be recognized.)
Israel and Palestinain relations.
Again, don’t expect to hear about this from Romney or Obama. During an election campaign, especially, neither man wants to dwell on the downside of America’s essentially unconditional support of Israel even as Israel pursues policies that violate both international law and basic principles of justice, such as the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. But rest assured that the Israeli-American relationship gets plenty of airtime in Muslim, and especially Arab, nations.
American troops in Muslim countries.
Though American soldiers have left Iraq, they remain in Afghanistan. Noting the downside of this fact doesn’t fit into either Obama’s or Romney’s game plan as they try to out-hawk each other. But, while they stay silent, there are people who are happy to talk about American troops in Afghanistan: Jihadi recruiters.
I am one of those who really would like to see a national dialogue on these matters, but the political professionals seem more intent on sliming the electorate with meaningless ads that cost millions of dollars.
Meanwhile Muslims are rightfully telling us what they think is important this election season. While I find violence not the best route to make an argument, one can not say they have not gotten the attention of the world.
The question is now what will we do about the future?
If one listens to both President Obama and Mitt Romney on the campaign trail one could rightfully conclude not much.
Frack sand mining companies are threatening to erase Wisconsin’s beautiful wooded hills, bluffs, and rich farmland.
Eighty-seven frack sand facilities are currently operating in Wisconsin, with another 20+ proposed sites. Near my home, in town of Union, Waupaca County, we are currently threatened with a 160-acre proposed mining site. It will permanently alter the landscape of this beautiful rural township and our county, leaving gargantuous, 100+ acre open pit mines.
The mines may potentially leave residents of this community with a life-threatening silicosis lung disease. Our health, our environment, our water, our roads, and our property values are at risk, with the mining company taking little, or no, responsibility for the fallout.
The latest polling numbers are more reason to think the Republicans who are nearing a panic over the November election might be on to something.
Wednesday morning the Badger State awoke to the news from a national poll that lifted the sails of Democrats. But by this afternoon those sails were puffed even higher by a statewide poll from the respected Marquette Law School.
Mr. Obama leads his GOP opponent 51 percent to 45 percent in Wisconsin, the home state of GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan. The president held a
two-point lead in an August 23 Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times survey and nine points in an August 8 survey. Mr. Obama won the state by 14 points in 2008.
There is no shortage of confusion and dismay to be found from conservatives around the nation to the three weeks of bad news which started at the Republican convention when Clint Eastwood mocked President Obama. Then Romney moved to the topic of Libya where he inserted his foot not once but twice. More lapses in sound judgment and political acumen were offered to the electorate with ‘the 47%’ comments.
There seems no ability to turn around the perceptions that voters have of Mitt Romney.
Asked about the impact of each candidate’s policies, 55% said Romney’s polices would favor the rich, while 10% said the middle class and 1% said the poor; in the case of Obama, 10% said his policies would favor the rich, 34% said the middle class and 26% said the poor.
Also, 60% said Obama “cares about the needs and problems of people like you,” while 43% said the same of Romney.
Over and over throughout the campaign there has been a stated desire from voters for Romney to put out the details of his plans for the country. The sound bites are not working, and Wisconsin voters, even more conservative ones, understand the need for more information.
Rob Jankowski, an independent voter who supported Mr. Obama four years ago but has been disappointed by his economic leadership and disapproves of his health care plan, is among the 3 percent of voters in the survey who say they are still undecided. He said he did not feel loyalty to Mr. Obama simply because he supported him last time, but he said Mr. Romney had not made his case.
“Obama is putting out his plans and his details and being more public on that, but with Romney it’s kind of gray,” said Mr. Jankowski, 39, speaking in a follow-up interview Tuesday afternoon here in Jefferson Park, as a cool breeze rustled the tree leaves. “I’d like to know more — educate me.”
The problem for Romney is that there is one thing worse that having not enough information about his plans made public. That would be having his draconian economic views made public.
There is no winning path for Romney when it comes to the meat and potatoes of his policy ideas. His plans are just that bad. For the most part Romney has to work with the cards he dealt himself.
The afternoon news brought an even more stunning number for President Obama from a state poll.
A poll out Wednesday shows President Obama opening a significant lead in Wisconsin, which had emerged as a critical battleground state, prompting both sides to divert money and resources to winning its 10 electoral votes. The latest poll, conducted by Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, shows Obama with a 14-point lead over Mitt Romney, well more than any other publicly released poll.
The ticket of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden leads Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., 54 percent to 40 percent, the poll shows. Four percent of likely voters are undecided.
The newest poll is significantly different from the previous Marquette Law School poll, which showed Obama with a scant, 3-point advantage.
I do not think there is anything Mitt Romney can say at this point to sway voters. If there is going to be a surge for the Republican candidate it will be due to an event, something that can not be predicted.
Either a debate blow-out which demonstrates something about Romney we would never have expected, or some international incident that will strike fear into the electorate. Even if the latter were to occur given the past week’s performance by Romney with his gaffes over Libya, it seems unlikely he would benefit to the degree he needs.
So the polls continue to be taken, and shows the movement of the nation away from Mitt Romney.
I must say, just to be objective, that folks such as Bay Buchanan (Pat’s sister) claims that a conspiracy is underway with the pollsters to show an inflated Obama lead. I am hoping someone presses her harder to provide data to support her opinion.
One can hardly fathom all the nation’s pollsters having a conference call once a week to plot such a plan.
I am of the mind that perhaps Bay needs a spa weekend, and a hiatus from her Blackberry.
Meanwhile this is what troubles Romney today.
A new USA Today/Gallup Poll of twelve swing states shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by just two points, 48% to 46%. Some of those findings include the following.
Colorado: Obama 48%, Romney
47% (Qinnipiac/CBS News/NYT)
Pennsylvania: Obama 50%, Romney 41% (Morning Call/Muhlenberg)
Virginia: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (Qinnipiac/CBS News/NYT)
Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (We Ask America)
Wisconsin:Obama 51%, Romney 45% (Qinnipiac/CBS News/NYT)
When Peggy Noonan starts to sweat you know there is a problem.
This column merits your time.
Romney’s staff used to brag they had a lower burn rate, they were saving it up. For what? For the moment when Americans would rather poke out their eyeballs and stomp on the goo than listen to another ad?
Also, Mr. Romney’s ads are mostly boring. It’s kind of an achievement to be boring at a moment in history like this, so credit where it’s due: That musta taken effort!