Saturday Open Thread

Good Morning, Everyone. Enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend.

hat tip-The Obama Diary:

Ricky Watson of Littleton, Colorado wipes tears from his eyes after he thanked U.S. President Barack Obama for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado September 13, 2012. Watson was kicked out of the Air Force 25 years ago for being gay.
—-REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A girl listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada September 12, 2012.
—-REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A supporter weeps as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada September 12, 2012.
—-REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A girl looks up at U.S. President Barack Obama during a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada September 12, 2012.
—REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

US President Barack Obama signs a supporter’s shirt during a campaign event at the Cashman Center September 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. US President Barack Obama is on a two day campaign trip where he will attend events in Nevada and Colorado.

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32 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    found this comment at TOD:

    September 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Some analysis:

    You all notice how deftly Pres. Obama has pivoted back to the Economy? And damn smart too. PBO is resetting and driving the election narrative while leaving Romney sputtering chasing after last week’s shiny object. Polls are showing him pull ahead of Romney on the Economy & jobs, and presto this is the time to press the advantage. And boy is he pressing it hard!

    Meloves the twin attacks of Romney 1) lies on China while being # 1 China shill, and 2) smackdown on “are you better off than you were 4 yrs ago” shtick with the powerful 1 minute TV ad.

    I’m sure Romney didn’t see them coming from left field. he thought we had retreated after Gov O’Malley fumbled the are you better off question on the pundit shows.. But I see Big Dog provided the punch to reset that question and now we are running with it.

    Meanwhile Romney, just like Wile E. Coyote is left clutching last week’s Libya dynamite, and it blew up spectacularly in his face. Clueless as he is he thinks he found an acorn in the Foregn Policy weeds and is gnawing maniacally on it. good luck with that one. As Arab streets are quieting, Netanyahu is coming to David suckass Gregory’s Suck the Press show to saber rattle on Iran. Who does he think he’s fooling? Everyone can see thru his intentions to press his entire palm on the election scales in favor of Romney. But polls show even higher Jewish support of Pres Obama than in 2008 from 65% to 70% now. As John Heileman writes in his New York Mag piece, Netanyahu’s interference smacks of desperation from a guy who knows his leverage is disappearing faster than cotton candy in the hands of a pack of toddlers. That everybody who is sentient knows that Romney is losing makes Netanyahu’s desperate act all the more pathetic. But he can do his dance on the media circuit. No wonder Ehud Barak is doing his best to save Israel from Netanyahu’s kamikaze act, by making the right noises re: PBO

    But as for Pres Obama, he’s letting the American people know that he is focused like a laser on the ECONOMEEEEEEEEEEE!!! What Romney wants to talk about what (Foreign Policy) his own campaign called “a distraction” just last week? He can go right ahead on that dangling ledge he has perched on. We are focused on Americans’ economic security particularly when Cantor has announced that Repugs will be on vacation AGAIN starting next week without passing Veterans jobs, AJA, or any thing to help the American people. Meanwhile don’t be surprised if in the middle of an economy speech Pres Obama announces the capture of the terrorists who attacks the consulate in Libya. Ha! Just my thoughts

    I luvs luvs luvs brilliant strategery,.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Say “Desperate”

    Muslim unrest has created a challenge for Obama and the nation—and a different kind of crisis for the Romney campaign.

    .By John Heilemann
    Published Sep 14, 2012


    Illustration by Oliver Munday
    (Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

    One day this spring, over lunch in Chicago, David Axelrod offered up a concise summary of Team Obama’s prevailing view about the race ahead against Mitt Romney. “We have the better candidate, and we have the better argument,” Axelrod told me. “The question is just whether the externalities trip us up.” For months before that and every day since, the litany of potential exogenous shocks—from the collapse of the eurozone to a hot conflict between Israel and Iran to a succession of brutal jobs reports—has kept Axelrod and his colleagues tossing and twitching in their beds at night. For all their overt confidence, the Obamans are also stone-cold paranoiacs, well aware of the iron law of politics enunciated long ago by the poet Robert Burns: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” Which, for those unversed in archaic Scottish, translates roughly as “Shit happens.”


    And so it does, with the past week proving another maxim: that when shit rains, shit pours. In the space of 72 hours, what began, horrifically enough on September 11, with the murder of four Americans (including one of our best and bravest, Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya) at the consulate in Benghazi spiraled into a region-wide upheaval, with angry Muslim protests directed at American diplomatic missions erupting in sixteen countries. Suddenly, the president was facing just the kind of externality that his team had been bracing for: a full-blown ­foreign-policy crisis less than eight weeks out from Election Day. And a campaign marked by stasis and even torpor was jolted to life as if by a pair of defibrillator paddles applied squarely to its solar plexus.

    Moments like this are not uncommon in presidential elections, and when they come, they tend to matter. For unlike the posturing and platitudes that constitute the bulk of what occurs on the campaign trail, big external events provide voters with something authentic and valuable: a real-time test of the temperament, character, and instincts of the men who would be commander-in-chief. And when it comes to the past week, the divergence between the resulting report cards could hardly be more stark.

    Anyone doubting the potential significance of that disparity need only think back to precisely four years ago, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a worldwide financial panic. In the ten days that followed, Obama put on a master class in self-possession and unflappability under pressure; his rival, John McCain, did the opposite. When the smoke cleared, the slight lead McCain had held in the national polls was gone and Obama had seized the lead. Though another month remained in the campaign, the race was effectively over.

    For Romney, the first blaring sign that his reaction to the assault on the consulate in Benghazi had badly missed the mark was the application of the phrase “Lehman ­moment” to his press availability on the morning of September 12. Here was ­America under attack, with four dead on foreign soil. And here was Romney, defiantly refusing to adopt a tone of sobriety, solemnity, or seriousness, instead attempting to score cheap political points, doubling down on his criticism from the night before that the Obama administration had been “disgraceful” for “sympathiz[ing]” with the attackers—criticism willfully ignoring the chronology of events, the source of the statement he was pillorying, the substance of the statement, and the circumstances under which it was made.

    That the left heaped scorn on Romney’s gambit came as no surprise. But the right reacted almost as harshly—with former aides to John McCain, George W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan creating an on-the-record chorus of disapproval, while countless other Republican officials and operatives chimed in anonymously. “This is worse than a Lehman moment,” says a senior GOP operative. “­McCain made mistakes of impulsiveness, but this was a deliberate and premeditated move, and it totally revealed Romney’s character; it revealed him as completely craven and his candidacy as serving no higher purpose than his ambition.”

    This bipartisan condemnation would have been bad enough in itself, but its negative effects were amplified because it fed into a broader narrative emerging in the media across the ideological spectrum: that Romney is losing, knows he is losing, and is starting to panic. This story line is, of course, rooted in reality, given that every available data point since the conventions suggests that Obama is indeed, for the first time, opening up a lead outside the margin of ­error nationally and in the battleground states. So the press corps is now on the lookout for signs of desperation in Romney and is finding them aplenty—most vividly in his reaction to Libya, but even before that, in his post-convention appearance on Meet the Press, where he embraced some elements of Obamacare (only to have his campaign walk back his comments later the same day).

  3. rikyrah says:

    September 14, 2012 5:39 PM
    How Could Anyone Possibly Suspect Racism?

    By Ed Kilgore

    Among the many fine examples of Christ-like oratory we are hearing today as the Values Voter Summit picks up speed, this bit (reported by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro) from Gary Bauer, whose rhetoric always brings to mind the sweet loving nature of Jesus, really gets me:

    “There’s a lot of people out now around America who depend on checks from their fellow taxpayers being in the mailbox every day,” Bauer said. “They will turn out in massive numbers, but so will the entrepreneurs, the small businessmen and women, the military families, the soldiers in harms way, the millions of Americans that want to hope again….”

    “My prediction is after all the votes are counted — even the dead votes of Democrats in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland — I predict that we will win, that this nightmare will be over and America will finally be on the road to recovery,” Bauer said.

    “Depend on checks being in the mailbox everyday…the dead votes of Democrats in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.” Who do you think he’s talking about? Social Security beneficiaries? Croatian-Americans?

    I swear, anyone who listens to this kind of talk, which we’ve hearing for so many years, and then can righteously deny the GOP is appealing to racial stereotypes, is really just hopeless.

  4. rikyrah says:

    September 15, 2012 11:36 AM
    Romney Death Spiral Beginning?

    By Ben Jacobs

    Although I speculated about issues that Mitt Romney might face in a close election in my last post, right now things aren’t looking too close. Nate Silver, over at 538, gives Obama a 76% chance of winning the election and voters viewing Democrats as the better choice both for the economy and foreign policy, things aren’t trending in the former Massachusetts Governor’s direction. As John Heilemann put it in New York Magazine, “a broader narrative emerging in the media across the ideological spectrum: that Romney is losing, knows he is losing, and is starting to panic. This story line is, of course, rooted in reality, given that every available data point since the conventions suggests that Obama is indeed, for the first time, opening up a lead outside the margin of ­error nationally and in the battleground states.”

    Fred Barnes has already come out with a preemptive postmortem at the Weekly Standard for what’s gone wrong and has blamed some of the usual scapegoats like “press favoritism” and skewed polling. Only at the end of the piece, does Barnes address in passing other factors, like which candidate is running a better campaign.

    There are understandable reasons for Republicans to be befuddled. Obama is poised to become the first incumbent President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to win re-election with unemployment above 8%. But Obama isn’t going to win because the press is in the tank for him or because of conspiracy among pollsters. Right now, Obama is running a much better campaign and Romney has not been a very good candidate. For a party that focuses so much on individual responsibility, it’s ironic that Barnes is blaming others, rather than Boston, for Romney’s faults.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:27 AM ET, 09/15/2012
    The Obama campaign takes on the `are you better off’ question

    By Greg Sargent

    The Obama campaign is launching a new ad in the seven key swing states that directly takes on Mitt Romney’s “are you better off” question:

    It’s a minute-long spot, which suggests this represents a major effort by the campaign to frame the choice on Obama’s terms as we enter the final portion of the race, at a time when Obama seems to have taken a small but significant lead in national polls and key swing states. With many expecting Obama’s post-convention bounce to subside, this seems like an effort to consolidate whatever gains he’s made into something longer term.

    The ad suggests the Obama campaign knows the “are you better off” question has to be tackled — it even shows Mitt Romney himself asking it — and tries to do so by contrasting the free-falling economy that Obama inherited with the most recent 20 months of private sector job growth. But the ad also is a bid to reframe the race in a forward-looking way. It contrasts Romney’s plans for tax cuts that would enormously benefit the rich and deregulation of the banks that cratered the economy with Obama’s promise of more investments in the middle class, more emphasis on clean energy (a bid to make the election about the future), and tax hikes for the rich to help pay for it and for bringing down the deficit (a bid for independents and college educated swing voters)..


    According to four recent national polls, Romney has lost his advantage on who is better trusted on the economy. Meanwhile, polls from CNN and Fox News this week suggested that far more voters still blame Bush and Republicans for the current economy and that many voters are taking a more mixed view than simply grading Obama a failure when it comes to the pace of the recovery. So the crux of the issue, again, is whether Romney is proving wrong in his calculation that undecided voters can be persuaded that Obama resoundingly failed in the numbers he needs. If so, they can perhaps be persuaded to see the race on the terms spelled out in the new ad.

  6. rikyrah says:

    15, 2012 12:20 PMA
    New Way To Turn Out The Youth Vote?

    By Ben Jacobs

    Hundreds of thousands of applicants to the Cal State University system will be sent a letter telling them that their chances of admission are dependent on the passage of a referendum on the ballot in November. According to the letter, if Proposition 30, which would raise sales taxes and income taxes on the wealthy does not pass, the schools in the Cal State system will not be able to admit as many applicants this year as anticipated. However, if Prop 30 does pass, they will be able to increase the number of students they accept.

    This less than subtle appeal has already provoked outrage among anti-tax activists in the state. But what remains unclear is whether it will actually have much effect. After all, many college applicants will not be eligible to vote in November—-they’ll be 17. But there is a significant tranche of affected students who will be 18 by November 6. If this letter does help increase voter turnout among those students, it may provide an interesting blueprint to turn out young voters, always the most difficult for campaigns to reach, in the future. Regardless of whether it has an effect on turnout though, it is still bound to further politicize the funding of higher education.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Remarkable Casting of Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

    Posted on 09/14/2012 at 5:33 pm by Bob Cesca

    Not only is DDL one of the top three or four greatest living actors, but he’s a meticulous researcher who absorbs himself in a character, both during and prior to filming. This is clearly the case with his portrayal of Lincoln. The higher register voice, which reminds me of the higher breathless pitch of Chris Matthews or, dare I say, Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan, is historically accurate based on contemporaneous descriptions. The familiar, deeper superheroic voice of Lincoln is about as accurate as portraying Lincoln as a 20 feet tall marble man.

    He was physically awkward, unkempt and gangly, partly due to genetics and partly due to chronic depression and the unbearable strain of his post. He was 6’5″ and lean, and his features became more gaunt and weathered as war continued.

    The author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a Lincoln fan, wrote of the president’s “homely sagacity” and his “sallow, queer, sagacious visage.” Hawthorne’s description was deemed disrespectful and deleted by a magazine editor,” said Daniel Weinberg, who owns the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago.

    Gutzon Borglum, who carved on the Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) the monument representing the faces of several U.S. Presidents, referred to the left side of Lincoln’s face as being primitive, immature and unfinished.

    His face was noticeably lopsided — perhaps from a horse’s kick to the face when he was a child or perhaps a developmental defect of some sort. DDL has matched Lincoln’s asymmetrical facial features with a crooked jaw and permanently raised left eyebrow.

    I honestly believe that after DDL’s performance, regardless of the movie as a whole, we’ll have an entirely new and refreshingly honest “human” view of Lincoln. He was, after all, a deeply troubled man who lost two children, one during his presidency, while also managing over the unprecedented bloodshed of the Civil War and a succession of generals, many of whom prolonged the war with their incompetency. To perform the role of Lincoln in complete defiance of the real man would be a willingly ignorant trespass against well-known history.

  8. rikyrah says:

    I never ever discount the utterly fabulous candidate that Senator Barack Obama was when I say this, but I still believe it.

    The reason why Bush gets so much of the BLAME, not only because it’s true, but the reality of it is:

    if George W. Bush hadn’t of been such a complete and utter failure as President…

    this country wouldn’t have given a Black man any serious consideration for President.


    Romney’s Albatross

    The American people remember George W. Bush. And they’re not as stupid as Rush Limbaugh tries to be. Bruce Bartlett looks at CNN’s latest poll:

    54 per cent of “likely voters” put primary blame on Mr Bush and the Republicans versus only 38 per cent who blame Mr Obama and the Democrats. Among registered voters, the disparity is even larger, with 57 per cent blaming Mr Bush and only 35 per cent Mr Obama.

    Sargent has been on this case for quite a while:

    [I]t’s possible that the true undecided voters may not be concluding Obama failed and are merely disappointed that Obama has not been able to make the recovery go faster but find that understandable, given the severity of the crisis and the depth of our problems.

    If they have downgraded their expectations as to what a president can do to speed the recovery, they may be less prone to opt in a knee jerk way for whatever alternative is on offer. They may be open to the argument that Romney doesn’t have the answers and that Obama’s approach — despite their disappointment — has at least as good or even a better a chance of working over the long haul. They may also broaden their choice, evaluating the candidates on a range of issues and on their sense of both men’s priorities, values, and understanding of the direction the country needs to take in the future. Previously, polls suggested that more voters were willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Romney as an economic alternative. The above polling suggests that may no longer be the case.


  9. rikyrah says:

    600 rabbis throw their support behind Obama


    08/21/2012 22:42

    More than two-times the number of rabbis join grassroots election effort targeting Jewish voters than did in 2008.

    The campaign to reelect Barack Obama received a boost from the Jewish community on Tuesday with more than 600 rabbis declaring their support for a second term for the current US president.

    The new campaign initiative, labeled Rabbis for Obama, announced that “over 613 rabbis… from across the country and across all Jewish denominations” have committed to reelecting the president.

    Ira Forman, the Jewish outreach director for Obama’s reelection campaign, said that the rabbis on the list represent “a broad group of respected Jewish leaders” from across the country.

    “Their ringing endorsement of President Obama speaks volumes about the president’s deep commitment to the security of the State of Israel, and his dedication to a policy agenda that represents the values of the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community,” said Forman

  10. rikyrah says:

    Liberal Librarian: I think that this week has been a fulcrum not only in the election, but in the very real fight for the soul of the country.

    Yes, way too many of our fellow citizens are still addled by hatred and bigotry. Obama should be ahead by 10-15 points, not 4-8. But let’s put that into perspective: Before the conventions, the polling averages had him ahead by at most 2 points. The debacle of Tampa and the triumph of Charlotte, without the media filter, basically reintroduced the country to both parties.

    The GOP was seen as a heartless collection of ideologues whose only interest was in achieving power to service its rich backers. There was no positive vision of the future, but a wallowing in the contention that America was “in decline”. Charlotte highlighted a party and a President who believed in the nation, believed in the ability of its citizens to make an adult decision when presented with facts. The country saw a party united in its determination to make life better for all citizens, not just the fortunate few. It was the antithesis of the malaise bruited about by the GOP

  11. rikyrah says:

    Secretary of state’s voter eligibility investigation on hold after judge issues injunction

    5:39 PM, Sep 14, 2012

    Rules governing an effort to verify the eligibility of thousands of Iowa voters cannot be enforced while a lawsuit challenging their validity goes forward, a Polk County judge has ruled.

    Judge Mary Pat Gunderson issued a temporary injunction to stay the implementation of the rules late Friday afternoon. The ruling casts no judgment on the merits of the case, but means Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s effort to check the citizenship status of more than 3,500 voters is on hold for the time being.

    Schultz has identified the potentially ineligible voters by comparing the state’s voter rolls to a Department of Transportation list of legal aliens who have obtained driver’s licenses. He’s now seeking to verify those voters’ citizenship status by cross referencing the list against a federal immigration database.

    The rules enjoined on Friday were passed earlier this summer through an emergency rulemaking process as part of Schultz’s effort to gain access to the federal database.

    In her order, Gunderson said the harm posed to Schultz’s effort by an injunction was less than the potential harm to qualified voters if the rules remained in place.

    The rules “have in fact created confusion and mistrust in the voter registration process,” the judge found, and “have created fear that new citizens will lose their right to vote and/or be charged with a felony and caused some qualified voters to feel deterred from even registering to vote.”

    “The granting of the temporary injunction will simply maintain the status quo of the parties and the protections of qualified voters as they currently exist until final judgment on the merits of Petitioners’ claims can be determined,” she wrote.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Court knocks down Walker’s collective bargaining law in Wisconsin
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:20 PM EDT.

    A couple of important court rulings came down this afternoon, the first in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker (R) has been dealt a major blow.

    Gov. Scott Walker’s law repealing most collective bargaining for local and school employees was struck down by a Dane County judge Friday, yet another dramatic twist in a year and a half saga that likely sets up another showdown in the Supreme Court.

    The law remains largely in force for state workers, though a federal judge struck down part of that section of the law as well earlier this year. But for city, county, and school workers the decision by Dane County Judge Juan Colas returns the law to its status before Walker signed his law in March 2011.

    Lester Pines, an attorney for the Madison teachers and city of Milwaukee employees, told the Journal Sentinel, “The decision essentially creates the (2011) status quo for municipal employees and school district employees because it declared that the essential provisions of Act 10 to be unconstitutional.”

    The ruling is still subject to appeal, but as of this afternoon, it’s a big win for labor and a defeat for Scott Walker’s union-busting efforts in Wisconsin.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Bibi Triples Down on Romney

    Josh Marshall-September 14, 2012, 6:04 PM

    The cauldron of Israeli politics has been swirling of late with the notion that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has put his chips (both for the future and with respect to Iran) on Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu has put his on Mitt Romney. And as the Prime Minister increasingly works to unseat President Obama, opposition leaders have started to ask who Bibi is more intent on ousting, Ahmadinejad or Obama?

    Now comes word that Netanyahu will give an exclusive interview this weekend to Meet The Press, which gives you your answer. Netanyahu is tripling down on a Romney presidency and will do whatever he can to make it happen.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Angry Black Post-Convention Write-Up

    By Imani Gandy (ABL) September 15th, 2012

    Sorry for the delay in doing a convention write-up. I didn’t get back to LA until late Monday night—I ended up kicking it in New York for a couple days after leaving West Virginia—and I’ve spent all week recuperating and getting back in gear. Here’s the first of at least two (probably) write-ups about Driving Miss Crazy 2012.

    The DNC was a blast, and for all his crankiness and disdain for humanity, Cole is actually quite a caring and concerned individual. He needs to face it already: he’s a softie on the inside. (Plus, he grows a mean tomato.)

    I must admit that when I told my mom – who is white for all of you have been trapped under something heavy for the past year and a half – that I would be going to West Virginia, my mom said, “What the fuck do you want to go to West Virginia for?”

    After I explained that the Balloon Juice community had been so kind as to donate money (and buttons and one very peculiar bumper sticker) in order to get John and me to the convention, mom was on board. I also explained that when I agreed to go late that whatever-night-it-was, I was 100% convinced that Cole would call me the next morning and sheepishly say in his best Lumbergh voice, “Um, yeah about that trip to the DNC…,” and I would say, “I knew it!” and then we’d have a big laugh.

    But no.

    By the time that I woke up the following morning, I saw that Cole had already posted a fundraiser – even though he said that he would probably be waiting until the morning to post about our slapdash plan. (I’m fairly certain that had he not put up that post while drunk, we would not have gone.)

    I know there was some concern about a white man and a black woman traveling in the south, but realistically, Charlotte is not particularly deep South, and having grown up the daughter of mixed race couple, and having been in several mixed-race relationships myself, I was not at all concerned. I never once felt that, “oh dang!” moment that black folks sometimes feel when they look around and realize they’re in West fucking Virginia.

  15. rikyrah says:

    How ‘Sam Bacile’ Bamboozled the AP, Wall Street Journal Over Anti-Muslim Film

    Note to young, and professional, journalists alike. Don’t get “Sam Baciled” (pronounced, appropriately, like bamboozled) — particularly not when you’re reporting on acts of terrorism in the Middle East, during an election year, on the anniversary of September 11.

    In the aftermath of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead, and the protests at the embassy in Cairo, most media outlets aggressively pushed the story that the attacks were a “Satanic Verses”-style retaliation for a crude, cheaply produced film of dubious origins called “Innocence of Muslims” that depicts the prophet Mohammed offensively.

    Blogs mentioned conspiracy theories, false flag operations and the CIA. Commenters foamed at the mouth. The Drudge Report posted a provocative picture of an unconscious victim, and a somewhat misleading headline involving suffocation. The implication seemed to be that a corpse was dragged through the streets. The reality, it turns out, was that ordinary Libyans ferried the unconscious U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens, to a hospital where a doctor spent an unsuccessful hour and a half trying to revive him.

    Stories in more reputable news outlets, like the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal, explained that the offending film was made by an Israeli-American named Sam Bacile, cost $5 million, and was financed with money culled from “more than 100 Jewish donors.”

    The AP reporter Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, who broke advanced the story of Bacile, noted that the film “shows an amateur cast performing a wooden dialog.” Aside from Bacile, who “was apologetic about the American who was killed as a result of the outrage over his film,” the only other source in the story was a man named Steve Klein who served as “a consultant on the film.” *(See correction on this section at the bottom of story.)

    After much speculation that Sam Bacile was a sort of spectral, Keyser Soze figure, the filmmaker was later outed as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian and convicted felon. But not before he was somehow strangely profiled while “in hiding” in The Independent, and partially unmasked in The Atlantic by his co-conspirator, Klein.

    Perpetuating an Anti-Semitic Narrative
    The AP clearly dropped the ball on the original story, and perpetuated a latently anti-Semitic narrative that resulted in headlines such as “Israel Distances Itself from Prophet Muhammad Film” (as if the burden of distancing should be on them). They somehow figured out that Sam Bacile didn’t exist, and that his address and phone number were remarkably similar to that of Nakoula.

    However, before this happened, there was some collective uncertainty surrounding Bacile, and, before I went to bed Wednesday night, I scoured Google News one more time, and was treated to retread stories such as “What We Know About ‘Sam Bacile'” on NPR’s news blog, which admits, rather tediously, in its second paragraph, that “the bottom line is that we know very little about ‘Sam Bacile.'” The most compelling thing about the story, up to this point, is its use of scare quotes to establish symbolic distance, and to tell us that they’re onto him, even if they’re not.

  16. Ametia says:

    Poll: Obama widens lead in Pennsylvania
    Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

    The Inquirer survey of 600 likely voters, conducted Sept. 9-12, found that 50 percent would vote for Obama if the election were held today, and 39 percent would vote for Romney.

    Obama’s lead was up from the 9 points found in the first Inquirer poll, Aug. 21-23, in which he led, 51-42. Poll results included voters who were leaning toward a candidate. Both surveys had an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    The Obama edge stands where it was when the 2008 campaign ended. Obama beat John McCain, the GOP nominee that year, by 11 1/2 points.


    Statewide, Obama was ahead among all age groups, among both men and women, among those with college education and those without.


    Read more:

  17. Ametia says:

    Op-Ed Columnist
    Advantage, Obama
    Published: September 14, 2012

    Elections often turn on character moments and the slopes of lines.

    They are about who a candidate reveals himself to be under pressure more than who he says he is on stage. And they are about the direction of change when the time comes to vote for change — or to forswear it in favor of continuity.

    Taking that into account, at this moment, President Obama’s chances of being re-elected look stronger than they have in months. The Romney campaign seems to be coming off the tracks with no clear vision for how to get back on.

    Romney’s panicky, premature excoriation of the Obama administration over violence in the Middle East — a response that was factually flawed and widely panned — only served to shake the fragile faith of those who might be holding their noses to support him. “Anybody but Obama” used to be an effective rallying cry. Lately, it’s been more like “anybody but Mitt.”

    READ ON:

  18. Ametia says:

    Poll Finds Obama Is Erasing Romney’s Edge on Economy
    Published: September 14, 2012

    President Obama has taken away Mitt Romney’s longstanding advantage as the candidate voters say is most likely to restore the economy and create jobs, according to the latest poll by The New York Times and CBS News, which found a modest sense of optimism among Americans that White House policies are working.

    But while the climate for Mr. Obama has improved since midsummer, and Mr. Romney has failed to shift sentiment decisively in his favor, the poll found that the presidential race is narrowly divided. The outcome could still turn on unexpected events and how the candidates are perceived after their three debates next month.

    With their conventions behind them and the general election campaign fully engaged, the Democratic Party is viewed more favorably than the Republican Party. The poll also found that more likely voters give an edge to Mr. Obama on foreign policy, Medicare and addressing the challenges of the middle class. The only major issue on which Mr. Romney held an advantage was handling the federal budget deficit.

    The nationwide poll was conducted during a turbulent week in the campaign, with a new torrent of television ads from Mr. Romney, a disappointing jobs report for Mr. Obama and both candidates reacting to deadly violence in Egypt, Libya and across the Arab world.

  19. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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