|November 12, 2012||NFL Week 10: MONSTER!||1 comments|
|November 10, 2012||The First Caturday After.||4 comments|
|November 09, 2012||Election 2012: T G I OVER.||3 comments|
|November 09, 2012||The Ultimate Fickle Finger Of Fate Award!||1 comments|
|November 04, 2012||NFL Week 9 Predictions.||1 comments|
|November 03, 2012||Caturday Election 2012 Edition.||2 comments|
|October 28, 2012||A Different Editorial View.||5 comments|
|October 27, 2012||Bwahahahaha!!!||2 comments|
|October 26, 2012||Is it Art or Grafitti?||2 comments|
|October 22, 2012||Jones!!!||2 comments|
President Barack Obama used the first weekly radio address of his second term Saturday to vow that he would stick to an election promise to raise tax contributions from the richest Americans to tackle the "fiscal cliff".
Obama's first order of business following Tuesday's victory at the polls is to tackle a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that will be triggered in the new year if there is no wide-ranging deal with Congress on a deficit-trimming budget.
If such a deal fails, many experts are predicting the US economy could fall back into recession. But the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has said it will not countenance any tax rises as part of the agreement.
In his new address, Obama said that was not acceptable: "I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes."
The president added that he believed this election victory over the Republican challenger Mitt Romney had given him a mandate to carry out his promise. "This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach," he said.
So far both sides – while sticking to their positions – have also tried to indicate that they are open to negotiations and compromise. Obama continued that line on Saturday by holding out the prospect of wide-ranging talks with his Republican opponents.
"We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That's part of what makes our political system work," he said. "Instead, you want cooperation. You want action. That's what I plan to deliver in my second term, and I expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me."
Next week Obama will be meeting with top Republicans and Democratic leaders to begin the process of thrashing out a possible deal. He is also set to consult with business leaders and officials from organised labour.
Many business leaders have argued that the prospect of going over the fiscal cliff represents a nightmare scenario for America's economic prospects.
Some have called for tax hikes to be part of any settlement. Before the election, 80 American business leaders, including Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, signed a letter calling for a balanced approach to tackling the budget deficit, including tax hikes and spending cuts.
On Friday, United Continental airline boss Jeff Smisek told CNBC that the fiscal cliff could have a potentially more disastrous impact on his business than superstorm Sandy. "It makes it difficult for us to operate," Smisek said.
However, a political deal is far from guaranteed. The election left House Majority leader John Boehner firmly in control of the House of Representatives, along with its Tea Party-infused Republican caucus.
Many of those politicians are implacably opposed to any form of tax hike, and Boehner has also struck a strong tone, claiming that the election results that left his party in charge of the House also represent a mandate from the people.
- Paul Harris
How is it that an unpopular president was able to win re-election in a down economy? The answer, it seems, might be found with a single voter: Maria Rossi.
Born in Italy, the 60-something grandmother immigrated to the United States as a child, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. Today, she works as a part-time nanny for a two-earner couple in Connecticut. Her husband works in the maintenance department at a local university.
Rossi is your classic working class, ethnic Catholic — what pollsters used to refer to as a Reagan Democrat. In 2004, she voted for George Bush. In 2008, she voted for John McCain.
In so doing, Rossi, and others like her, defied the conventional Republican wisdom: that Mitt Romney could — at the very least — count on the support of those who voted for McCain in 2008.
Republican strategists believed that the 2012 GOP nominee would start with a built-in base that could only expand, as former Obama supporters became disillusioned with the president’s ideologically-driven incompetence.
They were wrong.
Turns out, political coalitions don’t really build upon those of the past — they must be created anew each election cycle, cobbled together by the nominee through the power of his ideas and by the image he projects.
Rossi’s path from Bush/McCain supporter to Obama voter is instructive. In 2008, Rossi was turned off by Obama’s far left world-view and his utter lack of experience. McCain was not perfect, but he was a hero and a patriot. He was gritty. And tough. He came across as someone who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty in order to get the job done.
Romney’s image was different. He was from the patrician class. And Rossi was dubious of him from the start (as she had been of John Kerry in 2004).
Realizing that a significant segment of society would find it difficult to relate to the upper-class Romney, the Obama campaign went negative, painting Romney as an out-of-touch “vulture” capitalist who does not understand, let alone care about, people like Rossi. A compliant media provided the assist. Their relentless drumbeat of stories about Romney’s Cayman Island investments, his wife’s dressage horses, and that oh-so perfect hair crystallized Rossi’s initial impressions. Romney’s gaffes (“I like firing people,” for example) didn’t help the situation. Romney’s positions on issues hardly mattered — to Rossi, they were barely audible above the din.
And so, despite her frustration with Obama — particularly his attacks on Catholic institutions — on Tuesday, Maria Rossi returned to the Democratic Party.
Could Romney have done anything to prevent this? Perhaps. Some will argue that Romney should have fought back harder against the president’s negative attacks, or should have defined himself earlier in the campaign — rather than waiting until the debates to show us who he really is. Had he done so, it is possible that Romney might have been able to prevent the Obama campaign from painting him with a pitchfork and horns. But my guess is that this may not have been enough.
You see, in the modern era, Americans seem to value “relatability” above all else. Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan may have come from different backgrounds and different ideological perspectives, but each had the ability to connect with average voters.
In the end, Romney is who he is: a wealthy gentleman. And although these are traits that many can admire, they are also traits with which few Americans can truly “relate.”
Jennifer C. Braceras is a lawyer and political commentator.
A voting system enforces rules to ensure valid voting, and how votes are counted and aggregated to yield a final result. Common voting systems are majority rule, proportional representation or plurality voting with a number of variations and methods such as first-past-the-post or preferential voting. The study of formally defined voting systems is called social choice theory or voting theory, a subfield of political science, economics, or mathematics.
With majority rule, those who are unfamiliar with voting theory are often surprised that another voting system exists, or that disagreements may exist over the definition of what it means to be supported by a majority. Depending on the meaning chosen, the common "majority rule" systems can produce results that the majority does not support. If every election had only two choices, the winner would be determined using majority rule alone. However, when there are three or more options, there may not be a single option that is most liked or most disliked by a majority. A simple choice does not allow voters to express the ordering or the intensity of their feeling. Different voting systems may give very different results, particularly in cases where there is no clear majority preference.
- Be sure and vote. Dubious
Since the Texans are on a bye...
President Barack Obama picked up the endorsement of The New York Times on Saturday, a decision the paper's editorial board said was due to administration policies that have placed the economy on the path to recovery, the passage of landmark health care reform, the advocating of women's rights and a foreign policy agenda that has kept unstable regions from combustion -- all accomplished, the board argues, in the face of an "ideological assault" from the Republican Party.
The endorsement is hardly unexpected but is significant nonetheless coming from one of the most influential papers in the United States. The Times' liberal-leaning editorial page backed Obama in 2008 and has, throughout the 2012 cycle, painted a stark contrast between the president's vision and the policy proposals of his opponent, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That choice is emphatically laid out in Saturday's editorial, "Barack Obama for Re-Election," in which the Times states that Romney "has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear."
"He has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas," the editorial board writes of Romney. "Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda." The editorial adds that the appointment of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to Romney's ticket "says volumes" about what a Romney presidency would entail.
On the economy, the editorial notes that Obama avoided another Great Depression and calls the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act "an important milestone," while referring to Romney's vague economic plan as "regressive." With respect to health care, the Times says that Obama has achieved "one of the most sweeping health care reforms" since Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 -- the Affordable Care Act. Romney, the board writes, "has no plans for covering the uninsured" and would turn Medicare into a voucher-like program.
Romney's rhetoric on foreign affairs -- and decision to surround himself with former Bush advisers -- pose "a frightening prospect" for foreign policy, the editorial board writes. Obama, on the other hand, has embraced a foreign policy agenda that is "resolute" and "smart," undoing the damage of the Bush years and repairing the reputation of the U.S. overseas.
Finally, the board praises Obama's Supreme Court appointments and extols the president over civil rights -- contrasting his record on immigration, LGBT issues, and women's health with the conservative views Romney has offered on each subject.
The editorial does acknowledge its criticisms of Obama's first term, including "his unwillingness to throw himself into the political fight," but maintains that the president is prepared for similar partisan battles following his victory, including the ongoing gridlock surrounding the fiscal cliff, Bush era tax cuts and budget sequester.
By Sabrina Siddiqui
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of its original title "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain.
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
The competition was sponsored by the United Nations’ Space Generation Advisory Council. Paek presented his strategy at the International Astronautical Congress in Italy, where he detailed how firing a mass quantity of paintballs into an asteroid could prevent what would otherwise be an unfortunate collision with our fragile planet. It’s as simple sounding as it is seemingly ingenious; the light-colored paintballs, upon impact, would cause a slight diversion in the asteroid’s course. At this point, the chunk of space rock would then be coated in a reflective substance. The sunlight bouncing off the reflective surface would increase solar radiation pressure and further alter the asteroid’s course, redirecting it out of the danger zone.
This method was detailed in a video using the 900-foot-wide asteroid Apophis as the virtual test subject due to its potential impact with earth in the future. Just how many paintballs would it take to potentially knock the massive asteroid off course? Five tons’ worth. And sadly, while it’s fun to imagine the asteroid careening off-course immediately after a blast of pellets, it would take about two decades for the solar radiation pressure to shove the rock out of its dangerous trajectory. You can check out a video of this in action here.
According to Paek, additional things could be launched into space in addition to the paint pellets, such as pellets with aerosols that would “impart air drag on the incoming asteroid to slow it down. Or, you could just paint the asteroid so you can track it more easily with telescopes on Earth. So there are other uses for this method.” Last year’s winning strategy revolved around the idea of diverting an asteroid via a blast of solid pellets.
By Brittany Hillen
Indiana Jones named himself after a dog — but maybe he should have picked a cat.
A stray cat discovered an ancient Roman catacomb on Tuesday. Mirko Curti and a friend followed the feline into a tomb that dates back more than 2,000 years.
The pair started following the cat when he spotted it near his apartment building around 10 p.m.
The cat hurried into a cavern near a limestone rock cliff in Curti's residential neighborhood, reported The Guardian.
"(W)e followed the sound of its (meow)ing," Curti said.
They managed to enter the cave's small opening. The entrance was guarded by rocks until earlier in the week when heavy rain caused them to fall away, archeologists said.
Once inside Curti realized that the cat led him into a tomb littered with human bones and surrounded by ancient Roman funeral urns.
Curti described the finding as "the most incredible experience (of my life)."
Archeologists, who were called to the scene, estimated that the cave was from between the first century B.C. and the second century A.D., according to The Guardian.
The bones, archeologists said, likely fell into the tomb from a chamber higher in the cliff.
Rome already had its fair share of historical sites, but thanks to a wayward cat it has one more. Maybe archeologists should consider taking them along on upcoming expeditions.
From The New York Daily News -