I’m having trouble focusing enough to write a real post, so I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been reading this afternoon. I’ll begin with some very good news from Reuters: Shot Pakistani girl can recover, UK doctors say
A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban has every chance of making a “good recovery”, British doctors said on Monday as 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai arrived at a hospital in central England for treatment of her severe wounds.
Yousufzai, who was shot for advocating education for girls, was flown from Pakistan to receive specialist treatment at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital at a unit expert in dealing with complex trauma cases that has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.
“Doctors…believe she has a chance of making a good recovery on every level,” said Dr Dave Rosser, the hospital’s medical director, adding that her treatment and rehabilitation could take months.
The article says the doctors haven’t actually evaluated Malala yet; but they are nevertheless confidence she can recover because she has made it through “the removal of the bullet and the very critical 48-hour window after surgery.”
Treatment for the schoolgirl is likely to include repairing damaged bones in her skull and complex follow-up neurological treatment.
“Injuries to bones in the skull can be treated very successfully by the neurosurgeons and the plastic surgeons, but it is the damage to the blood supply to the brain that will determine long-term disability,” said Duncan Bew, consultant trauma surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust in London.
Malala’s youth increases her chances for full recovery, because young brains are more plastic than older ones.
Mitt Romney has chickened out on his scheduled appearance with the “sharp-tongued women” of The View
One of the nuggets overshadowed by the 47 percent dis in the secret Mitt Romney fund-raiser video had the candidate telling his wealthy donors how he picked his television appearances, and why he shunned the likes of SNL and Letterman. The View was “high risk,” he said, because “of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative. Whoopi Goldberg in particular.” To make amends, the Romney campaign said both Mitt and Ann would come on the show in October, and a summit was planned for this Thursday. But as Barbara Walters announced on today’s program, the appearance has been canceled, and Ann will have to do.
“We were looking forward to it,” explained Walters. “Over the weekend, his people said that he had scheduling problems and would not be coming on with us. Nor at this point did he feel that he could reschedule.” She added, “He can change his mind and we hope he does. It would be our pleasure to have him on the program.” (“It was no longer going to work in the campaign schedule but Mrs. Romney is very excited to join the ladies of The View,” a Romney spokesperson confirmed.)
What a wimp!
There’s a lengthy article at by John Boher at BuzzFeed that explodes a number of myths about George Romney’s political career, and it is well worth the read.
Everyone agrees: Mitt Romney is not like his father.
The late Michigan governor and 1968 presidential candidate George Romney is remembered as a principled man of spontaneity and candor. His example is regularly invoked by both admirers of his son’s disciplined campaign style and critics of Mitt’s back-and-forth pandering. George, it is said, told the truth about the Vietnam War before it was popular to do so, with an unfortunately worded comment about “brainwashing” by U.S. government officials that cost him the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. “Mitt learned at an impressionable age that in politics, authenticity kills,” historian Rick Perlstein wrote in Rolling Stone earlier this year. “Heeding the lesson of his father’s fall, he became a virtual parody of an inauthentic politician.”
This rejection of his father’s example, the thinking goes, is what has made Mitt a more successful presidential candidate — self-controlled but hard to pin down, flipping from moderate to conservative to moderate once again. It is observed that Mitt would never draw a line in the sand like his father did in 1964, when George dramatically “charged out of the 1964 Republican National Convention over the party’s foot-dragging on civil rights,” as the Boston Globe’s authoritative biography, “The Real Romney,” put it earlier this year. Outlets from the New York Times to the New Republic have recalled this story of the elder Romney’s stand against Goldwater’s hard-line conservatives. Frontline’s documentary “The Choice 2012” reported it as a formative event: “when Goldwater received the nomination, Mitt saw his father angrily storm out.” A Google search for the incident produces hundreds of pages of results. In August, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne cited the episode to write that Mitt “has seemed more a politician who would do whatever it took to close a deal than a leader driven by conviction and commitment. This is a problem George Romney never had.”
Except that none of it is true. George Romney was known by his political peers and by journalists as a flip-flopper with no real ideological core. He never stormed out of the 1964 Convention.
He stayed until the very end, formally seconding Goldwater’s eventual nomination and later standing by while an actual walkout took place. He left the convention holding open the possibility of endorsing Goldwater and then, after a unity summit in Hershey, Pennsylvania, momentarily endorsed the Arizona senator. Then he changed his mind while his top aides polled “all-white and race-conscious” Michigan communities for a “secret” white backlash vote against LBJ’s civil rights advances — a backlash that might have made a Goldwater endorsement palatable at home. Finding the Republican label even more unpopular than civil rights in Michigan, Romney ultimately distanced himself from the entire party, including his own moderate Republican allies
No one knows how that story got started, but it was Mitt who repeatedly spread it around once he began running for office. George Romney never marched with Martin Luther King either. There’s much much more, and it’s really interesting. Mitt may just be a chip off the old block after all.
There a little bit of good news for Obama in today’s polls. Reuters/Ipsos shows Obama leading by two points
President Barack Obama retained a slim lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll on Monday, as he appeared to have stemmed the bleeding from his poor first debate.
Three weeks before the November 6 U.S. election, Obama leads Romney by 2 percentage points, with 47 percent support from likely voters in the national online poll, to 45 percent support for Romney.
The margin was small enough to be a virtual tie, but Obama’s slight edge broadened from Sunday, when he went ahead of Romney by 1 point after falling behind in the wake of Romney’s decisive victory in their first presidential debate on October 3.
“Romney received a bump from that first debate, but the very nature of a bump is it recedes again,” Ipsos vice president Julia Clark said. “We’re now seeing Obama regaining a little bit of a foothold as we go into the second debate. They go into the debate on equal footing.”
The Washington Post-ABC poll released overnight had Obama with a 3 point lead, 49-46 percent. Chris Cillizza has some “deep(ish) thoughts” about the results. For some crazy reason, more people still think Mitt Romney would handle the economy better than Obama, but not by much, and everyone is anxious about the future no matter which candidate gets elected. Obama is still seen as far more likable than Romney, 60-30 among registered voters and 58-32 among likely voters.
The bad news for Obama, if the USA Today/Gallup poll of the swing states can be trusted, is that Romney has made huge gains with women voters.
Mitt Romney leads President Obama by five percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.
As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee now ties the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-48%, while he leads by 12 points among men.
Why those issues would favor Romney is a mystery, since all the experts say his tax cuts would explode the deficit.
The battle for women, which was apparent in the speakers spotlighted at both political conventions this summer, is likely to help define messages the candidates deliver at the presidential debate Tuesday night and in the TV ads they air during the final 21 days of the campaign. As a group, women tend to start paying attention to election contests later and remain more open to persuasion by the candidates and their ads.
That makes women, especially blue-collar “waitress moms” whose families have been hard-hit by the nation’s economic woes, the quintessential swing voters in 2012’s close race.
Ralph posted a couple of very interesting poll-related links in the previous thread:
Sam Wang: The Passing Storm
In national polls, the race has swung back three points since the Presidential debate to a narrow Obama lead. This return has been steady over time, and so the role of the VP debate is unclear. Combined with state polls, the data suggest that the effect of Mitt Romney’s performance was an instantaneous jump of 5.5 points, which has now subsided back to where polls were in August. The decline in the state poll meta-analysis has been blocked by Ohio. Today, President Obama’s November re-elect probability is 84% – still a Russian-roulette situation for the Democrats.
And and “exclusive” at Democratic Underground: Gravis Marketing exposed as a fraud Part I. Very interesting and creepy too.
Everyone has advice for President Obama for tomorrow night’s debate. Lanny Davis offers some ridiculous suggestions at The Hill
1) Be respectful and gracious to Romney — look at him while he is talking and listen to what he is saying — not because it is better than the appearance of disrespect you conveyed in the first debate by looking down and taking notes, but because he is a good man, a good dad, a good husband and a successful businessman and politician who is deserving of respect.
2) Be firm and strong when you challenge him on his policy positions — but don’t interrupt or raise your voice, and concede him the merits once in a while (since it is neither true nor politically effective to declare that he is 100 percent wrong and you are 100 percent right).
3) Most heretical of all — concede a little when you can when the truth requires that you made some mistakes in your first term — and aver that will make you a better president in the second term.
For example, you could say you regret not making a greater effort to break the logjam of the supercommittee on dealing with the then $15 trillion debt. You could say you wished you had done more to reach out to the Senate and House Republicans on the committee and intend to do so in your next term — and to do a better job seeking the counsel of senior Republicans who are, in fact, interested in achieving solutions and bipartisan consensus, particularly on making real progress on reducing the nation’s unsustainable national debt, such as Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah).
I think he’s actually serious too!!
Howard Fineman has a column on the many “fans” who are now second-guessing the Obama campaign strategies.
What are you hearing? This is an open thread, of course.
Don’t feel up for writing much this morning, so I apologize in advance.
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. My parents, living in Tampa at the time, tell tales of bomb drills…when you had to duck under your desk. As if that was really going to save you if the shit hit the fan.
- Barbrady: Okay people, listen up. As we near the top of the mountain, the chances of our encountering some lava becomes great. Therefore, I have special ordered this training film to assist us in volcano safety. Mr Garrison, if you would, please?
[Garrison turns on the movie projector to watch a 1952 training video called Lava and You.]
- Instructor: Hard bringers of sorrow, natural disasters can be the cause of troubling and undesirable stress – and a volcano is no exception. But what should you do if a volcano erupts near you or your family? Here, we see the Stevens family enjoying on their picnic. But suddenly, daughter hears a noise: it’s a volcano. Junior seems worried – but have no fear, Junior. Jane learned in school what to do when you hear a volcano erupt. [Jane uses a picnic blanket, covering her family] That’s right, Jane – duck and cover. [lava passes through blanket, leaving family unharmed] So what will you do when you hear a volcano erupting? That’s right, duck and cover. Looks like you got the idea. Duck and cover. Thank you and goodbye. [end of film]
- Barbrady: Okay, any questions?
- Chef: That has got to be the most ridiculous load of pig crap I have ever seen!
- Barbrady: That’s enough outta you!
That is a spoof South Park did on this video:
And now….I’ve got some articles about the Cuban Missile Crisis from all over the world, even Cuba! So check these out:
From Cuba…October Missile Crisis Still an Issue Today – This link is pro Castro…just fyi.
Fidel Castro delivering a speech in October 1962 – the point ‘Soviet ambitions were checked’ARMAGEDDON, with the courtesy of four minutes’ warning: that was the prospect facing the world 50 years ago, as the Cuban missile crisis threatened thermonuclear war on a scale that experts today believe would have cost more than 200 million lives.With the passing of half a century and the declassification of many documents on both sides, certain perspectives have changed; but no new insight has discredited the notion that it was one of the most perilous moments in the Cold War.
From England: How Cuba won the missile crisis
President John F Kennedy ‘never allowed the affair to escape from his capable hands’. Photograph: Art Rickerby/LIFE
Half a century ago, in October 1962, the world woke up to the Cuban missile crisis. The Russians were unloading nuclear missiles on Cuba, and the Americans were demanding they be withdrawn. For some people, perhaps for many, it seemed the moment to drag out the old evangelical poster: The End of the World is Nigh. One prominent anti-nuclear campaigner fled noisily to the west coast of Ireland, imagining mistakenly that there she might be safe. It was a frightening time. Even today I can remember the chill in the air, something not just the result of autumnal bad weather.
Video news story here: BBC News – Cuban missile crisis: The other, secret one
The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 is generally accepted as the twentieth century’s moment of maximum peril.
On the 50th anniversary of the crisis, the BBC has had exclusive access to new information that paints an even more dangerous picture of how the crisis unfolded.
Papers to be published next week reveal that far from the crisis ending neatly with the deal struck by President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev at the end of October, there was a second secret stage to the crisis with staggering implications for the world.
Joe Matthews spoke to Dr Svetlana Savranskay, Director of Russia Programmes, National Security Archive in Washington DC, about her research and has this report.
Australia…down under: Fifty years since Soviets blinked over the Cuban missile crisis
John F. Kennedy chairs a US executive committee meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Source: Supplied
There is a nifty graphic at this Associated Press link: AFP: Cuban missile crisis: when the world held its breath
Just a few more, looking at these photographs is something…many of you probably have vivid memories of this.
You can always learn something new about old events, even heavily covered ones like the Cuban Missile Crisis.To that end, the National Archives on Thursday will release more than 2,700 pages of papers from its Robert F. Kennedy collection, many of them dealing with the Cuba crisis that became the most dangerous moment of the Cold War.”The National Archives is pleased to open these materials as the nation and the world mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. “Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy played a crucial role in the peaceful resolution of the crisis, and researchers and the public are keenly interested in the information and insights contained in these documents.”
News reports from Pakistan on Sunday said that Malala Yousafzai has about a 50-50 chance of survival, maybe a little better, according to her doctors. She remains stable but unconsciousin an army hospital in Rawalpindi.Military doctors have reportedly consulted with two civilian Pakistani neurosurgeons who have recommended that Ms. Yousafzai be sent abroad for treatment. President Obama also has offered U.S. medical assistance to the Pakistani government, including a military air ambulance.Dr. Khalid Butt, a former army physician, in a letterto the Dawn newspaper, said “we may lose Malala Yousafzai if we do not send her to Dubai or the UK immediately,” adding that “armed forces doctors are not very proficient in complicated injury cases in peacetime.”He asked military leaders to stop “dilly-dallying” and not make it “a matter of ego and send Malala somewhere where she can be treated better.”
After a daylong series of delays stemming from trees bordering the street and a particularly narrow stretch of road, the space shuttle Endeavour is not expected to arrive at its final destination until after 5 a.m. Sunday.
The shuttle, now at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Leimert Park, will turn right onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard sometime before midnight. It will then creep along in the predawn darkness, never exceeding 1 mph, for the last leg of its final journey,
“It’s not the turning–the turning is easy. We can turn this thing 360 degrees in place if we have to,” said Ken Carryion, project manager for Sarens, the company controlling the transporters on which Endeavour rests. “it’s limited visibility. Even though we have light, it’s not the same as daylight.”
There are some cool photos here: PHOTOS: Endeavour rolls through the streets of L.A.