What’s Up: October 3, 2012?

To read the entire article click on the title or Story Continued. Enjoy as the world turns.

· Chinese Company Sues Obama Over Wind Farm Shutdown – On Friday, President Obama took the highly unusual step of blocking a Chinese company from building wind farms in Oregon. The Chinese company, Ralls, is furious and has threatened to sue the president. According to a statement issued by the Treasury Department, President Obama made the decision because of national security concerns: The proposed sites for the four wind farms Ralls wants to build are located in or near restricted airspace used by the Navy to test weapons. In the current political environment, with Obama being attacked for being too weak on China, the decision smacks of politics. It also feels like tit-for-tat: China’s government has prevented many American companies from aggressively pursuing projects in China, and complaints about China’s brazen theft of U.S. intellectual property are widespread. With China’s economy growing ever larger and richer, and with the U.S. running a massive trade deficit, clashes like these are likely to become more common. Back in 2005, a bid by Chinese oil company CNOOC for American oil company Unocal triggered a wave of “China’s taking over!” fears that were reminiscent of similar scares about Japan back in the 1980s. In the face of an intense political backlash, CNOOC withdrew its bid, but the broader issue isn’t going to go away. China is the beneficiary of a huge trade surplus with the U.S., which means that it is accruing an ever-larger pile of dollars that it needs to put to work. At the same time, China is desperate to secure the raw materials and resources it needs to continue its rapid economic growth. The combination–cash to burn and the need for resources–will likely prompt more Chinese companies to try to acquire U.S. assets. Given the clear tensions between the two superpowers, these moves will always become political. Story Continued and to watch the video:

· JPMorgan sued by New York over mortgage securities – NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) for fraud over faulty mortgage-backed securities packaged and sold by the former Bear Stearns. The lawsuit alleged a “systematic abandonment of underwriting guidelines” in the selling of home loans that went into securities peddled by Bear Stearns. JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in 2008, at the start of the financial crisis.

· Survey: Doctors choose Romney over Obama – A new survey shows Mitt Romney with a commanding lead over President Barack Obama among doctors, with Obamacare helping to sway their votes. If the election were held today, 55 percent of physicians reported they would vote for Romney while just 36 percent support Obama, according to a survey released by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, the third largest health care staffing company in the United States. Fifteen percent of respondents said they were switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012. The top reasons cited for this change was the Affordable Care Act and the failure to address tort reform. Leadership style, failure to follow through on campaign promises, unemployment and the general state of the economy were also factors. “Doctors are highly motivated this year to have their voice heard, particularly after passage of the Affordable Care Act,” said Sandy Garrett, president of Jackson & Coker. “No doubt, the health care law has stirred many passions in the medical community.” Fifty-five percent of physicians said that they favored “repeal and replace” Obamacare, while 40 percent said “implement and improve”. A Gallup poll from July found that 46 percent of Americans feel Obamacare is more harmful than helpful to the economy; 36 percent responded the opposite. Obama has not emphasized his signature piece of legislation on the campaign trail. Romney has said that he will work to repeal Obamacare on the first day of office. Story Continued:

· Hundreds line up for $1.84 gas at Mt. Morris Township gas station as part of political attention-getter

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Mount Morris Township Beacon & Bridge gas station had traffic backed up nearly a half mile to I-475 today as it rolled back prices to $1.84 per gallon for the first 150 motorists. The gas station announced early today that it would host a gas rollback event for the Americans for Prosperity-Michigan’s “Obama’s Failing Agenda” bus tour. The group said that the $1.84 per gallon price reflects the cost of gas in 2008, before President Barack Obama took office. Hundreds of cars lined up to get a piece of the savings, but the group had to turn away as many people as got the discounted gas. Motorists came from as far away as Washtenaw County to get relief from state gas prices that are hovering around $4 per gallon. “This really presents an opportunity to get cheaper gas than we’ve been getting for the past couple of years,” said Darius Langston, who drove from Ypsilanti. “I came here with my mom, who brought her car, and my dad, who brought his truck. We’ll be saving $90 by filling up all of our cars today.” Scott Hagerstrom, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Michigan, said that the event was held today to show people that there is a way to fight back against the gas prices and against politician’s unwillingness to provide financial relief for citizens. Story Continued:

· Battle for presidency remains close in new CNN poll – Two days before the first presidential debate, a new national survey indicates a very close contest between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the race for the White House. And according to a CNN/ORC International poll, neither candidate appears to have an edge on the economy, which remains the top issue on the minds of Americans and which may dominate Wednesday night’s debate on domestic issues in Denver. Fifty-percent of likely voters questioned in the CNN survey, which was released Monday, say that if the election were held today, they would vote for the president, with 47% saying they would support Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. The president’s three point margin is within the poll’s sampling error. Three other national polls of likely voters released in the past 24 hours also indicate a tight race. The other surveys are from ABC News/Washington Post, Politico/George Washington University, and American Research Group. A CNN Poll of Polls which averages all four surveys plus a Fox News poll released late last week puts Obama at 49% and Romney at 46% among likely voters. In the CNN/ORC poll, the national horse race stands pretty much where it was just before the two back-to-back party conventions in late August and early September. Story Continued:

· Obama will need more than luck

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It must be hard being Barack Obama. Midway through his opponent’s latest calamity, the president last week sat down for a grilling by the five friendly ladies on The View, the daytime television chat show. At the start of what can be described as a gentle conversation, Mr Obama joked that he was mere “eye candy” for his hosts. The news media complained that Mr Obama only very rarely makes himself available for their more probing questions. But of course, smart politicians go to where the voters are. Whether he’s slow jammin’ with Jimmy Fallon or conceding a kiss to the First Lady at a sports game, the president knows what most people respond to. Mitt Romney, on the other hand. But I digress. There can be little doubt that Mr Obama is a lucky candidate. This time four years ago, John McCain reminded everyone of his advancing age and dubious health by selecting a running mate who thought Africa was a country. After the financial meltdown, Mr McCain then made the rash error of calling for a suspension of the campaign. Mr Romney is on the verge of a similar fate. Given the latest polls, which show Mr Obama with six- to 10-point leads in the key swing states, Republican donors are debating whether to divert cash to the congressional election, where they could at least hold up the firewall against Mr Obama. Paul Ryan, meanwhile, is looking for ways to salvage his credibility as a future White House contender. Such are the rumors that disorient failing campaigns. So far, Mr Obama has played along mostly as a bystander. Staff at the president’s Facebook-style headquarters in Chicago may dispute that description (their targeting techniques are light years ahead of their rivals in Boston). But Mr Romney has inflicted most of the damage on himself. Last week he had the decency to admit it. “That’s not the campaign,” Mr Romney said in response to the fallout from of his infamous “47 per cent” remark at a private fundraiser. “That was me, right?” Story Continued:

· Romney: Obama has led America to “atrophy” – Mitt Romney is out with a foreign-policy focused op-ed where he criticizes President Obama’s strategy in the Middle East for lacking coherence and resolve. In his prescription for success, Romney connects success overseas with economic success domestically. “President Obama has allowed our leadership to atrophy,” Romney wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Our military, tested by a decade of war, is facing devastating cuts thanks to the budgetary games played by the White House. Finally, our values have been misapplied–and misunderstood–by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries,” Romney wrote. Tying in the importance of domestic economic security to international defense, Romney bashes the current state of economic affairs. “Our economy is stuck in a ‘recovery’ that barely deserves the name. Our national debt has risen to record levels,” he wrote. Pointing to ongoing challenges in the Middle East, including the civil war in Syria, the election of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon, Romney wrote that the U.S.’s standing in the world matters, calling recent developments “dangerous.” “If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel’s security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom,” the Republican presidential candidate wrote just five weeks before Election Day. The op-ed comes one week after Romney delivered his most encompassing foreign policy speech at the Clinton Global Initiative conference where he said American-aided economic development would result in greater stability overseas. Romney’s foreign policy strategy has received criticism after he failed to mention the war in Afghanistan in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. He also came under fire from some in his own party for jumping the gun in his response to the protests that started outside of the United States embassy in Cairo earlier this month. Romney released a statement, which criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the event, while events on the ground were still unfolding. Amid protests outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. Story Continued:

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· How badly did Romney botch response to Libya attack? – The conventional wisdom emerged in Washington almost immediately on Wednesday: Mitt Romney’s handling of the violence in Egypt and Libya was a disaster. “The comments were a big mistake, and the decision to double down on them was an even bigger mistake,” Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, told CBS News. “There are legitimate criticisms to be made but you foreclose on your ability to make them when you try to score easy political points. And the American people, when the country is attacked, whether they’re a Republican or Democrat or independent, want to see leaders who have measured responses, not leaders whose first instinct is to try to score political points.” Romney’s campaign released a statement late Tuesday night in response to a statement by the U.S. embassy in Cairo condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” The embassy statement, which was in response to anger over production of an amateurish anti-Islam film, came before any violence occurred. (It was an apparent effort to head off possible violence.) It was also a statement from the embassy, not the Obama administration, which later distanced itself from the sentiment. The Romney campaign nonetheless asserted “that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” Again, the first response came before there were any attacks, and it did not come from the Obama administration. Wednesday morning, Romney held a press conference to follow up on his initial statement. Between Romney’s initial statement and his press conference, the situation had turned tragic: The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi. (Protesters had also stormed the embassy in Cairo, Egypt.) Romney decided to stand by his initial criticism amid a flood of questions about whether he had jumped the gun, stating that “It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.” Story Continued:

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· Analysis: Will the Debates Make a Difference? – ANAYSIS: Last week, Mitt Romney opened an Ohio bus tour on the same day that a new poll in the state showed him lagging behind President Obama by a 10 point margin. This week, he enters his final day of preparations before the first presidential debate as a new national poll finds the race close: Obama leads Romney, 49 percent to 45 percent among likely voters across the country, according to the Quinnipiac University survey. The poll finds that Obama leads 56 to 38 percent among women and 94 to 2 percent among black voters, while Romney leads 52 to 42 percent among men and 53 to 42 percent among white voters. Independents split almost evenly with 47 percent who say they are backing Romney compared to 45 percent who support the president.

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But keeping it close nationally isn’t going to win Romney the White House if he can’t prevail in states like Colorado where most of the recent public polls give Obama the edge — by several points. The Romney campaign sees the race in this important Western battleground closer than that, and it was no accident that Romney told nearly 6,000 supporters at a rally in Denver last night that he had a “request” for them. “I’d like you to go out and find one person who voted for Barack Obama — or maybe two or three or four or five — and convince them to come join our team,” Romney said to the crowd. “I need you to go out and find people and say ‘You know what? It’s not working.’ It’s time to get America going again.” Finding those “three or four or five” Obama supporters, or undecided, will be crucial in a state that then-candidate Obama won by a 9-point margin over John McCain four years ago. The GOP candidate has no better opportunity to make a good impression on wavering voters than in the three presidential debates, the first of which takes place tomorrow night at the University of Denver. The problem for Romney, however, is that debates are often the hardest place to make a comeback. As John Harwood observed in The New York Times this week: “History shows that candidates have different ways to score through presidential debates: the forceful put-down, the surprising show of skill, the opponent’s fumble, superior post-debate tactics. But it also shows that to fundamentally alter the direction of a campaign, a candidate usually has to accomplish all of those things.” Besides the Nixon-Kennedy debates of 1960, the only recent series of candidate match-ups that definitively helped one candidate over another were the Gore-Bush debates of 2000. Story Continued:

· Obama Campaign: ‘Vote Like Your Lady Parts Depend On It’

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“Vote like your lady parts depend on it,” the text in the image says. Underneath, the text reads: “Because they kinda do.”

UPDATE: The image has been removed from the Obama website. Story source:

· Biden tells audience middle class has been ‘buried’ last four years – Vice President Biden said Tuesday that the middle class has been “buried” for the last four years. Biden made the remark at a campaign rally while arguing that Republicans would raise taxes on the middle class. He said the tax hike would be especially bad given what the middle class has been through over the last four years. “This is deadly earnest, man. This is deadly earnest,” the vice president said. “How they can justify, how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years — how in Lord’s name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts.” Republicans quickly seized on the remarks, accusing the Obama administration of implementing policies that have hurt the middle class. “Vice President Biden made a stunning admission today and we couldn’t agree more: the middle class has been ‘buried’ under the last four years of this President’s policies,” said Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “Under President Obama, the middle class has suffered from crushing unemployment, rising prices and falling incomes. They can’t afford to be ‘buried’ for four more years.” “We agree, the middle class has been buried the past four years by Obama’s failed policies from higher taxes to more debt, which is why he doesn’t deserve another term in the White House to make it worse,” said Kirsten Kukowski, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. Story Continued:

· NBC/WSJ poll: Obama maintains lead, but Romney within striking distance

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On the eve of the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama maintains his national lead over Mitt Romney, but the Republican nominee is well within striking distance, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Obama edges Romney by three points among likely voters, 49 percent to 46 percent, which is within the survey’s margin of error. Obama’s lead was five points, 50 percent to 45 percent, in the NBC/WSJ poll released two weeks ago, following the political conventions. But among a wider pool of registered voters, the president is ahead of Romney by seven points, 51 percent to 44 percent. Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, argues that the poll results contain good news for both candidates. For Obama, he’s ahead at a time of growing optimism about the economy and nation’s direction. For Romney, it’s a “margin of error” contest that comes as interest in the upcoming election lags among key Democratic constituencies versus four years ago. But Hart adds, “Barack Obama has the better hand.” Story Continued:

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– It appears that the mainstream media has put the foot in Romney’s mouth and made a big deal out of this statement. No one in mainstream media has said a thing about the current administration taking nine days to finally realize that the death of USA’s ambassador to Libya was an act of terrorism.  Pdc

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