Daily Archives: July 27, 2012

#RomneyShambles

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Rise Is Seen in Cyberattacks Targeting U.S. Infrastructure

Actually, I have no doubt that our country can fend off these attacks with ease…

The New York Times

The top American military official responsible for defending the United States against cyberattacks said Thursday that there had been a 17-fold increase in computer attacks on American infrastructure between 2009 and 2011, initiated by criminal gangs, hackers and other nations.

The assessment by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who heads the National Security Agency and also the newly created United States Cyber Command, appears to be the government’s first official acknowledgment of the pace at which America’s electricity grids, water supplies, computer and cellphone networks and other infrastructure are coming under attack. Those attacks are considered potentially far more serious than computer espionage or financial crimes.

General Alexander, who rarely speaks publicly, did not say how many attacks had occurred in that period. But he said that he thought the increase was unrelated to the release two years ago of a computer worm known as Stuxnet, which was aimed at taking down Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

When the worm inadvertently became public, many United States officials and outside experts expressed concern that it could be reverse-engineered and used against American targets. General Alexander said he saw no evidence of that.

Continue here…

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It’s a Weekday, So It’s Time for Another Misleading Edit of an Obama Quote

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Finally, someone in the media speaks out about the Romney camp’s disgusting deceptions…

Dave Weigel – Salon - July 26, 2012

At this point, getting video clips of President Obama from Republican campaigns is like getting an article pitch from Jayson Blair. It might tell a good story, but you need to run down the source and triple-check. Jim Geraghty points to our latest example, a rapid-response video from the RNC that clips Obama’s speech from Oakland.

Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan—and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term.

Pretty stupid! As Geraghty points out, with a smorgasboard of links, the economy is still horrible three-and-a-half years after Obama took office. But what was the rest of the quote?

I’ll cut out government spending that’s not working, that we can’t afford, but I’m also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well. Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.

What are the chances? Another radical Obama quote that’s just a clipped version of something all Democrats believe. Obama wasn’t talking, at this moment, about his own economic record. He was arguing that the economy had grown and the deficit had shrunk when marginal tax rates were higher. (Of course he doesn’t want to raise all those rates, which undercuts his point about the deficit.) This is a bog-standard part of the 2012 message. “The President also believes that the top 2% should return to Clinton-era income tax rates,” said David Plouffe this month, “when the United States created 23 million jobs and ran the biggest budget surplus in history.” Obama has tried a bunch of things, but Clinton-era tax rates on income over $250,000 is not among them.

So the truncated version of the Obama quote is insanely misleading. At best, it’ll only appear in $10.4 million or so of TV ads.

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10 things you should know today: July 27, 2012

 

Facebook shares fell 18 percent Thursday after the social network posted a net loss of $157 million for the second quarter, down from a net income of $240 million for the same quarter last year.

Nothing earth shattering, just an FYI…

The Week

1. ROMNEY OFFENDS IN LONDON
Mitt Romney’s overseas trip is off to an awkward start. His meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and other top officials Thursday were overshadowed by comments he made earlier in the week about London’s Olympic preparations. In an NBC interview, the GOP candidate called security staffing issues “disconcerting,” and said of the games: “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out.” Romney spent Thursday quelling anger over the comments while British politicians skewered him. “Of course it’s easier to hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” Cameron said, a remark taken as referring to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, which Romney organized. [Bloomberg]
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2. FACEBOOK SHARES PLUMMET AFTER EARNINGS NEWS
Facebook shares fell 18 percent Thursday as investors reacted to the social network’s first financial report. It showed revenue of $1.18 billion for the second quarter, up 32 percent and exceeding Wall Street’s expectations. But despite growing revenue, Facebook posted a net loss of $157 million for the quarter, down from a net profit of $240 million during the same period last year. Much of the loss was due to stock compensation. [New York Times]
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3. SYRIAN REBELS READY FOR BATTLE IN ALEPPO
Syrian rebels are amassing more troops and setting up medical clinics in Aleppo to prepare for more fighting with regime forces in Syria’s commercial hub. Protesters have taken to the Aleppo streets in support of the rebels as government forces shell the city from helicopters. At least 200 people were killed across Syria on Thursday. Forty-eight of the deaths were in Aleppo, marking the first time the city has led the number of deaths since the uprising began in Marxh 2011. [CNN]
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4. LONDON READIES FOR OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY
The 2012 Games kick off in London Friday with an elaborate opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire127 Hours) has created a three-hour spectacle showcasing Britain’s beautiful countryside, history, and pop culture contributions. [Reuters]
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5. POWERFUL STORMS HIT NORTHEAST
A woman in Pennsylvania and a man in New York were killed Thursday as severe weather struck the Northeast. The storms caused extensive power outages for some 200,000 people. The National Weather Service had also received reports of possible tornadoes touching down in Elmira, N.Y., and in Brookville, Pa. [CNN]
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6. LADY GAGA SET TO STAR IN RODRIGUEZ FILM
Director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) announced on Twitter that Lady Gaga will star in his next film. She’ll play La Chameleon in the action filmMachete Kills. It will be the pop star’s first big acting role. [BBC News]
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7. NEW AIDS RESEARCH FOCUSES ON AGING
According to government estimates, by the end of 2020, more than half of Americans with the HIV virus will be over 50. At the International AIDS Conference this week, a number of studies focused on how health issues common to seniors, like heart disease and brittle bones, tend to affect HIV-positive people earlier than seniors who are HIV-negative. [Associated Press]
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8. TAMPA STRIP CLUBS PREPARING FOR RNC CONVENTION
Tampa, Fla., is readying for August’s Republican National Convention, andThe New York Times reports that the city’s well-known strip clubs will be rolling out their welcome mats. According to an informal survey conducted by a strip club trade association, Republicans in town for conventions tend to spend about three times as much as their Democratic counterparts at clubs. [New York Times]
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9. STEWART’S AFFAIR MAY AFFECT TWILIGHT BOX OFFICE
Commentators and entertainment industry insiders are speculating as to whether Kristen Stewart’s affair will damage the box office for the finalTwilight film, which is due out in November. Stewart apologized earlier this week for cheating on her Twilight star and longtime beau Robert Pattinson. In The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 the pair plays a married vampire couple with a child. [The Wrap]
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10. KATHERINE JACKSON MEETS WITH ATTORNEY
Katherine Jackson’s attorney, Perry Sanders Jr., says his client is “fine” after meeting with her for the first time in days amid escalating family drama. A relative reported Jackson missing over the weekend after she hadn’t been in contact with her grandchildren for more than a week, but other family members followed with conflicting statements, and an altercation ensued in front of her home. A judge has temporarily suspended Katherine’s guardianship of her son Michael’s three children. Sanders says he will release a statement Friday detailing his conversations with Jackson. [Associated Press]

 

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Uninformed American Voter Shows Slight Signs Of Improvement

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

TPM Editor’s Blog

The percentage of registered voters who think President Obama is a Christian is edging toward 50 percent, an 11-point increase from August 2010, but still short of the 55 percent who thought so in October 2008, according to a new poll from Pew. But the percent who think he is Muslim has declined by just 2 percentage points in the last two years, down to 17 percent. The dreaded “don’t know” answer is down 10 percentage points over that time frame.

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