الأربعاء، 22 أغسطس، 2012

Ann Romney's Convention Speech May Not Air On Broadcast Networks

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Ann Romney
The Mitt Romney campaign has a new challenge on its hands: Ann Romney's speech to the Republican National Convention, currently scheduled for Monday, may not air on broadcast television.
The New York Times confirmed Wednesday what anybody who has glanced through the schedules of the broadcast networks could have guessed. ABC, CBS and NBC are only airing three hours of convention coverage during both the Republican and Democratic gatherings -- the same as they did in 2004, but one less than they did in 2008.
All three networks are skipping Monday night's proceedings, meaning that Mrs. Romney will be cut off from the largest pool of television viewers. (One network, NBC, is also skipping a day of the Democratic convention in favor of football.)
That's not to say, of course, that her address will be invisible. People will be able to watch the speech on MSNBC, Fox News or CNN, or on any one of a boatload of websites -- or even on PBS, as that network's Gwen Ifill pointed out:
 
gwen ifill
Reason  to watch  : Convention Coverage Leaves Ann Romney Off Air 
The Romney campaign was understandably upset about this turn of events. Ann Romney is considered a particularly good surrogate for her oft-stiff husband, and conventions can be an ideal way for campaigns to introduce potential first ladies to the country. Senior advisers raised objections to the Times, saying that such a thing would never have happened during the days of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite.
Still, it's hard to see how the campaign could not have seen the Monday blackout coming. The networks haven't exactly kept their plans under wraps, after all.
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Middle Class Exit 'Lost Decade' With Little Hope: Pew Report

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Americas Middle Class Pew Report
Things aren't looking great for America's middle class, and they know it.
A significant share of the middle class say it will be a long time before they recover from the severe shocks of the past 10 years, dubbed "The Lost Decade" in a Pew Research Center report released Wednesday.
"There's not a lot of good news for the middle class," Rich Morin, senior editor at the Pew Research Center and a co-author of the report, told The Huffington Post. "The middle class has shrunk in size, it's declined in income and in wealth, and has lost a little bit of that characteristic faith in the future that defines Americans broadly, but particularly the middle class."
The report suggests that five years after the financial collapse, middle-class Americans have yet to fully recover, and many think it will be years before they do. Of those middle-class households who said they're worse off since the recession, 51 percent said they won't recover for at least five years and 8 percent said they never will. And 85 percent of people who described themselves as middle class said it's harder to maintain a middle-class standard of living now than it was a decade ago.
The consequences of a disappearing middle class could be dire. Morin noted that political scientists speculate a functioning middle class could be key to a functioning democracy.
"If you lose the middle class, you're in danger of losing a lot," he said.
As middle-class households -- which the report defines as those making between two-thirds and twice the national median income -- feel they're struggling to make ends meet, their wealthier neighbors are making gains.
Over the past four decades, upper-income Americans have increased their share of overall U.S. household income, from 29 percent in 1971 to 46 percent in 2010, according to the report. During the same period, the middle-class share of income dropped from 62 percent to 45 percent.
Unless steps are taken to reverse this trend, Morin predicted, America will see "the rich getting richer and more numerous as the poor grow poorer and more numerous and the size of the middle class dwindling."
In addition to losing a major share of America's income, the middle class saw its wealth wiped out over the last decade. A volatile stock market and a major housing bust pummeled middle-class assets, decreasing their net worth by almost 30 percent and "erasing two decades of growth," according to the report.
"The fact that for the first time since the end of World War II incomes have declined, that's amazing,” Morin said. "We've obviously had recessions in the past -- we've had two in the past 10 years -- but there's always been a bounce back."
Within the middle class, some lost more than others. Yet one of the more surprising findings of the report, said Morin, is that minorities and young people -- two of the groups that were hit hardest -- are actually the most optimistic.
Seventy-eight percent of blacks and 67 percent of Hispanics said they're optimistic about the country's future, compared to 48 percent of whites. Sixty-seven percent of 18- to 24-year-olds said the same thing, while only 52 percent of those 50 and over -- a group who emerged as one of the biggest winners of the past decade -- said they're upbeat about the country's future.
Minorities and young people, "according to the economic data, were disproportionately negatively affected by change in the past decade," Morin said. "But they remain as a group less likely to say that it's harder to maintain a middle-class lifestyle, they're less likely to say it's harder to get ahead, and they tend to be a little bit more financially secure now than 10 years ago."
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Paul Ryan Responds To Todd Akin, Clarifies Abortion Position: 'Rape Is Rape'

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Paul Ryan Todd Akin
Rep. Paul Ryan addressed his stance on abortion Wednesday for the first time since Rep. Todd Akin's controversial comments about "legitimate rape," seeking to distance himself from the embattled congressman with whom he co-sponsored a bill to redefine rape with respect to abortions.
The Republican vice presidential nomineetold local CBS affiliate KDKA he is "proud" of his anti-abortion record when asked if abortion should be available to women in instances of rape.
"I'm proud of my pro-life record," Ryan said. "And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress."
"But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration," Ryan continued.
Ryan also tried to distance himself from a bill he co-sponsored with Akin to introduce language around "forcible rape" into prior legislation, in order to limit federal funding on abortions for rape victims. The congressman quickly cut off a question asking him to clarify what those terms meant, responding, "Rape is rape. Rape is rape, period. End of story."
"Rape is rape and there's no splitting hairs over rape," he added, when pressed further on the contradiction between his latest comments on abortion versus his record.
The exchange highlights the struggles Ryan has faced since Akin ignited a firestorm earlier this week by saying if a woman is a victim of "legitimate rape," her body can shut itself down in order to prevent pregnancy.
It was a statement that forced Ryan into an awkward position for having specifically worked with the Missouri congressman on redefining rape as it relates to abortion.
Moreover, it highlighted a key disconnect between Romney and Ryan on a social issue that carries significant weight, particularly with women voters -- a group Romney has struggled with against President Barack Obama. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee currently opposes abortion with an exception for cases of rape, incest and risk to the mother's life. His running mate has stated that abortion should only be legal when a mother's life is at risk.
And even then, Ryan supported a bill that allowed anti-abortion hospitals to refuse emergency abortions.
His view was noticeably absent from the Romney campaign's initial reaction to Akin's comments, which stated: "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."
But Democrats quickly seized on the controversy as an opportunity to highlight Ryan's anti-abortion stance and liken him to Akin, whose comments led virtually every member of his own party to call on him to step down from the Missouri Senate race, where he is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Akin told Matt Lauer on Wednesday that Ryan personally called him and asked him to exit the race. Romney had released a statement on Tuesday urging Akin to withdraw his candidacy, but the congressman refused and skipped a Tuesday evening deadline to drop out.
UPDATE: 11:20 a.m. -- Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, responded to Ryan's comments in a statement.
"As a Republican leader in the House, Paul Ryan worked with Todd Akin to try to narrow the definition of rape and outlaw abortion even for rape victims," she said. "He may hope that American women never learn about this record, but they deserve an answer to why he wanted to redefine rape and remove protections for rape victims. Labeling these critical issues of women’s health as ‘distractions’ and refusing to answer whether he believes rape victims need to be protected, as he did in an interview last night, is a great disservice to women across America.”
UPDATE: 1:00 p.m. -- Ryan said Wednesday that he is "comfortable" with Romney's exception to abortions in the case of rape or incest, according to theWashington Post.
"Mitt Romney’s going to be the president. The president sets the policy," Ryan told reporters aboard his campaign plane en route to Raleigh, N.C. "His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction. I’ll leave it at that.”
Ryan reiterated that he is "proud" of his record and stood by the bill he co-sponsored with Akin to enforce tighter restrictions on abortions by including language around "forcible rape."
“That bill passed I think by 251 votes," he said. "It was bipartisan ... I’m proud of my pro-life record.”
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Bin Laden Raid Book: First-Hand Account Of Navy SEAL Mission Will Be Released On Sept. 11

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Bin Laden Raid Book
Undated photo of Osama bin Laden (AP Photo)
WASHINGTON — A member of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden has written a firsthand account of the operation, triggering more questions about the possible public release of classified information involving the historic assault of the terror leader's compound in Pakistan.
U.S. military officials say they do not believe the book has been read or cleared by the Defense Department, which reviews publications by military members to make sure that no classified material is revealed.
The book, titled "No Easy Day" and scheduled to be released next month on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, comes amid a heated debate over whether members of the military – both active duty and retired – should engage in political battles.
"I haven't read the book and am unaware that anyone in the Department has reviewed it," said Pentagon press secretary George Little. White House and CIA officials also said the book had not been reviewed by their agencies.
The book announcement comes just as a group of retired special operations and CIA officers have launched a campaign accusing President Barack Obama of revealing classified details of the mission and turning the killing of bin Laden into a campaign centerpiece. The group complains that Obama has taken too much credit for the operation.
Their public complaints drew a rebuke from Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as other special operations forces, who called the partisan criticism unprofessional.
Dempsey said that such public political involvement by members of armed services erodes public confidence and trust in the military.
The author of the upcoming bin Laden book, who has left the military, is using the pseudonym Mark Owen. And in a news release from publisher Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), Owen describes the book as an effort to "set the record straight about one of the most important missions in U.S. military history."
He said the book is about "the guys" and the sacrifices that the special operations forces make to do the job and is written in the hope that it will inspire young men to become SEALs.
If the book sticks to his personal thoughts about the job and the mission, Owen may be in the clear. But often special operations forces must sign nondisclosure agreements. And they are not allowed to release classified information, such as intelligence data or military tactics and procedures used to ensure success of the May 2011 raid.
Christine Ball, a spokeswoman for Dutton, said the work was vetted by a former special operations attorney provided by the author.
"He vetted it for tactical, technical and procedural information as well as information that could be considered classified by compilation and found it to be without risk to national security," Ball said.
Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory said that if the book reveals classified information about the raid, the Pentagon would "defer to the Department of Justice."
According to Pentagon regulations, retired personnel, former employees and non-active duty members of the Reserves "shall use the DoD security review process to ensure that information they submit for public release does not compromise national security."
The CIA also could weigh in because the agency ran the secret bin Laden mission.
If there is classified information in the book, the former SEAL could face criminal charges. And even if he donates the money to charity, for instance, that is unlikely to prevent the Justice Department from suing to collect any future book proceeds.
Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled a CIA whistle-blower had to forfeit future money he earned from a scathing book he wrote about the spy agency after he failed to get approval from his former employer before publication.
The CIA accused the officer of breaking his secrecy agreement with the U.S. The former officer, who worked deep undercover, published the book in July 2008 using the pseudonym Ishmael Jones.
The CIA said his book, "The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture," was submitted to the agency's publications review board under a secrecy agreement that covers books written by former employees. But Jones, who published the book before the review process was completed, said it contained no classified information.
In 2010, the Defense Department claimed a former Army intelligence officer's war memoir threatened national security. The Pentagon paid $47,000 to destroy 9,500 copies of the book, called "Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan – and the Path to Victory."
The book was written by Anthony Shaffer, whose lawyer said the Army Reserve cleared the manuscript beforehand but the Defense Department later rescinded the approval, claiming the text contained classified information.
Shaffer and the publisher agreed to remove the material.
Dutton, which announced the book's pending release Wednesday, is planning a major first print run of 300,000 copies, Ball said. The co-author, journalist Kevin Maurer, has worked on four previous books.
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U.S. Will Enter Recession If 'Fiscal Cliff' Not Avoided: CBO

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Cbo Recession 
The U.S. economy will sink into a deep recession and unemployment will jump back above 9 percent if Congress does not avoid a "fiscal cliff" waiting at the end of the year, according to a Congressional Budget Office study published Wednesday.
The report is the latest, possibly most dire, warning of the consequences of congressional inaction on more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases currently mandated to take effect at the start of 2013. The question is whether it will spark more action, and just how helpful that action would be.
This news could also be used as a weapon by both sides in the political debate in Washington, with President Barack Obama's opponents using it as evidence of his poor stewardship of the economy, and those on the left suggesting that Republicans in Congress have deliberately endangered the economy by becoming die-hard deficit hawks once Obama took office.
If Congress can't get its act together long enough to avoid this fiscal tightening, then economic growth in the U.S. will shrink by 0.5 percent in 2013, and unemployment will rise to 9.1 percent from 8.3 percent today, the CBO, a nonpartisan budget watchdog, said in new a report on its website.
The CBO's forecast marks a sharp downgrade from May, when it said it expected the economy to grow 0.5 percent in 2013 despite the fiscal cliff.
The recession would be ugliest at the start of the year, according to the CBO: It said that it expects inflation-adjusted gross domestic product to shrink at a 3.9 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2013 and shrink another 1.9 percent in the second quarter if the fiscal cliff is not avoided. Those would be the worst marks for GDP since the end of the recession in 2009.
If Congress manages to avoid the fiscal cliff altogether, then the CBO sees the economy growing by 1.7 percent next year and unemployment drifting lower to 8 percent -- hardly an economic boom by any stretch.

The CBO said the federal budget deficit would shrink in either scenario -- to $641 billion if we reach the fiscal cliff, and to $1.04 trillion if the cliff is avoided. It pegs the budget deficit for 2012 at $1.12 trillion. Federal debt as a percentage of GDP will shrink to 58 percent from 73 percent if the economy goes over the fiscal cliff, and will swell to 90 percent of GDP if the fiscal cliff is avoided, according to the CBO.
But if the fiscal cliff is avoided, the CBO says that the higher debt burden that comes as a result would lead to longer-term bad news for the economy, eventually pushing interest rates higher and slowing down economic growth.
"Ultimately, the policies assumed in the alternative fiscal scenario would lead to a level of federal debt that would be unsustainable from both a budgetary and an economic perspective," the CBO writes.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle generally seem to agree with this view -- although high budget deficits have not yet resulted in the spike in interest rates that budget hawks have long feared. In fact, U.S. Treasury interest rates were recently at a record low. It is almost as if, as former Vice President Dick Cheney once said, budget deficits don't matter. Cheney rescinded that view once Obama took office, part of a renewed Republican focus on deficits that contributed to the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis, the resolution of which set the stage for the fiscal cliff.
But observers on the right and the left have warned that panic about the dangers of the fiscal cliff could lead to poor budget decisions if Congress acts too hastily. Chad Stone at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warned in June:
The greater danger is that misguided fears about the economy going over a "fiscal cliff" into another Great Recession will lead policymakers to believe they have to take some action, no matter how ill-conceived and damaging to long-term deficit reduction, before the end of the year, rather than craft a balanced plan that supports the economic recovery in the short term and promotes fiscal stabilization in the intermediate and longer run.
In his report, Stone cited a May 2012 study by the not-so-left-leaning Carlyle Groupentitled "There Are Worse Fates Than Walking Off The Fiscal Cliff" that said, "While the fiscal cliff would be a near-term disaster, an extension of 2012 fiscal policy that fails to address increasing indebtedness could actually represent the worst long-run outcome."
For better or worse, recent history suggests that hasty action by Congress might well be the least of the country's worries.

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DNA Storage Advance: Entire Genetics Textbook Encoded In Less Than One Trillionth Of A Gram

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Dna Storage
Scientists have found a way to store an entire textbook in the code of DNA.
By John Bohannon
When it comes to storing information, hard drives don't hold a candle to DNA. Our genetic code packs billions of gigabytes into a single gram. A mere milligram of the molecule could encode the complete text of every book in the Library of Congress and have plenty of room to spare. All of this has been mostly theoretical—until now. In a new study, researchers stored an entire genetics textbook in less than a picogram of DNA—one trillionth of a gram—an advance that could revolutionize our ability to save data.
A few teams have tried to write data into the genomes of living cells. But the approach has a couple of disadvantages. First, cells die—not a good way to lose your term paper. They also replicate, introducing new mutations over time that can change the data.
To get around these problems, a team led by George Church, a synthetic biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, created a DNA information-archiving system that uses no cells at all. Instead, an inkjet printer embeds short fragments of chemically synthesized DNA onto the surface of a tiny glass chip. To encode a digital file, researchers divide it into tiny blocks of data and convert these data not into the 1s and 0s of typical digital storage media, but rather into DNA’s four-letter alphabet of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. Each DNA fragment also contains a digital "barcode" that records its location in the original file. Reading the data requires a DNA sequencer and a computer to reassemble all of the fragments in order and convert them back into digital format. The computer also corrects for errors; each block of data is replicated thousands of times so that any chance glitch can be identified and fixed by comparing it to the other copies.
To demonstrate its system in action, the team used the DNA chips to encode a genetics book co-authored by Church. It worked. After converting the book into DNA and translating it back into digital form, the team’s system had a raw error rate of only two errors per million bits, amounting to a few single-letter typos. That is on par with DVDs and far better than magnetic hard drives. And because of their tiny size, DNA chips are now the storage medium with the highest known information density, the researchers report online today in Science.
Don’t replace your flash drive with genetic material just yet, however. The cost of the DNA sequencer and other instruments "currently makes this impractical for general use," says Daniel Gibson, a synthetic biologist at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, "but the field is moving fast and the technology will soon be cheaper, faster, and smaller." Gibson led the team that created the firstcompletely synthetic genome, which included a "watermark" of extra data encoded into the DNA. The researchers used a three-letter coding system that is less efficient than the Church team's but has built-in safeguards to prevent living cells from translating the DNA into proteins. "If DNA is going to be used for this purpose, and outside a laboratory setting, then you would want to use DNA sequence that is least likely to be expressed in the environment," he says. Church disagrees. Unless someone deliberately "subverts" his DNA data-archiving system, he sees little danger.
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Global Arms Trade From 1992-2010 Visualized By Google

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Global Arms Trade
Google recently launched a project tomap out the flow of small arms, light weapons and ammunition transfers in and out of countries around the world. The result: An interactive visualization that lets the user examine the history of arms trading between 1992 and 2010.
The Peace Research Institute Oslo(PRIO), a Norwegian initiative focused on the dealing of small arms, provided information for the undertaking, including "[m]ore than 1 million data points on imports and exports [...] across 250 states and territories," according to a post on the Google Blog. The project was developed by Google’s Creative Lab and the Brazil-based Igarape Institute.
The tool allows the user to search by country and view where imports come from and where exports go each year; it also shows how much each country spends and receives as a result of this trade. Civilian and military purchases are displayed as well. (Note: The Google Blog defines "light weapons" as revolvers, assault rifles and light machine guns. The blog also states that "three quarters of the world’s small arms lie in the hand of civilians -- more than 650 million civilian arms.")
Looking only at the United States, we can see that in 1992 the amount of small arms and ammo imported ($272 million) and exported ($455 million) pale in comparison to 2010's figures ($955 million imported; $606 million exported).Forbes examined the United States' traffic flow of small arms and noticed that "[o]ver half a billion of those [import] dollars went to civilian weapons. [...] Among the exporters that stand out, $151 millions dollars worth came from Brazil, $45 million from Republic of Korea, $92 million from the Russian Federation, $46 million from Israel."
However, the global figures aren't perfect. The Igarape Institute points out in a PDF (viewable here) that the dataset used to produce this visualization is incomplete. Among some of the limitations listed are the following:
[L]arge producing countries frequently censor reporting on military style light weapons and small arms while other less developed countries may lack the capacity to monitor and record all arms shipments. It is possible to assess the transparency of country reporting at small arms survey barometer. [...] Due to weak or non-existent reporting, the MAD visualization tool provides an incomplete assessment of overall flows of small arms, light weapons and ammunition. For example, countries such as China, North Korea, and the Republic of Iran along with most of Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are extremely weak in reporting.
Igarape also states that the data does not reflect illegal transfers or re-transfers.
Earlier this summer, Google announced a plan to take on Mexico's drug cartels by working to improve the way information is shared between communities and various law enforcement agencies fighting the illicit networks.
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Talk Of UFOs On Mars Sparked By Curious Photos From Curiosity Rover

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NASA's Curiosity rover had hardly touched down on the surface of Mars on Aug. 5 when its cameras started transmitting images back to Earth of some odd things -- what some were calling UFOs.
In one instance of Martian weirdness, YouTube poster StephenHannardADGUK put a curious Curiosity image through a series of filters, revealing a number of UFO-type objects, or specks or blotches, in the sky above.
Here's an enhanced version of the four alleged UFOs above Mars.
"After watching the video, it is actually quite clear that these are one-pixel sized image anomalies," said video analyst Marc Dantonio, who has studied many UFO videos and created special effects and physical models for U.S. government projects.
"I fully concur at this point that these are dead pixels on the imager," Dantonio told The Huffington Post in an email. "All CCD [cameras] have them, and in a bland atmosphere like that at Mars, they would be very obvious as opposed to an active atmosphere like Earth, where they could end up hidden for a long time before anyone noticed them."
The mysteries began as soon as Curiosity touched down.
Curiosity was lowered onto Mars' surface from the descent module by means of a crane type device and rockets that allowed it to hover until making a soft landing. Once it reached ground, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists sent the descent stage off, so as to not land on top of the rover.
Shortly after Curiosity made its amazing, precise landing in Gale Crater, the rover sent an image to Earth of something that looked like a dust storm in the distance. Approximately 45 minutes later, as seen in the dual image below, another image snapped of the same location by Curiosity showed the dust anomaly was gone.
marsimpactimages
"If you look at the left image, we believe we've caught what is the descent stage impact on the Martian surface," said NASA engineer Steven Sell.
"The descent stage would have already impacted by the time this picture was taken," Sell told reporters at the JPL in Pasadena, Calif. "But the evidence we have that this is something we caused is the fact that the same image from the same camera taken 45 minutes later -- that artifact is not there anymore."
Here's another Martian mystery.
A film sequence transmitted by Curiosity shows white-colored objects moving near the horizon of the red planet, reports clickorlando.com.
In the following video, a white object can first be seen lifting up from the horizon, followed shortly by another object at the left of the field of view, moving toward the right, slightly above the horizon.
Check out this video of the two white objects.
The Curiosity rover hasn't even set out on its first test drive of the Martian landscape, and there's already a sense of mystery surrounding it.
Here's one more potential enigma to add to the mix.
While looking closely at a panorama image sent to NASA JPL scientists by Curiosity, this reporter happened to notice something odd on the distant horizon. A closer look revealed a solid, circular object just sitting there quite a distance away from the rover.
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Paul Ryan Bush Stimulus
In this Sept. 1, 2004, file photo, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at the Republican National Convention in New York. Throughout the rapid political ascent of the 42-year-old congressman and vice presidential candidate to Mitt Romney, many of Ryan's Democratic adversaries have coupled criticism of his ideology with praise for his cordiality, diligence and thoughtfulness. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)
WASHINGTON - When Congressman Paul Ryan has been asked the past few years about the value of stimulus to the sagging economy and the nation's jobless, the Wisconsin Republican has dismissed it as meaningless, and dubbed it "sugar-high economics."

But that's when President Obama is pushing for the spending. When it was President George W. Bush arguing for more stimulus to boost a slow economy in the early 2000s, Ryan's economic analysis was entirely different.
"What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed," Ryan said, in comments unearthed by MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" and provided to HuffPost. "What we're trying to accomplish is to pass the kinds of legislation that when they've passed in the past have grown the economy and gotten people back to work."
Video of the comments will be aired at 8:00 a.m. Sunday on MSNBC.
"In recessions unemployment lags on well after a recovery has taken place," Ryan accurately noted in 2002.
Conservatives have routinely mocked Vice President Joe Biden for arguing that in order to reduce the deficit in the long run, the government needs to spend more now; that sentiment is lampooned in a recent pro-Republican campaign ad. But Biden's analysis -- that the government needs to juice the economy to promote growth, or else revenue will fall long term -- is one that Ryan himself articulated cogently back when the GOP was urging stimulus. Ryan called such stimulus a "constructive answer" worked out on "a bipartisan basis." Opponents of stimulus, Ryan said, ought to "drop the demagoguery."
"We've got to get the engine of economic growth growing again because we now know, because of recession, we don't have the revenues that we wanted to, we don't have the revenues we need, to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security, to fix these issues. We've got to get Americans back to work. Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back. That is the constructive answer we're trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis. I urge members to drop the demagoguery and to pass this bill to help us work together to get the American people back to work and help those people who've lost their jobs," Ryan said.
Bush's stimulus, which included an extension of jobless benefits and resulted in checks being mailed to millions of Americans, was signed in March 2002.
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Obama Wisconsin Poll
The race for president in Wisconsin has narrowed, with 49 percent supporting Barack Obama and 46 percent Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Marquette Law School.
“The two-point shift in Romney’s direction is within the margin of error for the poll but suggests Ryan’s addition to the ticket may have slightly increased Romney’s chances in Wisconsin,” Charles Franklin, the Marquette Law School poll's director, said in a statement.
Other Wisconsin polls released in August also either show the race as nearly even, or with a slimmer-than-previous lead for Obama.
Fifty-eight percent of likely Wisconsin voters said Romney's selection of Ryan was "excellent" or "pretty good," while 35 percent rated it more negatively. Ryan's favorable and unfavorable ratings in the state both increased since July, as he gained greater name recognition -- 41 percent now view him favorably and 34 percent unfavorably, with 24 percent still having no opinion.
Down the ballot, newly minted GOP nominee and former governor Tommy Thompson led Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), 50 percent to 41 percent, among likely voters.
The Marquette Law School poll was conducted by live telephone interview between Aug. 16 and 19, surveying 576 likely voters. It had a 4.2 percent margin of error.
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Wisconsin Presidential Poll: Obama's Lead Over Romney Narrowing

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Obama Wisconsin Poll
The race for president in Wisconsin has narrowed, with 49 percent supporting Barack Obama and 46 percent Mitt Romney, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Marquette Law School.
“The two-point shift in Romney’s direction is within the margin of error for the poll but suggests Ryan’s addition to the ticket may have slightly increased Romney’s chances in Wisconsin,” Charles Franklin, the Marquette Law School poll's director, said in a statement.
Other Wisconsin polls released in August also either show the race as nearly even, or with a slimmer-than-previous lead for Obama.
Fifty-eight percent of likely Wisconsin voters said Romney's selection of Ryan was "excellent" or "pretty good," while 35 percent rated it more negatively. Ryan's favorable and unfavorable ratings in the state both increased since July, as he gained greater name recognition -- 41 percent now view him favorably and 34 percent unfavorably, with 24 percent still having no opinion.
Down the ballot, newly minted GOP nominee and former governor Tommy Thompson led Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), 50 percent to 41 percent, among likely voters.
The Marquette Law School poll was conducted by live telephone interview between Aug. 16 and 19, surveying 576 likely voters. It had a 4.2 percent margin of error.
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Paul Ryan Defended Stimulus -- When George W. Bush Wanted It In 2002 (VIDEO)

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Paul Ryan Bush Stimulus
In this Sept. 1, 2004, file photo, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at the Republican National Convention in New York. Throughout the rapid political ascent of the 42-year-old congressman and vice presidential candidate to Mitt Romney, many of Ryan's Democratic adversaries have coupled criticism of his ideology with praise for his cordiality, diligence and thoughtfulness. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta, File)
WASHINGTON - When Congressman Paul Ryan has been asked the past few years about the value of stimulus to the sagging economy and the nation's jobless, the Wisconsin Republican has dismissed it as meaningless, and dubbed it "sugar-high economics." 

But that's when President Obama is pushing for the spending. When it was President George W. Bush arguing for more stimulus to boost a slow economy in the early 2000s, Ryan's economic analysis was entirely different.
"What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed," Ryan said, in comments unearthed by MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" and provided to HuffPost. "What we're trying to accomplish is to pass the kinds of legislation that when they've passed in the past have grown the economy and gotten people back to work."
Video of the comments will be aired at 8:00 a.m. Sunday on MSNBC.
"In recessions unemployment lags on well after a recovery has taken place," Ryan accurately noted in 2002.
Conservatives have routinely mocked Vice President Joe Biden for arguing that in order to reduce the deficit in the long run, the government needs to spend more now; that sentiment is lampooned in a recent pro-Republican campaign ad. But Biden's analysis -- that the government needs to juice the economy to promote growth, or else revenue will fall long term -- is one that Ryan himself articulated cogently back when the GOP was urging stimulus. Ryan called such stimulus a "constructive answer" worked out on "a bipartisan basis." Opponents of stimulus, Ryan said, ought to "drop the demagoguery."
"We've got to get the engine of economic growth growing again because we now know, because of recession, we don't have the revenues that we wanted to, we don't have the revenues we need, to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security, to fix these issues. We've got to get Americans back to work. Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back. That is the constructive answer we're trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis. I urge members to drop the demagoguery and to pass this bill to help us work together to get the American people back to work and help those people who've lost their jobs," Ryan said.
Bush's stimulus, which included an extension of jobless benefits and resulted in checks being mailed to millions of Americans, was signed in March 2002.
"We have a lot of laid off workers, and more layoffs are occurring," the congressman continued. "And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place. What we have been trying to do starting in October and into December and now is to try and get people back to work. The things we're trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs."
While Obama has been in office, Ryan has voted against extending unemployment benefits and against helping laid-off workers pay for health insurance by subsidizing COBRA payments.
Such actions are difficult to square with 2002's Paul Ryan.
"It's more than just giving someone an unemployment check," he said then. "It's also helping those people with their health insurance while they've lost their jobs and more important than just that unemployment check, it's to do what we can to give people a paycheck."
Ryan also made pro-stimulus arguments in a 2001 congressional hearing, asJonathan Chait points out.
"I think we ought to have this income tax cut fast, deeper, retroactive to January 1st, to make sure we get a good punch into the economy, juice the economy to make sure that we can avoid a hard landing," he had said.


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