Saturday, July 28, 2012

Steven McGovern, son of former SD senator, dies - Houston Chronicle


Rough days for both Obama, Romney - CBS News

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - President Obama and his presumptive GOP rival, Mitt Romney, would both probably like to forget the last couple of days.

The president's campaign got some not-so-good news when it was announced the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent from April to June - down from 2 percent growth in the January-March quarter.

"Most economists would say the risk of recession is stalking the president in this campaign," observes National Journal White House correspondent Major Garrett, "but it is not a robust fear. Not a legitimate fear.

Full coverage: Election 2012

"One-point-five percent GDP (gross domestic product) growth indicates the economy is growing somewhat and not falling all the way back. It is a retreat from the 2 percentage point growth recorded the earlier quarter. So when the president talks about a campaign slogan (of) 'Forward,' the economy is moving backward, it's not falling into recession, but it is clearly in stall mode. And that's not good news for the president in any context.

"Voters vote on jobs and economic trajectory. The jobs growth generated by 1.5 percent GDP will not be enough to move the unemployment rate down precipitously. Democrats tell me, 'Look, people understand the economy is not in a good way. They've already baked those expectations (in) or lowered them in their minds.' So they don't believe these numbers really hurt the president."

"But I believe they do. Any time you don't have forward movement in the economy, that's difficult for a president seeking reelection."

Romney had a tough time when he got to London for the first leg of a week-long trip that also takes him to Israel Saturday and then Poland.

He was widely criticized by British politicians and media after questioning London's preparedness to host the 2012 Summer Games, though he went through Friday without any gaffes and took in the Olympic opening ceremony.

"What Mitt Romney was hoping to do," Garret explained on "CBS This Morning: Saturday," "was pole vault with this trip a little bit on the side of the foreign policy stage and say, look, he can be effective and he cannot make mistakes.

"What did he do? Instead of planting the pole and getting over, he fell down. He just flat fell down.

"No Republican looking at Mitt Romney the first day in London can say to themselves, 'Well that was a credible beginning.' They simply can't.

"On a topic he knows well, the Olympics, he knows what cities and nations around those cities do to try to prepare, you don't criticize something that is just about to begin. And ... yes, the British made fun of themselves. But that's a British thing that they do themselves to themselves. They don't expect foreigners, especially Americans, to criticize them in advance. Mitt Romney should have known that. He didn't do it. And he fouled up what was supposed to be an easy glide to this trip.

"Now it gets tougher. Because Israel is real politics. Israel is real world stage. Any mis-step there, and it will compound what was supposed to be a great trip turning into a muddled one."

Separately, Garrett said Mr. Obama is "paralyzed" on the issue of gun control, even in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., massacre.

To see the entire interview, click on the video in the player above.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Newsweek Owner Says Magazine Will Eventually Be Online Only - Bloomberg

Newsweek, the 79-year-old magazine, will eventually transition to an online-only publication, according to owner IAC/InterActiveCorp.

The New York-based company made the announcement during its quarterly earnings conference call today, saying it would curb investments in the money-losing business.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at

More News:

Moderate earthquake rattles Marina del Rey - AP State Wire News - The Sacramento Bee

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- An early morning jolt has struck Southern California.

The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a 3.8-magnitude rattled the greater Los Angeles area at 3:18 a.m. local time. The temblor was located 2 miles east south east of Marina del Rey.

A dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said it "wasn't much of a quake" and that he hasn't had any calls from the public about it.

Within half an hour of the quake hitting, dozens of people had reported feeling the shaking on the USGS website, including some as far away as Riverside.






Monday, July 23, 2012

PPP: Iowa is Hillary's to lose

Because the 2012 race, on its own, doesn't provide enough fodder for speculation, the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling takes a look at the 2016 caucuses on both sides:

Clinton tops Vice President Joe Biden 60-18, with no one else even approaching 5%.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren each have 3%, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner are at 1%, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick register almost no support.  14% favor someone else or are not sure.

The victors of the two most recent Republican caucuses, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, are tied at 17%, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie right on their tails at 16%, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 11%, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 10%, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 8%, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan at 6%, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin each at 4%, with only 8% not behind a candidate.

If Clinton did not run, Biden would lead Cuomo 36-14, with Warren at 8% and the others still in the low single digits.  Without Biden, Cuomo leads Warren 20-11.

(Also on POLITICO: Hillary Clinton breaks travel record)

So the bottom line, for whatever it's worth, is that absent a Clinton candidacy you've got a wide-open race on both sides. The Palin fade -- from national conservative superstar to sub-5-percenter in Iowa -- is a remarkable side note.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

RIM to sell corporate jet as part of cost cuts --report | Reuters

RIM to sell corporate jet as part of cost cuts --report

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    Research In Motion Ltd
    19:04:27 IDT

    Research In Motion Ltd
    19:04:27 IDT

    July 10 | Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:26pm IST

    July 10

    (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd will sell one of its two corporate jets as part of an effort by the embattled smartphone maker to save $1 billion in annual costs throughout its operations, a report said on Tuesday.

    The BlackBerry maker has put its nine-passenger jet up for sale, looking to fetch some $6 million to $7 million, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the matter. RIM will hold on to its 14-passenger jet.

    A company spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the story.

    Overall, Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is looking to save some $1 billion in operating costs this year through efficiencies, including layoffs, as its BlackBerry smartphones loses market share and losses mount.

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    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    90-year-old veteran has spent 67 years fighting for benefits - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

    The Associated Press: Romney's wife says woman being eyed for ticket

    Romney's wife says woman being eyed for ticket

    By STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press – 10 minutes ago 

    WOLFEBORO, N.H. (AP) — Mitt Romney's wife has disclosed a tantalizing detail about her husband's intensely secret vice presidential search: He's considering choosing a woman.

    "We've been looking at that, and I love that option as well," Ann Romney told CBS News in an interview broadcast Thursday. She added: "There's a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now."

    She also argued that Obama and his Democrats will "do everything they can to destroy Mitt."

    "Early on we heard what their strategy was. It was kill Romney," she said, adding a message to Obama: "Not when I'm next to him you better not."

    Romney, for his part, didn't weigh in on that characterization of Obama's strategy during the joint interview. He also declined to describe the status of the vice presidential search, saying: "That's something I'm keeping close with my team."

    Speculation is high about who Romney will choose as his No. 2, with his search well under way and his self-imposed deadline for picking a running mate "before the convention" looming large. It's the biggest decision he will make between now and when he accepts the GOP's presidential nomination in late August.

    Talk in Republican circles has focused on men as likely top prospects, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. But no less than a half-dozen other names also have popped up, including New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte — who walked in a July Fourth parade with Romney on Wednesday — as well as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

    In the interview, Ann Romney also sketched out her own requirements for what she'd like to see in a running mate, saying the person should be "someone that obviously can do the job but will be able to carry through with some of the other responsibilities." She said the person should be someone who will have her husband's back and who he will enjoy being around him and have "the same personality type." She added: "Competent, capable and willing to serve this country. I think there's lots of good people out there that fill that bill right now."

    It's been four years since John McCain selected then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a rock-ribbed conservative who was little-known outside of her home state, to be the first female on a Republican presidential ticket as he sought a way to both fire up the GOP's core supporters while narrowing Democrat Barack Obama's advantage with women voters. It wasn't long before questions about Palin's readiness to be president — and criticism of an inadequate vetting process — became a major problem for McCain, with critics using the pick to pummel the nominee on his decision-making.

    This year, Romney has let that experience drive his criteria: He's said preparedness to be president is his No. 1 requirement for a vice president. Unlike four years ago, Republican base voters are energized largely by a desire to beat Obama. But polls show that Romney still badly trails Obama among women and putting one on the ticket — or even just raising the possibility of a female running mate — could help carve into that support.

    The Romneys gave the rare joint interview to CBS as they spent the week relaxing with their family at their lakeside estate in Wolfeboro.

    Officially, the campaign says that Romney is doing what he's done for the past decade — enjoying family time during a weeklong holiday in New Hampshire. It's also a break from the campaign trail, and a chance to relax before the pre-convention push. But unofficially, the bit of down time is a chance for the contemplative Romney to consider how the campaign is going and adjust strategy as necessary in a contest that polls show is close.

    He and his wife huddled Tuesday at the estate for at least 45 minutes with campaign manager Matt Rhoades, senior adviser Beth Myers and top strategist Stuart Stevens on the deck that overlooks the lawn behind his home. Romney's five sons — particularly his eldest son, Tagg — also serve as informal political advisers, and all have been on hand all week, virtually assuring that the campaign and the running mate search were being discussed.

    Fueling the running-mate talk was the fact that several potential candidates were essentially auditioning for the spot this week.

    Portman was headlining a fundraiser in Concord, N.H., this weekend, and also wrote an opinion piece published in an Ohio newspaper this week to counter Obama's campaign appearances in the state Thursday and Friday. Pawlenty and Jindal both were in Ohio for the same reason, to campaign for Romney near Obama's events.

    Romney's vacation ends Sunday when he's scheduled to head to New York for fundraising events — and to resume his campaign schedule fulltime.

    Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    The Associated Press: APNewsBreak: Evidence of 'God particle' found

    APNewsBreak: Evidence of 'God particle' found

    By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press – 2 hours ago 

    GENEVA (AP) — Physicists say they have all but proven that the "God particle" exists. They have a footprint and a shadow, and the only thing left is to see for themselves the elusive subatomic particle believed to give all matter in the universe size and shape.

    Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could restructure the understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.

    The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton's discovery: It was there all the time before Newton explained it. But now scientists know what it is and can put that knowledge to further use.

    The focus of the excitement is the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle long sought by physicists.

    Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say that they have compiled vast amounts of data that show the footprint and shadow of the particle, even though it has never actually been glimpsed.

    But two independent teams of physicists are cautious after decades of work and billions of dollars spent. They don't plan to use the word "discovery." They say they will come as close as possible to a "eureka" announcement without overstating their findings.

    "I agree that any reasonable outside observer would say, 'It looks like a discovery,'" said British theoretical physicist John Ellis, a professor at King's College London who has worked at CERN since the 1970s. "We've discovered something which is consistent with being a Higgs."

    CERN's atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to investigate dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.

    The phrase "God particle," coined by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman, is used by laymen, not physicists, more as an explanation for how the subatomic universe works than how it all started.

    Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, said: "Particle physicists have a very high standard for what it takes to be a discovery," and he thinks it is a hair's breadth away. Roser compared the results that scientists will announce Wednesday to finding the fossilized imprint of a dinosaur: "You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don't actually see it."

    Fermilab, whose competing atom smasher reported its final results Monday after shutting down last year, said its data doesn't settle the question of the Higgs boson, but it came tantalizingly close.

    "It's a real cliffhanger," said Gregorio Bernardi, a physicist at the University of Paris who helped lead one of the main experiments at Fermilab. He cited "strong indications of the production and decay of Higgs bosons" in some of their observations.

    Fermilab theorist Joseph Lykken said the Higgs boson "gets at the center, for some physicists, of why the universe is here in the first place."

    Though an impenetrable concept to many, the Higgs boson has until now been just that — a concept intended to explain a riddle: How were subatomic particles, such as electrons, protons and neutrons, themselves formed? What gives them their mass?

    The answer came in a theory first proposed by Scottish physicist Peter Higgs and others in the 1960s. It envisioned an energy field where particles interact with a key particle, the Higgs boson.

    The idea is that other particles attract Higgs bosons and the more they attract, the bigger their mass will be. Some liken the effect to a ubiquitous Higgs snowfield that affects other particles traveling through it depending on whether they are wearing, metaphorically speaking, skis, snowshoes or just shoes.

    Officially, CERN is presenting its evidence this week at a physics conference in Australia but plans to accompany the announcement with meetings in Geneva. The two teams, known as ATLAS and CMS, then plan to publicly unveil more data on the Higgs boson at physics meetings in October and December. Each of the teams involves thousands of people working independently to ensure accuracy.

    The scientific threshold for discovery is high. Scientists have to show with complex formulas that there's a less than 1 in 1.7 million chance that the findings are a statistical fluke. With two independent experiments showing that there's less than 1 in 16,000 chance of being wrong, it's a matter of how their work is put together.

    Scientists with access to the new CERN data say it shows with a high degree of certainty that the Higgs boson may already have been glimpsed, and that by unofficially combining the separate results from ATLAS and CMS it can be argued that a discovery is near. Ellis says at least one physicist-blogger has done just that in a credible way.

    CERN spokesman James Gillies said Monday that he would be "very cautious" about unofficial combinations of ATLAS and CMS data.

    "Combining the data from two experiments is a complex task, which is why it takes time, and why no combination will be presented on Wednesday." he said.

    But if the calculations are indeed correct, said John Guinon, a longtime physics professor at the University of California at Davis and author of the book "The Higgs Hunter's Guide," then it is fair to say that "in some sense we have reached the mountaintop."

    Sean M. Carroll, a California Institute of Technology physicist flying to Geneva for Wednesday's announcement, said that if both ATLAS and CMS have independently reached these high thresholds on the Higgs boson, then "only the most curmudgeonly will not believe that they have found it."

    Borenstein reported from Washington.

    Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

    Pena Nieto Victorious in Mexican Presidental Elections