Archive for July 27, 2012
Not all that into the Olympics but you still want to veg out tonight? Watch the live brown bear and salmon cam at Brook Falls in Alaska,
No joke. Check it out.
Most of the conversation surrounding religion and the presidential election has been around Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. The Church of Latter-Day Saints is still a mystery to many Americans, and there were fears that Romney’s Mormonism would hurt him with voters unfamiliar with the religion. But the latest survey from the Pew Forum for Religion and Public life suggests that Romney has nothing to worry about — of the voters who know that Romney is a Mormon (60 percent), the vast majority say they are either comfortable with his faith (60 percent) or that it doesn’t matter at all (21 percent).
Indeed, of the two candidates, religion actually seems to be a bigger factor for President Obama. Only 49 percent of voters know that Obama is a Christian, and 17 percent continue to say that he’s a Muslim. Among conservatives, 30 say that he is a Muslim; among the most conservative voters that jumps to 34 percent. When Pew first surveyed this question, in 2008, only 16 percent of conservatives believed that Obama was a Muslim. Put another way, as conservatives grew more familiar with Obama, their view of his religious beliefs moved deeper into fantasy.
I would put it differently. It isn’t about conservatives growing “more familiar with Obama.” It’s about right-wing media (I’m looking at you Fox) and hate radio succeeding in making conservatives feel less familiar / comfortable with Obama, thus the jump in those who think he’s a Muslim.
This from Jeffrey Goldberg over at Salon, complimenting Obama on likely being more willing to attack Iran than Romney:
In Israel-Iran Conflict, Don’t Rely on Romney
Romney, by all accounts, is uninterested in inheriting the mantle of President George W. Bush, who invaded two Muslim countries and lost popularity and credibility as a result. Romney, despite his rhetoric, is more of a pragmatist than Bush, and far more cautious. An attack on Iran is an incautious act, one that even Bush rejected.
The unilateral use of force in the Middle East for a liberal Democrat like Obama is a credential; for a conservative Republican like Romney, it could be an albatross. I argued in a previous column that Romney is more likely than Obama to oversee a revitalized Middle East peace process. That’s because conservatives are better positioned to make peace; liberals are generally better positioned to launch preventive strikes at the nuclear programs of rogue nations. We know that U.S. voters, and world leaders, allow Obama extraordinary leeway when it comes to deadly drone strikes, precisely because of his politics, character and background. (We are talking about a man, after all, who won the Nobel Peace Prize while ordering the automated killing of suspected Muslim terrorists around the world.) Romney will get no comparative slack.
Democrats have the (undeserved) wimp badge hanging around their neck whereas Republicans have the gun-slinging Texan hanging around theirs. Obama may think he could earn his macho bona fides by going all the way against Iran whereas Romney probably feels he would look like another half-cocked Bush.
Makes scary sense to me.
Here’s an interesting insider tidbit from Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo, a guy who marinates in politics:
Hey people, let’s show them we’re not that gullible or desperate!
Reuters just released this photo of the floor of the stadium at which the Olympic Opening Ceremony will begin in just under two hours. Looks like a recreation of the English countryside. Cute.
Here is a new release from John D. Boswell’s Symphony of Science, featuring a remix of the now-deceased PBS painter, Bob Ross.
The Symphony of Science is a musical project of John D Boswell, designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.
It’s an uplifting, happy tune; good for a Friday morning as we head into the weekend:
Boswell is the same man who did the (even better, I think) remix of Mr. Rogers in “Garden of Your Mind.”