The most recent Gallup poll of registered voters show President Obama very nearly tied with each of the top tier GOP presidential contenders. When put up against either Texas U.S. Representative Ron Paul, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas Governor Rick Perry, or Minnesota U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, Obama finds himself in what ABC News calls a “statistical dead heat.” ABC gives the numbers:  
Percolating through the legislatures of many states are bills that would provide that a state's electoral votes would go to whichever presidential candidate receives a majority of the national popular vote, regardless of how well the candidate did in the particular state that passed the bill into law. Called the "Popular Vote Project," such a plan is in direct contravention of both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. Not only does the Constitution make no mention of the term "popular vote," but such an idea is meaningless within the context of America's founding document. The designation "popular vote” evolved over time as a sort of shorthand to describe the votes cast for presidential electors who had publicly committed to vote in the Electoral College for a particular qualified presidential candidate. No presidential electors in any state were chosen by voters until 1824. The Constitution says nothing about how presidential electors are chosen by states except that each state legislature shall determine the method of choosing those electors.
Roger Jinkinson is a British writer, and he lives in a remote Greek village on the island of Karpathos. Although the village is not immune to the meltdown of the Greek economy caused by a huge problem with sovereign debt creditworthiness, simmering most furiously in the ancient capital of Athens, 400 kilometers away, the small village has found its own way to survive the crisis. The fundamentals of the Karpathos economy are straightforward: frugality and thrift that would perplex more cosmopolitan Europeans, hard work in labor that is practical and productive, and the replacement of a government fiat-money economy with a barter economy. Another factor has helped this rural economy work. Young Greeks, depressed by the collapsing system based upon an irresponsible government, are drifting back to places such as Karpathos, where life is not easy, but it is firmly grounded in the fundamentals of life. Some of the older Greeks in this village either remember the mass starvation in the Second World War and the following years of the Greek Civil War, or they have been reminded of these very hard times by older family members.
Former Federal Reserve boss Alan Greenspan made headlines this week when he said gold is indeed a currency and noted that the euro was falling apart, contradicting top officials on both sides of the Atlantic. “Gold, unlike all other commodities, is a currency,” he told attendees at a conference in Washington D.C. on August 23, saying he did not think the precious metal was in a bubble despite recently reaching a new record above $1900. And a flight to safety amid inflation fears is what’s causing soaring gold prices. “The major thrust in the demand for gold is not for jewelry,” Greenspan explained. “It’s not for anything other than an escape from what is perceived to be a fiat money system, paper money, that seems to be deteriorating.”  
Steve Jobs, the CEO for Apple Inc., announced on Wednesday that he could no longer maintain his position at the company. Jobs garnered a reputation for being the man behind the iPhone, iPad, and other devices that virtually put Apple on the map, making it one of the most well-known companies in the world. Unfortunately, his health issues have rendered him unable to continue as CEO. The Blaze explains, “The move appears to be the result of an unspecified medical condition for which he took an indefinite leave from his post in January… Jobs’ health has long been a concern for Apple investors who see him as an industry oracle who seems to know what consumers want long before they do.” Jobs has required a number of medical leaves throughout the last few years as a result of pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant.
While U.S. lawmakers wrestle with high unemployment and a mounting federal deficit, 80 percent of them have no academic background in business or economics, according to a new study by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI). The study found that only 8.4 percent of U.S. lawmakers majored in economics, while 13.7 percent studied subjects related to business or accounting. The majority of Congress — 55.7 percent — studied law, government, or humanities. "How many members of Congress have an academic background that provided them with a basic understanding how the economy works? The answer, it turns out, is not many," the study concluded. Politico reported: On the Senate budget committee, five out of 23 members — about 20 percent — have a business/accounting or econ background, EPI research fellow Michael Saltsman told POLITICO. And on the House side, eight out of 37 members, or just over 20 percent, hold academic degrees in business or economics fields.
With the raising of the debt ceiling, the “official” federal debt immediately surged past a new and unwelcome benchmark: The national debt now exceeds 100 percent of the gross domestic product for the first time since the Second World War era. With the debt now at $14.58 trillion and climbing vertiginously every day even as the economy continues to stagnate, it will not be very long before the national debt reaches 200 percent and higher. In fact, with over $45 trillion owed to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients both present and future, the actual size of the national debt is already more than four times the GDP. As for the so-called “cuts” enacted by this Congress, the long and rancorous debate produced essentially nothing. In exchange for statutory authority to raise the debt ceiling by another $2.4 trillion, the bill provides for cuts of only $900 billion, and for a special congressional committee to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings — over the next decade in projected future spending. In other words, the bill makes no meaningful cuts in the government while providing for another $1.5 trillion in debt over the next year or so — this in exchange for vague promises of a comparable amount in cuts spaced out over 10 years, while the debt ceiling is raised again and again. Such is the nature of “compromise” in official Washington.
For decades, the most common argument for legalized abortion has been that a pregnant woman should be able to choose whether or not to bring a child to term. But in China, there is no choice, as authorities in the People's Republic mandate abortions and sterilizations for couples that already have one child. And Vice President Joe Biden, who is personally "pro-choice," wants the Chinese to know he understands and is "not second-guessing" their one child per family policy. Speaking at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, yesterday, Biden was discussing America's debt problems when he made the following remarks, as published on the White House and U.S. Embassy websites: What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I'm not second-guessing — of one child per family.
The pervasive problem of political and religious bias in news reporting is often mocked by members of the media, but for those who have been the victims of such bias, the topic is no laughing matter. According to a report from the Media Research Center’s CNSNews, the new archbishop of Philadelphia raised the topic during a recent address to 10,000 pilgrims in Spain. And, according to CNSNews, Archbishop Charles Chaput did not hesitate to “name names” when it comes to identifying religious bigotry in the media: Chaput told the audience that, “In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex ‘marriage,’ and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only against Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers.” “And with relatively few exceptions,” he said, “the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination of ignorance, laziness, and bias against traditional Christian belief.”  
It is 1991, and Yugoslavia, born of the ashes of WWI, is starting to break up. It is a violent affair that will be long, painful, bloody, and complex. Numerous wars in the multi-ethnic region will be fought, with Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia declaring independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia and, in turn, Serb minorities seeking independence from the last two regions. Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians (virtually all Muslim), and Albanians (largely Muslim) will battle Serbs. Croats and Bosnians will unite to battle them — then fight each other as well — then unite again; and Albanians will take up the sword against Macedonians. Muslims will burn churches, and minority populations will be purged from many of these regions. They are the first conflicts since WWII to be formerly deemed genocidal, and these wars will introduce English-speakers to a new term: ethnic cleansing. None of this was any surprise. Ethnic and cultural ties ultimately trump citizenship status just as family ties do. This is why East and West Germany were reunited two decades ago:
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