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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Girl Meets World

 'Boy Meets World' stars to reunite 
for Disney Channel sequel 
 Ben Savage, starred as Cory and Danielle Fishel as Topanga in ABC's "Boy Meets World." (ABC)

"Cory & Topanga 4Ever" is no longer a silly scribble in a notebook. Disney Channel confirmed Tuesday that it's developing a spinoff of the '90s ABC comedy "Boy Meets World" -- and that the original show's central couple will be back.

After weeks of rumors (that had twentysomethings squealing), the network acknowledged that it is working on a pilot called "Girl Meets World," a sequel to the popular sitcom that aired from 1993 through 2000.

"I'm going to be a father! Well, on TV at least. The "Boy Meets World" sequel is officially happening," Ben Savage tweeted Monday. And Danielle Fishel posted a blog on her Tumblr page making her involvement official.

Savage and Fishel will reprise their roles as Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, the Ross and Rachel of the TGIF crowd. More than a decade later, they'll be the parents of a 13-year-old daughter named Riley, the protagonist of the new show. A nationwide casting search to fill that role is underway.

The pilot is being produced by Michael Jacobs, who was the executive producer of "Boy Meets World" -- in addition to "Charles in Charge" and "My Two Dads."

Although the news has "Boy Meets World" fans in a frenzy, the new show is still in the development phase, so there are no guarantees about its future.

There's also no word on whether any other familiar faces might pop up -- has anyone started the Shawn (Rider Strong) and Eric (Will Friedle) and Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) petitions?

Disney Channel's 'Girl Meets World' has a familiar ring

Disney Channel is developing Girl Meets World, literally the next generation of the popular 1990s ABC sitcom, Boy Meets World.

Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, the teens at the heart of Boy, will reprise their roles as Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence. In Girl, they are a happily married couple and the parents of 13-year-old Riley, from whose point of view the story will be told.

A nationwide casting search is underway for the role of Riley Matthews.

Michael Jacobs, executive producer of Boy, is working on the project, which is still in the early stages of development. A pilot has not yet been ordered.

Boy, which ran from 1993 to 2000, was a popular coming-of-age comedy that followed the adventures of Cory, his family and friends.

Cher Premieres “Woman’s World” Single As Thanksgiving Gift: Listen

Drop the turkey drumstick, spit the cranberries out, get your ass up off the foldout chair in Granny’s kitchen and crank up the volume, music fiends, because Cher has interrupted your Thanksgiving holiday to bring you a brand new single! The timeless diva tweeted out a stream of “Woman’s World” last night, and you can jump below to hear the balls-to-the-wall dance jam.

Well, don’t just sit there — get moving! It’s CHER, for Christ’s sake!

Full of striking synths and a relentlessly slamming beat, “Woman’s World” is yet another song where Cher — who we haven’t gotten an original studio album from since 2001′s Living Proof — asserts her strong femininity. And, men, you don’t want to f*** with this diva when she’s power-twirling across the dance floor and mowing gents down left and right.

“Woman’s World” will be available on iTunes on Monday, according to Cher’s latest tweet. What do you think of the song? Is it another “Believe”-sized hit?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Boxer Camacho brain dead

Doctor: Puerto Rico boxer Camacho is brain dead

Boxer Hector Camacho is brain dead after being shot on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Famed Puerto Rican boxer Hector ''Macho'' Camacho is clinically brain dead, doctors said Thursday, but family members disagreed on whether to take him off life support and two of the fighter's aunts said later that relatives had agreed to wait two more days.

Dr. Ernesto Torres said doctors had no more medical tests to perform on Camacho, who was shot in the face Tuesday night.

''We have done everything we could,'' said Torres, who is director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan. ''We have to tell the people of Puerto Rico and the entire world that Macho Camacho has died, he is brain dead.''

He said at a news conference Thursday morning that Camacho's father indicated he wanted the boxer taken off life support and his organs donated, but other relatives opposed the idea.

''This is a very difficult moment,'' Torres said.

One of the fighter's aunts, Aida Camacho, said Thursday evening that two of Camacho's sisters had asked to have two more days to spend with him, and other family members had agreed even though they felt it was time to give in.

''I'm a person of a lot of faith, and I believe in miracles, but science has spoken,'' she said.

Another aunt, Blanca Camacho, also said the family had agreed to the wishes of the two sisters from New York to hold off on ending life support. But, she added, ''There's nothing left here. He's already dead.''

Most of Camacho's relatives left the hospital by Thursday night without commenting.

About a dozen people stood vigil outside. One, Orvil Miller, a singer and actor, expressed sadness about Camacho's fate and recalled his admiration for the fighter's flamboyance.

''He had the combination of the skills of a boxer along with a great sense for entertainment,'' Miller said.

Steve Tannenbaum, a friend and a former boxing agent for Camacho, said in a phone interview that he idolized Camacho as a boxer.

''He is one of the greatest small fighters that I have ever seen,'' he said. ''Hector Camacho had a legendary status.''

Tannenbaum said he initially believed Camacho would survive. ''He was almost like the indestructible man. He had so many troubles with the law, so many altercations in his life. It's a great shame.''

The 50-year-old Camacho was shot as he and a friend sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar Tuesday night. Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend's pocket, and a 10th bag open inside the car. Camacho's friend, identified as 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the attack.

Doctors had initially said Camacho was expected to survive, but his condition worsened and his heart stopped briefly overnight Tuesday, Torres said. The bullet entered his jaw and lodged in his shoulder after tearing through three of four main arteries in his neck, affecting blood flow through his brain, doctors said.

''That lack of oxygen greatly damaged Macho Camacho's brain,'' Torres said.

Camacho was born in Bayamon, a city within the San Juan metropolitan area, but he grew up mostly in New York's Harlem neighborhood, earning the nickname ''the Harlem Heckler.''

He won super lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight world titles in the 1980s and fought high-profile bouts against Felix Trinidad, Julio Cesar Chavez and Sugar Ray Leonard. Camacho knocked out Leonard in 1997, ending the former champ's final comeback attempt. 

Camacho had a career record of 79-6-3.

Doctor: Puerto Rico boxer Camacho is brain dead

In recent years, he divided his time between Puerto Rico and Florida, appearing regularly on Spanish-language television as well as on a reality show called ''Es Macho Time!'' on YouTube. In San Juan, he had been living in the beach community of Isla Verde, where he would readily pose for photos with tourists who recognized him on the street, said former pro boxer Victor ''Luvi'' Callejas, a neighbor and friend.

Camacho battled drugs, alcohol and other problems throughout his life. He was sentenced in 2007 to seven years in prison for the burglary of a computer store in Mississippi. While arresting him on the burglary charge in January 2005, police also found the drug ecstasy.

A judge eventually suspended all but one year of the sentence and gave Camacho probation. He wound up serving two weeks in jail, though, after violating that probation.

His wife also filed domestic abuse complaints against him twice before their divorce several years ago.

Boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho 
is clinically brain dead, doctors say

Famed Puerto Rican boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho is clinically brain dead, doctors said Thursday.

Hector Camacho

Dr. Ernesto Torres said doctors have finished performing all medical tests on Camacho, who was shot in the face Tuesday night.

Two of Camacho's aunts say his family has decided to wait two more days before taking him off life support.

Aida Camacho says two of Camacho's sisters have asked to have the extra time to spend with him, and other family members have agreed even though they feel it is time to give in.

Another aunt, Blanca Camacho, also says the family has agreed to the wishes of the two sisters from New York to hold off on ending life support.

"We have done everything we could," said Torres, who is the director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan. "We have to tell the people of Puerto Rico and the entire world that Macho Camacho has died, he is brain dead."

The 50-year-old Camacho was shot as he and a friend sat in a Ford Mustang parked outside a bar Tuesday night. Police spokesman Alex Diaz said officers found nine small bags of cocaine in the friend's pocket, and a 10th bag open inside the car. Camacho's friend, identified as 49-year-old Adrian Mojica Moreno, was killed in the attack.

Doctors had initially said Camacho was expected to survive, but his condition worsened and his heart stopped briefly overnight Tuesday, Torres said. The bullet entered his jaw and lodged in his shoulder after tearing through three of four main arteries in his neck, affecting blood flow through his brain, doctors said.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christina Aguilera's fuller figure at AMA awards prompts Twitter fire

Check out the video (above) to watch the interview in its entirety and see how XTina becomes very emotional as she discusses her own childhood and experiences with bullying. She may have struggled back then, but the success of songs like Fighter and Beautiful may have never come to be without them. There's a silver lining if we've ever heard one… 

Nicki Minaj and Christina Aguilera were blonde bombshells at the AMA Awards on Sunday night. Minaj's hair was busy and full of volume and she sported a neon strapless gown to accept her first award. Aguilera wore a blonde bob in a purple dress that matched her eyeshadow.

Aguilera also performed a medley of material from her new album and joined Pitbull onstage.

But it wasn't her performance, or her hair, that had tongues wagging -- it was Aguilera's much fuller figure. Here are a few representative tweets from AMA viewers:

"Carrie Underwood is what Christina Aguilera thinks she looks like right now. And no one has the heart to tell her "NAWL.""

"Christina Aguilera looks like Snooki. No wait, that's an insult to Snooki."

"Did Christina Aguilera eat one of Willy Wonka's blueberries?"

But Aguilera was not without her Twitter defenders.

"Christina Aguilera looked gorgeous last night. I love this dress and the diva attitude she is serving!"

"Anyone who says Christina Aguilera isnt amazing can leave nearest exit to the left thanks.'

"New hairstyle and looking gorgeous! Christina Aguilera aka Legendtina Godulara!"

Ask any musician alive and they'll tell you FOR SURE, that their greatest songs came from their greatest pain.

See? It pays to have a creative outlet!

It has been 13 years since her genie came creeping out of a bottle, but now Christina Aguilera is a full-grown, 5-tim Grammy winning artist and mommy — and she sees no end in sight.

In promoting her new album Lotus, XTina sat down for an intimate Dateline interview to discuss her journey to this point and shared some interesting realizations about how her journey has influenced her music.

christina aguilera before after 660 reuters.jpg

Via: PerezHilton
Via: FoxNews
Via: Gossiponthis

Friday, November 16, 2012

'Breaking Dawn - Part 2': The Reviews Are In! - VIDEO

Finale has received best reviews in 'Twilight' history, with one critic saying the cast 'brings liveliness to a franchise known for being soulless.'

Kristen Stewart, MacKenzie Foy and Robert Pattinson in "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"At this point in the lengthy, angst-ridden and obsessed about nature of "The Twilight Saga," all signs point to the fact that the final film in the franchise, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," is going to be a massive hit. The experts are predicting potential record-breaking-type box office numbers and there are millions of fans who have already bought tickets, so with all that monetary ammunition, does it really matter what the critics think? Do reviews for "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" need to be written?

Perhaps it's not a question of need but want, because the critical mass seemed to want to write all about how Stephenie Meyer's vampire soap opera comes to an end and surprisingly enough, more liked it than did not, which makes "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" the least hated movie of the franchise. Prepare yourself for one last bite as we hunt through the "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" reviews!

The Plot

"After Bella (Kristen Stewart) nearly died during pregnancy in the last movie, her undead husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson), saved her by piercing her neck, thus at long last making a vampire out of her. Now with newborn Renesmee, baby makes three. Played by what look like digitally altered tots and an actual flesh-and-blood girl (Mackenzie Foy), Renesmee is the nominal centerpiece for the final movie and its reason for being. As half-human, half-vampire, and conceived while Bella was still breathing, Renesmee turns out to be an instant problem child. Not only does she look as creepy as the baby Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," she's sprouting as fast as a magical beanstalk and, worse yet, has attracted the attention of the Volturi, a vampire coven in Italy with papal-like authority. Led by Aro (a fabulous, flamboyant Michael Sheen), the Volturi come to believe that Renesmee is an "immortal child" whose milk teeth will instigate a large-scale calamity." — Manohla Dargis, Hollywood.com

The Long Goodbye

"By the time the great vampire showdown finally got started, I was good and done with 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2.' But the big action scene is so campily over the top — with one twist so unforeseeable — that it sent me out on a burst of grudging goodwill. The film's endlessly drawn-out ending, with its multiple spoken and written iterations of the book's last word, 'forever,' over an image of the matte-skinned, cultishly beatific Cullens, may be the scariest moment in the whole pulpy yet vital Twilight series — a teenage girl's fantasy of perfect domestic contentment, frozen in time and doomed to last forever." — Dana Stevens, Slate.com

The Final Word

" 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2' starts off slow but gathers momentum, and that's because, with Bella and Edward united against the Volturi, the picture has a real threat. It's structured as a classic monster-movie showdown, and when the two are standing with their ragtag rebel team in the Northwest snow, facing Aro and his monk-hooded Volturi army, the film takes off -- into eye-popping violence and spectacle. ...And wait until you get to the twist ending! It's one of the most shocking moments in the series, yet also one of the lightest. It made me realize that, as narratively lumpy as they can be, I like the 'Twilight' films because they're really about the eternal movie romance of vampires at play." — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2’: 
On-the-scene for fan reactions


If you’re at the midnight premiere of Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 (well, technically, a 10 p.m. Thursday night show) chances are you’re already more than familiar about what exactly goes down in the finale of the vampire saga. With my colleagues Lanford Beard (who was coming off an all-day Twilight marathon) and Denise Warner, we braved the first public showtime in Manhattan alongside a – no surprise – sold-out crowd. More surprising was how adult and costume-free our group seemed to be.

While our theater clearly was audibly buzzing with anticipation, the dirty little secret is that in the book, not a whole heck of a lot happens in the second half of Breaking Dawn. There’s a Volturi battle, and an arm-wrestling match (What big muscles you have, Emmett!), but there’s also a ton of contemplative stares and thoughts on Jacob’s relationship with Renesmee. So you can forgive fans for being a little skeptical, albeit excited, when I asked them for their thoughts prior to the final film release.

First up was a giggly trio of friends who ID’d themselves as “let’s say right around [age] 30” that I caught up with in line at the concession stand. Like a lot of fans I spoke with, Charity Worrell has been a long-time Twi-hard – and the experiences she had with her friends obsessing over the trio are what she’s going to miss most about this whole phenomenon. “We watched them all in row, all together just before [coming here],” she shared.

Worrell’s friends said that the part they were most looking forward to was the ending. “In the book, the ending, when [Edward] can finally see into [Bella's] mind. That was my favorite part of the book. It made me cry,” Angela Park said. The other woman in their group, Kristina Gianakos, just laughed: “I didn’t read the books! So, I just want to see [Edward and Bella] make out a lot!” Spoiler alert: She gets her wish.

THE 'TWILIGHT' SAGA: Get the latest news, photos, and more

Another group of friends was concerned about how some of the book plots were going to unfold. “I think when Jacob falls in love with the child [is the scene I’m most curious about.] She’s so young. And [Jacob] loved Bella! I think it’s going to be hit or miss. They can either pull it off or they can’t. … I think [the producers] will make it look cheesy,” fan Keri Shean speculated right before the movie started.

And then, just like that, after a battle and a love story concluded, the franchise was done. No more “Team” T-shirts. No more shirtless Jacob. No more Cullen Family Baseball. Critics have had their say (read EW’s review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2) but I was also curious what the people who loved it the most thought about the ending.

After the film, I grabbed people from our screening for a mini-focus group – and, as to be expected, emotions were running high. (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS!) Everyone had lots of thoughts on that big ol’ twist that Kristen Stewart had been talking up in press interviews. During the show there was screaming and lots of freaking out by our audience, but afterwards, fans seemed to like the more visceral final battle between the Cullens and the Volturi — even if it did turn out to be not 100 percent loyal to the book.

“It was crazy,” said one fan. “I kept [turning to my friends and] saying, ‘This better be a dream!’” Another agreed that it was unexpected, but thought the change was for the best. “I think they had to do something, or else it would be really boring.” Yet another chimed in: “I liked the way they ended it. It made more sense to scare [Aro]; that was more climactic than it was in the book.”

Of course, the film also had its dissenters: “This one, as compared to the other [movies], supremely more inaccurate. Before the flashback even came. I mean, all of them are comical but as far as accuracy to the books, this one was so different. It wasn’t even an adaptation to the book. It was just its own film,” said fan Katie Ritchey.

But perhaps Ritchey just had a lot of feelings catching up with her at once. She, like many I spoke with, felt that they were saying goodbye to something. “We no longer have a series that we started [together]. Harry Potter, gone. This was like the last thing for us to hold onto. I’m a little bit [nostalgic].”

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day: A US Tradition

November 11 is Veterans Day in the U.S. – a federal holiday to honor all military personnel who have served the U.S. in all wars.

This is the first Veterans Day since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in December. The holiday this year is also a chance for Americans to thank the rapidly shrinking population of World War Two veterans.

The U.S. president places a wreath every Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

Communities across America traditionally hold Veterans Day observances and ceremonies. Federal offices will be closed Monday in recognition of the holiday.

Veterans Day – originally called Armistice Day – was first observed in 1919. One year earlier, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations took effect.

Britain honored its war dead Sunday – Remembrance Day – with a moment of silence at 11 a.m., local time.

Veterans Day and the debt we owe

After World War I, even as the five million men who served in the armed forces were returning home, the United States was in the midst of a postwar recession. Farm prices had dropped, and defense production had come to a halt. While the economy rebounded, thousands of veterans remained unemployed. Even as cities built massive monuments (such as the one in Kansas City that now houses a museum to the First World War) and constructed scenic drives (like Victory Memorial Drive in Minneapolis), and the military interred one of the fallen in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, seeing veterans on the street served as a reminder of American participation in the war.

More than 116,000 had died in the Great War, and nearly five million returned to a country that had been changed by their service. In 1919, in recognition, President Woodrow Wilson declared that the nation should honor the veterans of the Great War with a day of prayer, gratitude and commemoration. On Nov. 11, the anniversary of the Armistice, parades, civic ceremonies and church services honored the living and the dead. It was fitting that a nation that had fought in the war to end all wars should spend at least one day a year honoring those who served; but it was not until 1926 that Armistice Day became an official day of remembrance. In 1938, following the custom of 17 states, the federal government made Armistice Day a legal holiday.

By the 1920s, many began to rethink what the war had meant. The veterans who fought in the First World War, the first to be drafted since the Civil War, were newly seen as "the lost generation." In Europe, where military casualties of the Great War mounted to nearly nine million as the war ground on for four bloody years, that loss was real and palpable. For Americans, the nation's brief participation in what came to be called "the European war" had begun to stir conflict over what the nation's sacrifice had meant. Still, the loss — real and figurative — also stirred a desire to remember and commemorate.

In many ways, the generation of veterans who came back from World War I had a different experience from those of the Civil War, World War II or even Vietnam. They represented a smaller proportion of their society and of their generation. Moreover, less than two million served abroad among the five million drafted.

When veterans of World War I organized, as they did in the American Legion and by joining the Veterans of Foreign Wars, their demands for greater compensation for their wartime service (called the Soldier's Bonus, passed in 1924) and their equally persistent fight for medical care and disability pensions expanded the system of military and veterans' hospitals, and later provided an argument for the G.I. Bill. At the same time, World War I vets did not receive their bonus for nearly two decades after the war was over. It took nearly 20 years before Congress opted for an early payment in 1937; some veterans waited for the original payout date of 1945.

In 1954, following the Second World War and the Korean War, advocates for veterans proposed that Armistice Day be renamed Veterans Day in honor of all those who served in the armed forces. For their part, veterans' organizations and the aging generation of World War I vets supported the measure. Their support, like the countless conversations that took placed between fathers and their drafted sons on the eve of war, signaled a generational passage.

The more than 16 million veterans of the Second World War eventually established their priority over the generation before them. Through their sheer numbers, they came to dominate in the labor force, civil service employment and even politics, holding the White House for most of the 40 years between Eisenhower (a veteran of both wars) and the election of baby boomer Bill Clinton in 1992. At the same time, the centrality of World War II and its large cohort of veterans sometimes obscured public recognition of the debts owed veterans of the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict. Vietnam veterans created their own organizations, worked politically to demand greater attention to their needs in the face of such hazards as Agent Orange and the first-named post-traumatic stress syndrome cases, and visibly contributed to discussions about the military, foreign policy and the role of government.

Since the end of the military draft in 1973, the role of veterans in our national political culture has changed. Both Gulf War and Iraq War veterans have been elected to political office, but veterans and those soldiers in continuing service have little visibility. In part, that is a function of the numbers. The end of conscription and the beginnings of a voluntary force meant that service was no longer compulsory; and compensation for soldiers and veterans took on new meaning. Fewer people performed national military service, and fewer families had an understanding of the great hazards that faced veterans returning from military service.

In many ways, the veterans of the Gulf War and the new veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have become another lost generation. Millions have served and continue to serve, even as we now have more than six million veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Casualties from the war, including more than 6,000 dead and more than 35,000 injuries (including an unprecedented number of traumatic brain injuries), and the growing epidemic of suicides of soldiers who have served in the region, are seldom mentioned. It had been the policy of the Bush administration not to have the coffins of U.S. servicemen and women met on their arrival in the United States. While this has changed under the recent president, political conflicts have held better compensation and attention to veterans' needs at bay, even while the nation focuses on domestic concerns.

Veterans Day offers us the opportunity and the occasion once again to honor those who served but also to honor the debt we have incurred by their service. It is not enough to place wreaths and crosses on graves or to salute veterans on parade. We also must address their needs — and our own. We need to reclaim that which was lost, a generation of soldiers and their service.

Elizabeth Faue is a history professor at Wayne State University.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama clinches second term in tense night

Barack Obama wins election for second term as president

Supporters cheer after networks project an Obama victory. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama handily defeated Gov. Mitt Romney and won himself a second term Tuesday after a bitter and historically expensive race that was primarily fought in just a handful of battleground states. Obama beat Romney after nabbing almost every one of the crucial battleground states.


Romney conceded in Boston in a heartfelt speech early Wednesday morning, at 1:00 AM ET. "Like so many of you, Paul [Ryan] and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign," he said. "I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead your ocuntry in another direction." Romney congratulated the president and his campaign on their victory.

The Romney campaign's last-ditch attempt to put blue-leaning Midwestern swing states in play failed as Obama's Midwestern firewall sent the president back to the White House for four more years. Obama picked up the swing states of New Hampshire, Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Ohio. Of the swing states, Romney only picked up North Carolina. Florida is still too close to call, but even if Romney won the state, Obama still handily beats him in the Electoral College vote. The popular vote will most likely be much narrower than the president's decisive Electoral College victory.

The Obama victory marks an end to a years-long campaign that saw historic advertisement spending levels, countless rallies and speeches, and three much-watched debates.

The Romney campaign cast the election as a referendum on Obama's economic policies, frequently comparing him to former President Jimmy Carter and asking voters the Reagan-esque question of whether they are better off than they were four years ago. But the Obama campaign pushed back on the referendum framing, blanketing key states such as Ohio early on with ads painting him as a multimillionaire more concerned with profits than people. The Obama campaign also aggressively attacked Romney on reproductive rights issues, tying Romney to a handful of Republican candidates who made controversial comments about rape and abortion.

These ads were one reason Romney faced a steep likeability problem for most of the race, until his expert performance at the first presidential debate in Denver in October. After that debate, and a near universal panning of Obama's performance, Romney caught up with Obama in national polls, and almost closed his favoribility gap with the president. In polls, voters consistently gave him an edge over Obama on who would handle the economy better and create more jobs, even as they rated Obama higher on caring about the middle class.

But the president's Midwestern firewall--and the campaign's impressive grassroots operation--carried him through. Ohio tends to vote a bit more Republican than the nation as a whole, but Obama was able to stave off that trend and hold an edge there over Romney, perhaps due to the president's support of the auto bailout three years ago. Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan all but moved to Ohio in the last weeks of the campaign, trying and ultimately failing to erase Obama's lead there.

A shrinking electoral battleground this year meant that only 14 states were really seen as in play, and both candidates spent most of their time and money there. Though national polls showed the two candidates in a dead heat, Obama consistently held a lead in the states that mattered. That, and his campaign's much-touted get out the vote efforts and overall ground game, may be what pushed Obama over the finish line.

Now, Obama heads back to office facing what will most likely be bitterly partisan negotiations over whether the Bush tax cuts should expire. The House will still be majority Republican, with Democrats maintaining their majority in the Senate.

The loss may provoke some soul searching in the Republican Party. This election was seen as a prime opportunity to unseat Obama, as polls showed Americans were unhappy with a sluggish economy, sky-high unemployment, and a health care reform bill that remained widely unpopular. Romney took hardline positions on immigration, federal spending, and taxes during the long Republican primary when he faced multiple challenges from the right. He later shifted to the center in tone on many of those issues, but it's possible the primary painted him into a too-conservative corner to appeal to moderates during the general election. The candidate also at times seemed unable to effectively counter Democratic attacks on his business experience and personal wealth.

Barack Obama Reelection

NEW YORK -- President Barack Obama did not just win reelection tonight. His victory signaled the irreversible triumph of a new, 21st-century America: multiracial, multi-ethnic, global in outlook and moving beyond centuries of racial, sexual, marital and religious tradition.

Obama, the mixed-race son of Hawaii by way of Kansas, Indonesia, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, won reelection in good part because he not only embodied but spoke to that New America, as did the Democratic Party he leads. His victorious coalition spoke for and about him: a good share of the white vote (about 45 percent in Ohio, for example); 70 percent or so of the Latino vote across the country, according to experts; 96 percent of the African-American vote; and large proportions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The Republican Party, by contrast, has been reduced to a rump parliament of Caucasian traditionalism: white, married, church-going -- to oversimplify only slightly. "It's a catastrophe," said GOP strategist Steve Schmidt. "This is, this will have to be, the last time that the Republican Party tries to win this way."

The GOP chose as its standard-bearer Mitt Romney, whose own Mormon Church until recent decades discriminated officially against blacks. His campaign made little serious effort to reach out to Hispanics voters, and Romney hurt himself by taking far-right positions on immigration during the GOP primaries. He made no effort whatsoever in the black community.

Obama reached out not only racially and ethnically, but in terms of lifestyle. Analysts made fun of, and Republicans derided, his campaign's focus on discrete demographic and social slices of the electorate, including gays and lesbians. But the message was one about the future, not the American past.

U.S. Census numbers tell the story. In the first decade of the new millennium, the Asian-American population rose 43.3 percent, the African-American population 12.3 percent, the Latino community 43 percent -- and the white population just 5.7 percent.

To be sure, the president won because of his stand on the issues -- health care reform, Wall Street regulation, the auto industry bailout, among others. But his victory is something more: a sense that we are all in this together as a society, no matter who we are or how we live our lives.

I saw this new America at the heart of the Obama reelection effort, in their campaign offices. In one office in Virgina, for example, the local campaign manager was Pakistani-American, the volunteers were of every race and background, the people heading out to handle the signup drive were Hispanic, and the event they were working on was a concert by Bruce Springsteen.

Via: YahooNews

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Daylight Saving Time 2012: Turn your clocks back and gain an extra hour tonight

Daylight Saving Time and your mood is something to think about!

Daylight Saving Time is here again and in the early morning hours of Sunday the majority of the clocks in the U.S. need to “fall back.” While Daylight Saving Time has it purpose as an energy saving strategy, it also comes with a downside, according to The Columbian on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012.

You gain an hour on Sunday, which is the plus side of Daylight Saving Time. In the spring when you lose an hour researchers and scientists have found that the extra hour of sunlight in the morning that you initially lose can take a heavy toll on mood and productivity. While most just find themselves experiencing a sleepy Monday morning, others have experienced accidents in the workplace and even car accidents from being so sleepy.

Stock market dips have also been blamed on the Daylight Saving Time lack of sleep in the spring when the clocks jump ahead an hour. The changing of the clocks in the fall is a bit easier, as gaining an hour doesn’t seem to throw too many people off, unless of course you work the third shift on Saturday night into Sunday. You end up working an hour more and anyone that works the graveyard shift can tell you that last hour seems like it will just never end!

While you gain and extra hour, Daylight Saving Time in the fall signifies the days getting much shorter, just because the way the earth is on its axis, this can't be changed with adjusting the clock. According to The Columbian, "Reduced sunlight can cause mood and sleep problems for many people, even if they're not prone to seasonal affective disorder." With the days getting dark around four o'clock in the afternoon, it doesn't take long for some people's moods to start to wane along with the sunlight.

Michael Rothenfluch, staff psychiatrist at Vancouver-based PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, said that many people think you can't get the sunlight that will help boost your mood during the winter months, but this is not true. Just a 30-minute walk on a gloomy day can do wonders. There's enough sunlight coming through those clouds to do the trick, even if it is drizzling out, reports Rothenfluch.

According to ABC News, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time. Clocks are set back an hour on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 at 2 a.m. for everyone else.

Daylight Saving ends: What to do with the extra hour

Custodian Ray Keen checks the time on a clock face after changing the time on the 97-year-old clock atop the Clay County Courthouse, in this Nov. 6, 2010 file photo taken in Clay Center, Kan. Most Americans will be able to get an extra hour of sleep Sunday.
Custodian Ray Keen checks the time on a clock face after changing the time on the 97-year-old clock atop the Clay County Courthouse, in this Nov. 6, 2010 file photo taken in Clay Center, Kan. Most Americans will be able to get an extra hour of sleep Sunday. / AP

Daylight Saving Time 2012 has come to an end. Today is the day to turn your clocks back for one hour.

The question of the day becomes: What to do with the extra hour now that daylight saving time has ended?

Many think getting an extra hour of sleep is the best option. And who is to argue with more sleep. But now that you are up and moving, here are some good options for today's bonus, the extra hour:

1) Go for a long walk. A little extra exercise goes a long way, and there's no better time to enjoy fall's colors and temperatures than now.

2) Start reading a book you have always wanted to try but haven't previously found time.

3) Call a loved one or friend you've been meaning to connect with. Time seems to slip away -- but now you have an extra hour. Reach out and call someone. Make their day.

4) Start your 2013 exercise plan before the holiday bulge builds. Take the free hour and get to the gym with a head start on next year's plan.

5) Write in a journal. Make a list of everything you would like to do with your extra hour in a dreamy sense. The list can be long. It will help you plan activities for the coming days and month and use your time to fulfill ideas and ideals.

If it seems late in the season to be finally falling back it’s not. Until 200, Daylight Saving Time ran from April to mid-October. But then Congress extended the period, making it three weeks earlier and one week later.

This year, we experienced the “spring forward,” or the start of Daylight Saving Time, on March 11.

Some, including Hawaii, most of Arizona, and territories including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa remain on Standard Time throughout the year.