Visiting Robben Island – The rock quarry labor camp where Nelson Mandela was forced to work as a prisoner
The First Lady: Today, our family visited Robben Island for an experience we will never forget. Robben Island is located off the coast of South Africa, and from the 1960s through the 1990s, this Island housed a maximum security prison. Many of the prisoners there – including the guide for our visit, a man named Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada – were activists who worked to bring down Apartheid, the South African government’s policies that discriminated against people of color. Under Apartheid, people of different races were separated in nearly every part of South African society. They were forced to attend separate schools, live in separate neighborhoods, even swim at separate beaches – and in nearly every case, the neighborhoods, schools and other facilities for black people were much worse than the ones for white people.
Charles Blow: Elections often turn on character moments and the slopes of lines. They are about who a candidate reveals himself to be under pressure more than who he says he is on stage…..
Taking that into account, at this moment, President Obama’s chances of being re-elected look stronger than they have in months. The Romney campaign seems to be coming off the tracks with no clear vision for how to get back on.
Romney’s panicky, premature excoriation of the Obama administration over violence in the Middle East — a response that was factually flawed and widely panned — only served to shake the fragile faith of those who might be holding their noses to support him…..
It also doesn’t help that Romney seems incapable of concealing his anxiety. He too often looks like a boy who just stepped on a nail and can’t remember his last tetanus shot.
Liberal Librarian: I think that this week has been a fulcrum not only in the election, but in the very real fight for the soul of the country.
Yes, way too many of our fellow citizens are still addled by hatred and bigotry. Obama should be ahead by 10-15 points, not 4-8. But let’s put that into perspective: Before the conventions, the polling averages had him ahead by at most 2 points. The debacle of Tampa and the triumph of Charlotte, without the media filter, basically reintroduced the country to both parties.
The GOP was seen as a heartless collection of ideologues whose only interest was in achieving power to service its rich backers. There was no positive vision of the future, but a wallowing in the contention that America was “in decline”. Charlotte highlighted a party and a President who believed in the nation, believed in the ability of its citizens to make an adult decision when presented with facts. The country saw a party united in its determination to make life better for all citizens, not just the fortunate few. It was the antithesis of the malaise bruited about by the GOP.
ThinkProgress: Biotechnology firm Monsanto Company, which currently owns most of the patents for America’s staple crops, is already cozy with American lawmakers. A new Nation report, however, indicates that “a very old friend in a very high place” may usher in the corporation’s most prosperous years yet.
The Nation’s investigative report has uncovered how Mitt Romney personally helped Monsanto shed its string of toxic chemical-related scandals and reinvent itself to dominate American agriculture. Monsanto, an early Bain & Company client, was so impressed with Romney that they started bypassing his superiors to deal with him directly.
ThinkProgress: House Republican Leader Eric Cantor announced Friday that after next week, the House will stand in recess until November 13. His plan for a nearly two month vacation will undoubtedly allow more time for campaigning, but will leave several vital bills awaiting action.
Among the important legislation the House will likely not address before the November elections:
1. Violence Against Women Act re-authorization…. 2. The American Jobs Act…. 3. Tax cuts for working families…. 4. Veterans Job Corps Act….
The Independent (UK): …. Mitt Romney has a fight on his hands if he wants to keep using Thin Lizzy music to back his campaign. The widow of Phil Lynott, the band’s legendary frontman, said there was no way the singer would have supported the Republican candidate.
Caroline Lynott-Taraskevics has told the band’s record company to issue a cease and desist order preventing Romney from using Thin Lizzy classics …. she and his mother Philomena were angered after Mr Romney used the anthem The Boys Are Back In Town at the Republican convention in Florida.
The rocker’s mother has said her son would have rejected any association with the Republicans, particularly the Christian right-wing of the party and what she called anti-gay and pro-rich policies.
In a message published by Irish music magazine Hot Press, Ms Lynott-Taraskevics said that were Lynott still alive, he would back Democrat US President Barack Obama.
“Absolutely in no way would Philip have supported Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan and he would have been so happy about Obama becoming US president,” she said.