Discussion Post: Week 6
As we wrap up this week of portfolio work, how is yours coming along thus far? Do you feel like you’re taking strides toward building a powerful professional presence for yourself? What issues have you encountered thus far (including any difficulties setting up the site and your domain itself, as many of us encountered), and what do you think you’ll need to do from this point forward to develop a strong site? Do you think you’ll need to take some additional time in the labs on these projects, or will you be just as effective working from home now?
Let’s hop right into a major story this week: Anwar al-Awlaki, a top al-Qaeda figure who was born in America and has been linked to several successful and attempted attacks on the U.S., was killed during a CIA operation in Yemen. The drone strike, characterized as a joint U.S.-Yemeni effort, served to substantially damage the terrorist group, particularly given al-Awlaki’s unique skills as a native English speaker. President Obama has hailed the success as a “a major blow to al-Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate,” although the counterterrorism campaign is certainly far from over. It should be noted that al-Awlaki has been reportedly killed twice in the past, but if today’s reports are to be believed, his efforts have finally come to an end. However, the U.S. State Department is concerned about possible retaliation, and on Saturday issued a worldwide travel warning in case of anti-American attacks in the near future.
Looking to the domestic front, President Barack Obama has been campaigning for Congress to support a new $447 billion jobs program which would focus on national infrastructure and would provide corporate and employee tax breaks. This comes in the wake of falling wages which also put a damper on consumer spending in August. However, Obama’s initiative is not without controversy, despite his calls for Republicans to explain “what exactly they are against.”
On the campaign trail, Texas Governor Brad Perry is going on the offensive against fellow Republican primary candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, challenging environmental regulation during his tenure as governor. Others, however, are focusing on Perry’s own legislative compromises, most notably a Texas law passed in 2001 that granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants; some in Texas are actively working to repeal the law, although previous efforts have accomplished little. Romney vetoed a similar bill in Massachusetts and has used that fact to portray Perry as “softer” on illegal immigration. In the meantime, several candidates are rising to challenge the two leading Republican contenders: Herman Cain surged to a surprisingly strong upset victory in last weekend’s Florida straw poll, while political advisors for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are considering whether a late move into the race is feasible given growing voter dissatisfaction with both Obama and the current Republican field. And, in a real surprise, some Democrats are considering a primary challenge to the incumbent Obama. It’s unclear how serious such a challenge might ultimately be, but Ralph Nader and Cornell West have proposed that six candidates each challenge Obama on a key issue where he has previously been weak, potentially to allow him to directly address such criticisms and restore his base’s faith. In the meantime, Florida’s Republican leaders have riled others in their party by deciding to hold the state’s presidential primary on Jan. 31, ignoring party rules and pressuring traditional early primary states to change their calendars, as well, in order to remain first. The state did the same thing four years ago, but the major Democratic candidates boycotted Florida because its early primary violated party rules.
Let’s close with a somewhat lighter note — at least, if you’re not a Boston Red Sox or Atlanta Braves fan. If you haven’t been watching baseball this month, you probably didn’t realize that the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals pulled off two of the biggest comebacks in history to win their league Wild Cards and make the playoffs — the Cardinals trailed the Braves by 10½ games on August 25, but charged in the last month and passed the Braves on Wednesday, the last day of the season, while the Rays trailed the Red Sox by nine games on Sept. 3 but mirrored the Cardinals’ surge and won the American League Wild Card. (The Rays’ final game, in which they negated a 7-0 eighth inning deficit, was so improbable that some fans believe Tampa Bay owed their fortune to manager Joe Maddon’s wife, Jaye, and her mystical bottle of heart chakra oil.) The comebacks were incredible, but so were the Red Sox and Braves disasters — so much so, in fact, that Boston manager Terry Francona, who led the Red Sox to the team’s first World Series title in 86 years during his first season with the team in 2004 and who repeated the feat in 2007, was released after Boston completed its collapse.
Following those epic comebacks, the Major League Baseball playoffs began on Friday, with the Tampa Bay Rays blowing out the Texas Rangers 9-0. The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers saw their first game suspended by rain with the score 1-1 in the second inning; at the time of this writing, that game is slated to conclude Saturday night, although the forecast calls for more rain this evening. In the National League, the Milwaukee Brewers shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1, while the upstart St. Louis Cardinals currently trail the winningest 2011 team, the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-3 in the eighth inning.
That should be more than enough for this week’s discussion. Have at it!
Other articles of interest:
Researchers Hack Voting Machine for $26
Plane hits Ferris wheel in Australia; no injuries
Could model airplanes become a terrorist weapon?
Egypt military proposes schedule for leaving power
Doctors in Bahrain jailed for treating patients
Hispanics leave school in face of Alabama’s tough immigration law
Pipeline raises tough choice: Jobs vs. environment
Glimmer of progress in second day of NBA talks
Report: Kobe Bryant agrees to $3M deal
SpaceX to attempt fully reusable orbital booster
Hello! You Are Nobel Prize Winner [Announcement Dates]
Google makes Analytics happen in ‘Real-time’
Microsoft AV Mistakes Google Chrome For a Virus
Twitter used to study happiness patterns
Facebook tracking prompts calls for FTC investigation
Facebook sued over tracking users after logout
ISP Lawsuit: Net Neutrality Rules Aren’t Strong Enough
How Long Does Your Wireless Carrier Retain Texts, Call Logs?
You Love Your iPhone. Literally.
Apple puts an end to iPod click wheel games
Microsoft Is Said to Plan Xbox Live Expansion With Comcast Pay TV Service
Happy 40th Birthday, Disney World!