10.3 million tweets were sent during the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. That is 114,000 tweets per minute (tpm) and shows that Americans were paying attention. Here are the moments that generated the most discussion, from the Twitter Blog:
159,000 tpm – Jim Lehrer quips – “Let’s not”
153,000 tpm – Obama – “I had five seconds”
150,000 tpm – Discussion of Medicare
140,000 tpm – Romney spars with Lehrer over rules
138,000 tpm – Obama calls Romney plan – “never mind”
And, #6 was Romney mentioning Obamacare, #7 was the Big Bird incident.
This was the most tweeted about political event in history, and there are more three debates. The Vice Presidential debate is next Thursday, October 11, 2012.
For analysis on real-time debate conversation, visit:
If you’re excited for the first Presidential Debate of 2012 – or if you just want to laugh, watch this video. It has everything from Hillary Clinton’s Victoria’s Pant Suits to George H.W. Bush’s silver foot in his mouth:
If this interests you the Harvard Kennedy School has a pre-debate “Politics as Theater” discussion with Aaron Sorkin, Chuck Todd, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, and Alan K. Simpson.
In every election the presidential candidates are forced to make a bold statement, one way or the other, on the environment. And since this blog is focused on sustainability their positions are an important topic. Here are three of them – climate change, renewable energy, and the EPA – from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
I apologize for the strong Democratic Party bias in this piece, but the Republican Party has yet to embrace sustainability. There are glimpses of it from Mitt Romney, but he is backing away from many of those. And honestly, we need the Republican Party to adopt sustainable ideas to make real progress in this country.
Supports international efforts to forge a climate change agreement.
Enacted regulations to double the fuel efficiency of vehicles by 2025.
Directed the federal government to reduce emissions from its buildings and vehicles by 28 percent by 2020.
Wary of international climate negotiations.
Opposes Obama’s new fuel efficiency standards as extreme.
Believes climate change is happening but not due to human efforts.
Invested billions in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Set ambitious clean energy goals, vowing that 80 percent will come from renewable sources by 2035.
Supported legislation, now set to expire, that extends production tax credits to the wind industry.
Opposes extending the tax credit for the wind industry and has vowed to end federal subsidies for renewable energy projects.
Supports nuclear, coal, oil, and gas in equal amounts to solar and wind.
As governor of Massachusetts, supported renewable energy authorizing the investment of $24 million.
Empowered the EPA to draft stricter CO2 emissions standards for power plants.
Supports proposed EPA regulations limiting emissions of mercury and other toxics from power plants.
Supports continued federal regulation of oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
Opposes EPA regulating carbon dioxide emissions.
Says the states, not the federal government, should exercise control over oil and gas drilling on onshore federal lands.
Has called for fewer regulations on the nuclear power industry to help revive it.
It is a nonpartisan collection of stories and artifacts on all 47 vice presidents – the only museum in the land devoted to the nation’s second-highest office. This neglect might seem surprising, until you tour the museum and learn just how ignored and reviled the vice presidency has been for most of its history. John Nance Garner, for one, said the job wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.
Humor is laced throughout the piece, but not because of the author – because Vice Presidents have been so ridiculed. Some deservedly so – like the drunken gambler who had congress dock his pay – and some not so, like the small-town lawyer who was nearly president during World War I, when Woodrow Wilson had a series of strokes.
Though that same lawyer quipped, “one ran away to sea, the other was elected vice president, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again.”
Marking the beginning of what could be a revolution in U.S. campaign finance, the Obama campaign said on Thursday it is wrapping up agreements with (all major carriers) to open the floodgate for donations by text this week.
In the coming days, voters are likely to start seeing a message on video screens at Obama rallies, at the end of ads or on fliers, encouraging them “to contribute $10 to Obama for America, text GIVE to 62262.” The numbers spell out “OBAMA.”
Don’t worry Republicans you too can join in the fun, by texting 466488 or “GOMITT”.
If you ask me this could be the ultimate strategy for Obama. Have you seen how crazy people get at his rallies. They will pull out pop starts and hip hop artists, add a little punk artwork, and then boom, Obama is on stage. People will be texting away their life savings before they leave the place.
One glance at the numbers, and it’s easy to see why pundits are already calling 2012 “the Twitter election.” More Tweets are sent every two days today than had ever been sent prior to Election Day 2008 — and Election Day 2008’s Tweet volume represents only about six minutes of Tweets today.
All this explosive growth in conversation has fueled Twitter as a platform for civic debate and created a massive data set for analysis.
Today, we’re launching the Twitter Political Index, a daily measurement of Twitter users’ feelings towards the candidates as expressed in nearly two million Tweets each week.
Each day, the Index evaluates and weighs the sentiment of Tweets mentioning Obama or Romney relative to the more than 400 million Tweets sent on all other topics.
The trend in Twitter Political Index scores for President Obama over the last two years often parallel his approval ratings from Gallup, frequently even hinting at where the poll numbers are headed.
Under the Affordable Care Act, for the first time ever, women will now have access to life-saving preventive care, such as mammograms and contraception, without paying any more out of their own pockets.
Today, we move yet another step closer to giving women control over their health care. In addition to the benefits for women already included in the Affordable Care Act, beginning the first plan year after August 1, 2012, most private health insurance plans will cover additional women’s preventive services without requiring women to pay an extra penny out of their pockets. These services include:
Screening for gestational diabetes, which help protect the mother and her child from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases
Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence
Contraception and contraceptive counseling
HPV DNA testing
HIV screening and counseling
These services are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, which relied on advice from independent physicians, nurses, scientists, and other experts, as well as evidence-based research, to develop its recommendations. And insurance companies know these services help prevent disease and illness, which can save them money in the long run.
By eliminating barriers like copays, co-insurance, and deductibles, secure, affordable coverage is quickly becoming a reality for millions of American women and families.
President Obama recalled his mother telling him, “You can tell how far a society is going to go by how it treats its women and girls. And if they’re doing well, then the society is going to do well; and if they’re not, then they won’t be.”
With the 2012 election less than 100 days away — 98 days, to be exact — Team Obama is giving its supporters, volunteers and voters a digital push. The president’s campaign and the Democratic Party have launched Obama for America, a mobile app that packs election information, grassroots organizational tools, campaign news and more into a single package.
Instead of developing another photo-sharing app with ready-made templates, the Obama campaign has opted to create a much more focused get-out-the-vote tool.
Keep in mind, however, that the app is tailored toward people who already support the 44th U.S. president. This is most decidedly not a non-partisan effort.
“As we push through the last 100 days of this election, our focus remains on helping make grassroots organizing as easy and accessible as possible for the volunteers and supporters that are the heart and soul of this campaign,” Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama for America, told Wired in an email. “That’s why we designed our new app to help break down the distinction between online and offline organizing, giving every supporter the same opportunities to get involved that they would find in a field office.”
Toward this goal, the app includes sections called…
China said Thursday it would offer $20 billion in new loans to Africa, underscoring the relationship’s growing importance, as Chinese companies agreed to operate more responsibly on the resource-rich continent.
Beijing has poured money into Africa over the last 15 years, seeking to tap into its vast natural resources, and China became the continent’s largest trading partner in 2009.
But its aggressive move into the continent has at times caused friction with local people, with some complaining Chinese companies import their own workers, flout labour laws and mistreat local employees.
Addressing African leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma and Kenya Premier Raila Odinga, President Hu Jintao said the loans would focus on supporting infrastructure, manufacturing and the development of small businesses.
On Thursday, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that a small aircraft piloted by democracy activists had violated Belarusian airspace in July when it crossed over from Lithuania. The aircraft was carrying a cargo of teddy bears, which parachuted into the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on July 4.
Lukashenko was peeved at his military commanders and air traffic control had failed to stop the plane’s raid into Belarus. Government officials have been trying to sort out how the activists planned the attack and why national security operatives failed to stop the small planes raid into controlled air space.
The plane was piloted by the cofounder of a Swedish ad agency on behalf of Charter 97, a Belarussian democracy advocacy group. The group has since organized other teddy bear assaults, including staging of teddy bears in front of the Belarusian Embassy in London-which caused embassy officials to call the police– to protest Lukashenko’s repression. Protestors have adopted the teddy bears as a symbol of resistance against Lukashenko.