Comments: Running mate Ryan spices up election, spurs economic conversation
Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate in the 2012 presidential election.
August 13th, 2012
08:03 PM ET

Comments: Running mate Ryan spices up election, spurs economic conversation

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

Mitt Romney has announced his pick for running mate in the 2012 election: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Readers have mixed feelings about him, but they've definitely been talking. The next five stories are all about Ryan.

When the news initially broke, many readers argued about what it means. All seemed to agree that the game was suddenly a little more interesting. Several iReporters, like Mark Ivy of Farmersburg, Indiana, said they felt this choice was the right one.

"As the news began to trickle out late last night, and turn into a cascading waterfall, that House Budget Committee chairman and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan had been selected by Mitt Romney as the person to be his running mate and the next vice president of the United States, I began to read and research all I could on the congressman. That study led me to the conclusion that this morning as Romney was announcing his choice of Ryan, Romney had indeed made the correct decision. That decision puts the question of fiscal responsibility and a right direction for the country squarely on the table."

And Matt Sky  of New York said having Ryan around changes the conversation.

"Adding Paul Ryan to Mitt Romney's ticket changes this election from simply being a referendum on Obama into a core philosophical debate about the differences between conservatism and liberalism. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is an exciting figure for many Republicans, but also represents the core divisions between the parties in a way that could also rally more Democrats behind Obama. We have very articulate, intelligent candidates across the board, so I think we can expect a fascinating, very unique election year, not about personality or popularity points, but one of substance."

On CNN's Facebook page, readers were critical of Ryan's economic vision, which was the subject of an opinion article by Donna Brazile. But some were in support.

Chris Perrin: Ryan's budget would destroy the middle class and the working poor. We would all become serfs to the rich. Now that is class warfare if I've ever seen it.

Colleen Warman Meyer: "Does anyone find it ironic that democrats keep saying Ryan's budget proposal is too radical when the dems in power haven't bothered to even pass a budget in years? I think a little radical is better than nothing. Our national belt has needed a lot of tightening anyway."

Ralph Quaas: All this means is money for Republican pockets and not a dime for seniors and the needy.

Charlotte Booth Davidson: "Can anybody ANYBODY tell me why I should vote for Obama? And not because of Romney/Ryan. Convince me how our country is better off then three years ago?!!! Please!"

Michael Sercu: "Ryan and Romney declared: 'We do not want our kids stuck with trillions of dollars in debt.' The bad news: They want other people's kids stuck with that debt."

CNN.com commenters also had plenty to say.

1. Romney's pick of Ryan as his running mate energizes conservatives, opponents

This reader said they weren't originally planning to vote, but decided to do so. They were one of many who alluded to author Ayn Rand, author of the influential and controversial novel "Atlas Shrugged." Ryan has said conflicting things about his stance on Rand's work.

aabbccddee: "Thanks Romney, by choosing Paul Ryan you helped me to decide that I'm voting for Obama. The last thing we need is a conservative Ayn Randian objectivist in the White House."

THX1953: "Ha! Like your vote wasn't already cast!"

aabbccddee: "It wasn't. I dislike Obama's conservative policies so I was going to sit out this election. To me, Romney and Obama are two of the same. Romney's choice of Ryan has awoken me from my apathy."

Another reader said they were glad that a person with vigor was joining the race. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Elections • Mitt Romney • Politics • Republican Party • Wisconsin
24 hours through the lens
August 13th, 2012
05:33 PM ET

Mash-up: In the sky: Fireworks, meteors, a granny and a bobcat

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Well done, London, well done

The 2012 London Olympic Summer Games ended Sunday night in spectacular fashion, even if NBC saw fit to cut away from it in favor of a show starring a monkey.

Keep looking up

Fireworks weren't the only thing worth looking at in the sky. CNN iReporter Abe Blair, a professional photographer, shot pictures of the Perseid meteor shower over Crater Lake, Oregon, for six to seven hours Sunday night. But his patience paid off with this spectacular image of meteors lighting up the sky near the Milky Way. He used a low-power lamp to light the gnarled tree in the foreground.

"This was my first time watching a meteor shower and this was the image I was hoping to capture," he says. "It was fun to watch, but a little frustrating to photograph since you're not able to know exactly when and where the meteor would pass by."

FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
August 13th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

What we'll remember about the London Olympics

In the days and weeks leading up to the London 2012 Games, most of the chatter surrounded security planning flaps and looming safety concerns, ticket issues and gridlock around the host city. But as the Olympic torch was extinguished in London on Sunday, marking the end of the XXX Olympiad, those concerns were off in the rearview mirror.

Instead, we were left with heroes who had lifted our spirits for two weeks, ones who defined the Games with record-breaking performances. Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian. Usain Bolt solidified his status as the world's greatest sprinter after doubts were heaped upon him before the Games.

When we look back on London's third Olympics, it will likely be remembered for unbelievable performances, the heartbreak of a few, the plethora of firsts for women and countries, and the spirit of London that reverberated around the globe, culminating in a quintessential British rock concert for the closing ceremony.

Those moments will remain etched in the minds of those who participated and those who watched. So as we face our first day of Olympic withdrawal, we take a look back at the moments and themes (as well as theme songs) of London 2012 that we'll likely be talking about in an anticipation of the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

'This woman's work'

It'd be hard to even pick out which performance by a woman stood out among the rest. Perhaps that's because women were so dominant and prominent in these Games both for their achievements on the track, pitch and pool, and for symbolic achievements.

The "women's Games" began on the night of the opening ceremony when two women, modestly dressed and veiled, walked proudly alongside the flag of their nation, Saudi Arabia, into London's Olympic stadium at the Games' spectacular opening ceremony.

This understated entrance marked an extraordinary moment for the kingdom and for the Olympics itself, as the first occasion in the history of the Games when all countries participating have had women athletes in their teams.

London 2012: The women's Olympics?

It was a momentous Olympics for U.S. women as well. For the first time Americans sent more female athletes to the Games than men. And boy, did they deliver. While the U.S. led all countries in gold medals and the overall medal count, you can thank the U.S. women for a large part of that. Two-thirds of the times you heard the U.S. national anthem played, it was because  a female had earned the top spot in her event. And 60% of the total medals were nabbed by women. To put that in perspective, if you were to break out the U.S. women into their own country, they'd be ranked third in gold medals won.

And U.S. females put on quite a show in their path to win gold in almost every venue in London.

Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer, Rebecca Soni and Allison Schmitt each nabbed the gold in her specialty in the pool. They later combined for a wonderful relay for the team to close out their Games. The women's water polo team won for the first time.

In gymnastics, the U.S women proved up to the tough task of bringing gold back to the U.S. for the first time since 1996. Gabby Douglas won the all-around title, the first time an African-American woman had done so. Aly Raisman won a gold medal in the floor routine, a first for the United States.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings again dominated the sport they have helped make popular by winning a third beach volleyball medal, a fitting end for a team whose members say they have played their last competitive game together. The U.S. women's soccer team added another gold medal to its stash, taking its third straight medal by beating Japan 2-1 in a thrilling rematch of the World Cup final, where Japan took the crown. The women's basketball team also won its fifth straight gold, an unprecedented feat in the Olympics.

FULL POST

August 13th, 2012
11:57 AM ET

Protesting Scouts renounce Eagle awards

Earning the right to be called an Eagle Scout ranks among life's most cherished achievements for countless men. But now, more than 100 Eagles have renounced their precious red, white and blue medals to protest the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay and lesbian members.

"With sadness for the loss of the good things I respectfully return my badge and ask that the BSA consider the opinions of the more than 10,000 other Eagle Scouts who have now done the same," wrote Ray Myers on a Tumblr site called Eagle Scouts Returning Our Badges.

Protesters have posted letters and photos of their Eagle badges and medals that they've sent to Robert Mazzuca, chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Boy Scout national headquarters said it doesn't have an exact count of medals returned recently. "But we have received a few," wrote BSA spokesman Deron Smith in an e-mail to CNN. "Although we are disappointed to learn of anyone who feels compelled to return his Eagle rank, we respect their right to express an opinion. While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand and appreciate that not everyone will agree with any one position or policy."

Myers' figure of 10,000 Eagle Scouts who've sent letters of protest can't be confirmed, but Smith said the number is closer to that reported by the site 105 as of Friday.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • Protest
August 13th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Police detain Indian corruption activist

Police detained famed Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev as he led an anti-corruption march toward the national parliament building Monday, a police spokesman said.

"Remove Congress and save the country," the yoga guru said to thousands of supporters before officers took him into custody, referring to the ruling Congress Party.

The saffron-clad yoga teacher, whose televised breathing exercises are watched by millions, has been staging a demonstration since last week to demand repatriation of what he calls "black money," or illegal Indian wealth in foreign banks.

He also favors the creation of a strong anti-corruption watchdog agency to deal with endemic graft in the country, echoing a key demand raised by another veteran activist, Anna Hazare, whose hunger strikes last year galvanized huge public support.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: India • World
August 13th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

Ugandan military helicopters go missing on trip to Somalia

Two military helicopters on their way to deployment in Somalia are missing and one has crash-landed, a Ugandan military spokesman said Monday.

Four attack helicopters were scheduled to refuel in Garissa, Kenya, said Ugandan Col. Felix Kulayigye. One landed safely, he said, while Kenyan air force officials told him the five-man crew of another helicopter was safe after a crash landing near Mount Kenya.

The other two helicopters were missing, Kulayigye said.

"It is too early to speculate the reason for the incidents," Kulayigye said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Egypt • World
August 13th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Monday's live events

The two major parties will come together in the next few weeks to make their presidential tickets official.  CNN.com Live is your home for all the action from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

Today's programming highlights...

8:45 am ET - Romney in Florida - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spends his day in Florida, where he'll campaign with Sen. Marco Rubio in St. Augustine.  He'll later speak in Miami at 5:15 pm ET.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
Oversight committee to file contempt case against Holder
Republicans say Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department are concealing details on Fast and Furious.
August 13th, 2012
04:57 AM ET

Oversight committee to file contempt case against Holder

The House Oversight Committee plans to file a civil contempt suit against Attorney General Eric Holder Monday after a contempt of Congress citation passed the House of Representatives last month.

"We are filing charges against Attorney General Eric Holder tomorrow," said a post on committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa's official Twitter account late Sunday, which included the hash tag "fastandfurious."

The lawsuit was not unexpected after the White House and Justice Department said in early July that Holder will not face criminal prosecution under the congressional citation.

Legal experts said previously that President Barack Obama's assertion of executive privilege in the case would prevent a criminal prosecution under a practice dating to the Reagan administration.

Hedging their bets, the House also cited Holder for civil contempt to give it the option of filing a lawsuit compelling Holder to turn over documents sought by Oversight Committee investigators linked to the failed Operation Fast and Furious weapons crackdown. Such a case was expected to take years to complete.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Barack Obama • Justice • Politics • U.S.
August 13th, 2012
04:09 AM ET

Viewers outraged after NBC cuts away from closing ceremonies

NBC was pummeled by viewers who took to social media after the network cut away early from the closing ceremonies of the London Games on Sunday to air a new television show, drawing outrage from those who tuned in for the highly anticipated musical spectacle.

The Twitter-sphere exploded - with "#NBCfail" and "#closingceremonies" trending worldwide - after NBC cut out performances by Ray Davies, Kate Bush, the Who and the Muse in favor of a commercial-free airing of "Animal Practice."

"I still don't understand, it's a tape delay, so can't you do the math in advance? Why do you need to cut off the closing ceremony? #nbcfail," wrote Raj Sarkar on Twitter.

Actor Nate Barlow posted to his Twitter account: "Why #nbcfail ranks last: no better way to turn people off a new show than to preempt @thewho & other rock legends for it."

The network was under fire for much of the 16 days of the Games by viewers who took to Twitter and Facebook to complain about its tape-delayed coverage of big ticket events, which NBC has said was necessary to maximize its prime-time audience.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Sports • U.S. • World
August 13th, 2012
02:02 AM ET

New 'massacre' reported in Syria as snipers fire on 'anything that moves'

Syrian forces committed a "massacre" in suburban Damascus on Monday, a day after 110 people died across the country, opposition activists said.

Regime forces killed at least 10 people at the entrance of Jdeidet Artouz early Monday, but residents are unable to reach the bodies because "regime forces have been firing at anything that moves," the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. The LCC reported 17 people killed throughout Syria on Monday.

Similar tales of horror have emerged across the country.

On Sunday, the besieged Syrian city of Homs faced new terror as pro-regime forces executed 10 young men in the dissident stronghold, opposition activists said.

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stormed the Shammas neighborhood of Homs and gathered 350 young men in the square of a mosque, said the Syrian National Council, an umbrella opposition group.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
August 13th, 2012
01:25 AM ET

Mandatory evacuations ordered as wildfires advance toward California town

Firefighters were battling two wildfires in Northern California that grew late Sunday to more than 5,000 acres, forcing people from their homes in Lake County, a fire official said.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for the Spring Valley subdivision in Clearlake, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, according to Julie Hutchinson of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The larger of the two fires, dubbed the "Wye Fire," began burning at about 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET) along California Highway State 20, she said. By night time, the fire had grown to 5,000 acres.

A second smaller fire, labeled the "Walker Fire," began burning a short distance away at about the same time along the same highway, Hutchinson said. By evening, it had grown to 400 acres.

About 200 fire personnel were en route to fight the fire, she said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S. • Weather