Colorado

The campaigns are pouring millions of dollars into North Carolina and the polls show a tight race, but Nate Silver doesn’t think that the state is worth the investment. While he is certainly right that North Carolina is unlikely to prove decisive, it’s easy to envision how the Tar Heel state could play a pivotal role in 2012.

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Today I’m offering my first crack at a new feature on Electionate, where I offer a daily polling round-up and quick takes on matters that I wouldn’t write about otherwise.  So what happened today? While two polls showed Obama ahead and above 48 percent of the vote in critical Virginia, the day’s big newsmaker is Romney’s 5-point advantage in Colorado.

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In 1951 the United States government responded to nuclear testing in the Soviet Union by scaring schoolchildren half to death with a short educational film called Duck And Cover. The film is roundly mocked today, but it’s a model of practical advice compared to Run. Hide. Fight. (see below), a short educational film funded with a $200,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security and produced by the Houston mayor’s office.

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In 1951 the United States government responded to nuclear testing in the Soviet Union by scaring schoolchildren half to death with a short educational film called Duck And Cover. The film is roundly mocked today, but it's a model of practical advice compared to Run. Hide. Fight., a short educational film funded with a $200,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Defense and produced by the Houston mayor's office.

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Four years ago in Beijing, James Williams won a silver medal as a member of the United States’ Men’s Sabre team (sabre has quick slashing; what you probably picture as fencing more closely resembles the ripostes of épée and foil). This year in London, Williams additionally qualified for Men’s Individual, losing in the Round of 32 Saturday morning. Tomorrow, starting so-early-it-won’t-even-be-bright with a draw against top-seeded Russia, the Men’s Team competes.

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The Gathering

IT'S JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT on a warm Friday near the Town Center mall in Aurora, Colorado, a sprawling suburban city east of Denver that seems upon first acquaintance to lack a center, and the instinct is to gather. Less than 24 hours ago, at the neighboring Century 16 Theater—its trash-strewn, popcorn-covered parking lot cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape—James Holmes, 24, allegedly lobbed tear-gas canisters into the aisles and opened fire with three different weapons at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, killing twelve people and wounding 58 others.

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If there’s one thing politicos across the spectrum can agree on these days, it’s that the 2012 campaign is awfully “small.” In today’s Washington Times, Charlie Hurt slapped the s-word on President Obama, who has “become like an old, washed-up rock star, playing to small and smaller crowds but never quite able to get that old magic back.” We had Obama himself, in his comments on the Aurora, Colo. shootings, making what was surely a thinly veiled reference to the tit-for-tats of the campaign: “What matters at the end of the day is not the small things.

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Euroguns

My friend Charles Lane, a former New Republic editor with whom I've tangled in the past over income inequality, has a Washington Post column up today (“Europe's Role In U.S. Gun Culture”) that everyone should read.

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Euroguns

My friend Charles Lane, a former New Republic editor with whom I've tangled in the past over income inequality, has a Washington Post column up today ("Europe's Role In U.S. Gun Culture") that everyone should read.

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Aurora and Batman

How startling to see the speed with which the film business can respond to audience taste. Within hours of the massacre at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, (far quicker than the removal of the Joe Paterno statue), Warner Brothers were in action. Premieres in Paris and Tokyo were cancelled. Most of the players in the movie—writer-director Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Anne Hathaway—issued statements of sorrow.

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