Whitewater, Wis. Crime Map

8 Oct

Whitewater, Wis. Crime Map



Possibly the worst moderated presidential debate

5 Oct

Jim Lehrer exhibits a poor performance as moderator in the 2012 Presidential Debate.


It was PBS News Hour’s Jim Lehrer’s 12th time moderating the presidential debate; however, many agree he was unsuccessful in his attempts to take control of this year’s debate.



Both of the candidates, especially Romney, talked over him at many points throughout the debate.  “No, no, no,” he said to Romney at one point; who then ignored Lehrer and continued speaking.

Twitter exploded Wednesday night with comments on Lehrer’s performance.  A parody feed titled “Silent Jim Lehrer” was created and went viral over night.


More than 10 million tweets were posted during the presidential debate.  This set a record as the most tweeted-about event in U.S. politics.

Conservative columnist John Podhoretz tweeted that “Jim Lehrer may be the worst moderator in the history of moderation.

“Crazy that Lehrer thinks any of these answers will come in under 15 mins given how broad the questions are,” MSNBC’s Alex Wagner tweeted.

Lehrer responded to his critics by saying that part of his job was simply “to stay out of the way,” reports Politico, and that he “had no problems with doing so.” 

After the debate, hundreds of postings from news sites and bloggers came about as to who they speculated the “winner” of the debate to be. 

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow said that she could not quite declare a winner; however, she could declare a loser-Jim Lehrer.  “That manifested in a way in which the debt format was just dismantled – the format and I think the moderator, with all due respect to Jim Lehrer,” said Maddow.


Taylor Chobanian

Romney video scandal raises questions on both sides

1 Oct

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed his true opinions on voters who support President Barack Obama during a private fundraiser held in May.  Mother Jones was first to obtain video footage of Romney speaking at the fundraiser.  He openly discussed his foreign policy ideas as well as his campaign strategy, using harsh words he would never say in a public setting:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”

Romney went on with racist comments such as “Had I been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.”  Romney also told the audience that “women are open to supporting me,” but that “we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting bloc in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.”

Romney spoke freely to his fellow millionaires, displaying his disgust for almost half of United States citizens.  He contradicted himself by saying he could not speak such degrading words about Obama in public.  However, he then clumped all Obama voters into a group of Democratic moochers that hardly contribute anything to society.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina expressed her view on the quotes by Romney at the fundraiser:

“It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives.  It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

Some Romney supporters believe the quotes about the 47 percent of Americans should be interpreted differently than they are being explained by many news outlets.  Some say the quotes are made in the context of the voters Romney is trying to reach.  They believe he’s simply telling followers why certain themes work and others don’t, especially at those themes that relate to Obama supporters. 

Romney supporters also fight back with his campaign statement:

            Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. Mitt Romney’s plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs.

However, this statement was made as damage control for Romney’s image after the video was released.

The video that was originally posted by Mother Jones has led to much speculation about the reasonable right to privacy for a presidential candidate.  The unedited video on the Mother Jones website was shot from a hidden camera on a table to Romney’s left side.

The private fundraiser where Romney spoke was at a private residence in Boca Raton.  It would seem that the home owner and Romney would both have a case against the person who shot the video footage, and possibly Mother Jones as well. 

Romney verified the comments that he made at the fundraiser while even repeating some at a public press conference following the video’s leak.  So at this point it would seem highly unlikely that Romney would take any legal action against the person responsible for the video and Mother Jones.  However, they both could still face some sort of legal action from the owner of the home where the fundraiser was held. 

So has this video scandal hurt Romney in the polls?  The answer is yes.  On the date that the video was released, President Obama was winning in the popular vote by 4.1 percentage points.  As of Thursday he has gained additional ground in the polls and now leads the popular vote by 5.7 percentage points.  This is a gain of 1.6 percentage points since the video was released.  Whether the video leak is directly responsible for Obama’s rise in the polls will never be truly certain.  However, the only thing that can be said for sure at this point is that Romney is in a bind in the polls.

Regardless as to how the information in this video was released, I think that it’s a good thing that it was.  Romney had the option to take legal action after the video was released, but he chose to confirm his statements instead.  

The fact is, the video was released whether anyone agrees or disagrees with it.  It’s already been copied and posted all over the Internet to the point that it would be impossible to fully make it “go away.” 

Regardless of the fact that Romney was in a private setting, the comments that he made about many of the people in this country were real.  There is an argument for a right to privacy, but this man is trying to become the president.  I think it’s safe to say presidents of this country end up giving up the majority of their privacy rights when taking office, and even while just running for office.  

Presidential candidates have the right to know exactly what voters think about them, why shouldn’t we have the right to know what they really think about us?


Taylor Chobanian


Before/After Photos

27 Sep

How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

26 Sep

how to

“New Rules” Review

21 Sep

Thomas Friedman was right on the money when he stated that the United States will never get ahead unless we improve our education.  

Photo Source: Public Agenda

I was shocked to learn that the U.S. falls behind countries such as Estonia, which is currently training their young children to program computers in school.  After reading, it became no surprise to me that Skype was created in Estonia.  Friedman also stated that Shanghai’s public school system beat the rest of the world in science, math, and reading in the global PISA exam of 15-year-olds in 2010.                               

The current administration argues that as long as you work hard and “play by the rules,” you can achieve a good, middle class life.  Friedman argues that this is no longer relevant.  Friedman points out that Obama continually uses that phrase “work hard and play by the rules” and you should expect the coveted middle class life.  The fact is Bill Clinton coined this phrase in 1992.  A lot has changed in the past 20 years, and this phrase, in my opinion, should no longer be considered relevant.

I know a lot of kind, hard working people who are living paycheck to paycheck.  Friedman essentially proposes that if you want to get ahead in life, you have to be willing to learn new things and accept change.  Not only do you have to accept that change, you also have to learn to change and grow with it.

By agreeing with Friedman I’m not claiming that we need to teach our children to program computers in grade school like they do in Estonia, I’m simply agreeing that we need to up our education.  Everything in this day and age moves at a faster pace; and I think it’s safe to say that Americans tend to pride themselves as being “on top.”  However, I don’t think most Americans know just how far behind we really are.  If we don’t start taking greater steps to improve our education we will fall even further down on the scale. 

Taylor Chobanian


14 Sep


Photo from is a parenting website run by Jessica Ann Fisher, or FishMama as she refers to herself.  

The layout of the website is very simple with soft colors and drop down search boxes.  FishMama makes it clear that ease of accessibility and simplicity are very important to the layout of her website.  There is even a search bar, as well as links to her Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.

The basic concept of the website is somewhat of a blog.  FishMama shares bits and pieces of her life, and discusses what it’s like being a mom along with managing a home, a small business, and homeschooling.  Her goal is to help other mothers be equipped in all the different areas of life with motherhood.  

The main topics FishMama covers are:

  • cleaning
  • childcare
  • education
  • family fun
  • parenting
  • budgeting
  • cooking

She also hosts an “Ultimate Recipe Swap” on the website every Thursday.  On Fridays you can check out the “Frugal Fridays” webpage where she posts about different ways to save money each week.  

There is even a store link where fans can purchase digital books.

A book to help you organize your busy life!



Cover designs by Joy A. Miller of FiveJsDesign.

Some websites in competition with are,, and is most similar to; however, the website design of is much more professional looking, and there seems to be more content available. also looks less professional, and offers more than just ways to save money. is an online lifestyle magazine; however, it is more geared to family where is geared to mothers.

One thing I would suggest to FishMama to help improve her website would be to make an online photo album link on the site.  She seems to post a lot of photos of her family and traveling when she blogs, so why not organize them into fun photo albums for fans to enjoy.  Overall I think her website is a great site for mothers to enjoy, learn, and swap ideas and recipes.


Taylor Chobanian