Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Address: Congress Should Join the President to Help Responsible Homeowners

Striking Miners Claim Intimidation in South Africa

South African mine workers at the Samancor chrome mine in Rustenburg have told Al Jazeera they're being intimidated by striking colleagues. It follows weeks of protests by miners demanding higher wages. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Rustenburg.

Cocaine the Only Choice for Some Colombia Farmers

Following peace talks in Oslo, the Colombian president has said he is optimistic that a peace deal can be achieved with FARC rebels, ending almost 50 years of conflict. However, Juan Manuel Santos said he was aware of potential threats to an agreement, which include drug and criminal gangs. In the event of a peace deal, many Colombians fear thousands of demobilized FARC rebels will find it difficult to find jobs and could turn to cocaine trafficking. But for some people in Colombia, drugs are a necessary evil, as Al Jazeera's Karl Penhaul explains in this exclusive report from Caqueta province.

Obama, Romney Campaigns Fire Up Their Base

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Energy and Foreign Policy

Air date: October 18, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the role of energy in U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy. Secretary Clinton said that “energy cuts across the entirety of U.S. foreign policy and is a matter of national security and global stability.” Topics included America’s role in gathering support for sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, energy security, South China Sea territorial disputes, U.S.-Mexico oil and gas resources, natural gas, and fighting energy poverty. She responded to questions from students in the audience in Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall.

Bill Moyers Essay: When Bosses Push Their Politics

Moyers and Company

Air Date: October 19, 2012
Bill Moyers calls out corporate executives strong-arming their employees to vote as they say.

Friday, October 19, 2012

West Wing Week: 10/19/12

This week, the President reflected on the state of the auto industry, the White House opened its garden doors to the public for its annual tours, and marked Blog Action Day -- while Bill Allman spoke on the history of the Presidential Seal.

Foreign Policy and the 2012 Election

Air date: October 19, 2012

Matthew Lee and Guy Taylor talked about the presidential candidates' foreign policy positions on the Afghanistan War and trade with China. Other topics included the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the State Department chain of command in security decisions.

Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner

Air date: October 18, 2012

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave keynote speeches at the 67th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The charity fundraiser is a traditional light-hearted joint appearance for presidential candidates where they joked about themselves, their opponents, and the 2012 campaign.  

Founded in 1946 by Francis Cardinal Spellman, the Foundation honors the memory of Alfred E. Smith who died in in 1944. Al Smith was a four-time governor of the state of New York and former presidential candidate.

Today in History: October 19th

Highlights of this day in history: British surrender at Yorktown decides American Revolution; Stock market crash hits Wall Street in late 1980s; Napoleon's forces begin retreat from Moscow; Concorde makes first landing in New York. 

Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban Shows Improvements

Sources:BBCThe New York TimesCNN
The Washington PostThe Christian Science Monitor 

By Nichole Cartmell

Anchor: Megan Murphy

Video courtesy of

Federal Reserve Bomb Plot Foiled, Suspect Arrested

Sources:WABCWNBCThe New York Post 

By Christina Hartman

Anchor: Christina Hartman

Video courtesy of

Protests as Northern Ireland's First Abortion Clinic Opens

Sources:BBCIrish ExaminerForeign Policy 

By Elizabeth Hagedorn

Anchor: Lauren Zima

Video courtesy of

Al Jazeera Speaks to Experts and Eye-Witnesses on the Bombing in Beirut

Al Jazeera interviews Omar Nashabe, the head of the justice and legal affairs department of Al Akhbar newspaper, and Nadim Badran, a resident of Achrafieh.

China Conducts Naval Drills

China is conducting naval drills in the East China Sea That is likely to further strain relations between China and Japan. The two countries are involved in a bitter dispute over the islands called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. Divya Gopalan reports.

EU Leaders Agree on Bank Supervisor

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have reached an agreement on appointing a banking supervisor for the Eurozone. France has been pushing to get all six thousand banks in the 17 euro countries under a single body by the end of this year. Al Jazeera Nick Spicer reports from Brussels.

Intense Fighting in Mali After President Deposed

African and European nations are meeting in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, to finalize plans for a military assault in the country's north. Northern Mali has seen intense fighting since April when army officers deposed President Amadou Toure. Al Jazeera's Mohammad Vall reports from Bamako.

Using Robots to Try and Save U.S. Jobs

Manufacturing in the US has been in decline for decades. Companies seeking cheaper labor and lower production costs have gone overseas, taking American jobs with them. But a small technology company in Boston thinks it has a way to bring some of those jobs back. And their proposal is straight out of science fiction. Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler explains.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boy Scouts to Release 'Perversion Files'

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Bill Clinton: Romney "Thinks We're Dumb"

During an Obama campaign rally in Parma, Ohio, on Thursday, former President Bill Clinton went after Mitt Romney's tax plan, alleging the GOP nominee "thinks we're dumb."

Federal Budget and the 2012 Election

Air date: October 18, 2012

Matthew Cooper talked about National Journal's latest “Congressional Connection” poll on the key issues facing Congress, specifically, options to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the impending tax increases and budget cuts at the end of 2012 if Congress cannot reach a new budget agreement.

Moyers Moment (1999): Justices Breyer and Kennedy on Money in our Courts

Posted on the Bill Moyers website on October 17, 2012.
In this Moyers Moment from 1999, Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy explain the impact of judicial campaign contributions on our court system.

McDonough Meets with Iraqi and Afghan Leaders

Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor

Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan October 15-17. In meetings in Baghdad on October 15, Mr. McDonough underscored the U.S. commitment to Iraq’s success through the structure of the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement.  He reviewed our cooperation on security issues, and discussed how the U.S. and Iraq could further improve their partnership, including on counterterrorism.  In meetings with President Talabani, Prime Minister Maliki, and with Parliament Speaker Nujayfi and others, Mr. McDonough stressed the President’s support for Iraq’s independent democratic institutions, and urged inclusive dialogue toward national reconciliation. Mr. McDonough reiterated our view that that any investigation into Iraq’s Central Bank must be transparent, in accordance with Iraqi law and free from political influence to avoid undermining the independence of the institution or investor confidence in Iraq. In all of his meetings with Iraq’s leaders, Mr. McDonough discussed Syria, with a particular focus on ensuring that violence from Syria does not degrade Iraq’s domestic security.  During his visit to Baghdad, Mr. McDonough spoke with Roman Catholic Archbishop Jean Sleiman and expressed the President’s continuing support for the rights and security of all of Iraq’s minority groups. 

On October 16 and 17 in Afghanistan, Deputy National Security Advisor McDonough met with U.S. civilian and military leaders, as well as our coalition and Afghan partners, in Kabul, and in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan.  In these meetings, he discussed the current state of transition to Afghan lead and our progress towards meeting the objectives agreed to at the NATO Summit in Chicago earlier this year.  In Kabul, Mr. McDonough met with General Allen and other senior ISAF officials to discuss the military campaign, the transition process, and the status of building and strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to assume responsibility as U.S. and coalition forces continue to draw down. Mr. McDonough also met with Ambassador Cunningham and Embassy staff to discuss Afghanistan’s political transition, including reconciliation, the upcoming 2014 elections, and implementation of our mutual commitments under the Strategic Partnership Agreement. Mr. McDonough completed his visit by meeting with military personnel in Regional Command-East and Regional Command-South, to hear their perspective on the challenges they face as we move forward, including the recent troubling trend of insider attacks and the mitigation steps being taken against them.

'What We Did Here in New York Can Only Be The Beginning'

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Court Ruling Regarding Defense of Marriage Act

"In June 2011, New York State inspired the rest of the nation by becoming the largest state to achieve marriage equality. Today’s ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit provides further momentum for national progress on this important civil rights issue. What we did here in New York can only be the beginning, and we must continue to work together until all Americans are free to marry whom they love and are entitled to all of the rights and benefits of marriage equally, regardless of sexual orientation."

Details on the ruling are available in this New York Times article

Image courtesy of

Today in History: October 18th

Highlights of this day in history: Inventor Thomas Edison dies; Three scientists share Nobel prize for DNA work; Anthrax scare hits CBS in New York; Two U.S. athletes suspended for Mexico City Olympics protest; Rock star Chuck Berry born.

Romney Recorded: Asking Employers to Sway Votes?

Sources:MediaiteThink Progress
In These TimesThe Atlantic Wire 

By Kerry Leary

Anchor: Jasmine Bailey

Video courtesy of

Newsweek Ending Print Publication

Sources:WNBCThe Daily BeastHLN

By Jasmine Bailey

Anchor: Jasmine Bailey

Video courtesy of

UN Somalia Chief Calls for Aid to Stave Off Food Crisis

The UN's humanitarian affairs coordinator for Somalia is calling for international donors to step up assistance. Mark Boden has recently resigned from his post. But on the eve of his departure, he told Al Jazeera's Peter Greste that international support is slipping in the middle of a food crisis.

Captured Syrian Pilot Speaks to Al Jazeera

A Syrian air force pilot captured by rebels after his plane was shot down has told Al Jazeera that he did not know he was bombing civilians. Captain Roni Ibrahim said he and his fellow pilots were isolated from the reality of the conflict. Ibrahim said he was speaking freely, though Al Jazeera was unable to verify the claim. Anita McNaught has this exclusive report from the northern town of al-Bab.

Thousands Protest in Athens Anti-Austerity Rally

Thousands of Greek protesters have responded to their leader's plans for austerity measures by gathering in Athens for an anti-austerity rally. Some of the demonstrators pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and pieces of marble. The protest in the capital is part of a nation-wide strike that has shut down rail service, grounded flights and closed schools. Al Jazeera's Dominic Kane reports from Athens.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

UN Envoy Warns of Syria Crisis Spillover

Syria's 19-month conflict can set the entire region ablaze, international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has warned. Al Jazeera's Rula Amin reports from Beirut, where Brahimi held talks with Lebanese officials on Wednesday.

Abortion, Gay Marriage Rights Left Out on U.S. Presidential Campaign Trail

President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, stake out opposite positions on abortion rights and gay marriage. Obama supports both while Romney is against both. But the candidates rarely mention social issues on the campaign trail because those issues have lost the power to sway voters. Cultural conservatives are already Republican while cultural liberals are already in the Democratic party. The potential of those issues as crossover issues have declined dramatically over the past 20 years.

Viewer Reaction to the Second Presidential Debate

Paul Ryan: Romney 'Won the Debate'

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'The President's Performance Has Made it An Easy Choice'

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Second Presidential Debate

"The second debate was clearly a decisive victory for President Obama. He demonstrated he has an effective record as commander in chief, presented a real plan for moving America's economy forward, and provided a stark contrast to Mitt Romney's endorsement of the same failed ideas that led us into this fiscal crisis in the first place. New Yorkers and all Americans were given a clear choice in this debate for our nation's future and the President's performance has made it an easy choice."

Senator Addabbo to Host Annual Job Fair

At Senator Addabbo's 4th Job Fair held at The Shops at Atlas Park in October 2011 in Glendale, thousands of people from around the metro area attended to explore job opportunities with over 100 potential employers. During the event, the senator discussed the state of the economy with local job seekers as he handed out the list of employers/recruiters inside.
(Click on photo to enlarge.) 
Free Public Event Will Be Held at Resorts World NY

On October 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. will host his annual job fair at Resorts World NY (RWNY) at Aqueduct Racetrack, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., South Ozone Park.

The event will take place indoors and attendees are urged to dress in business attire and bring copies of resumes. Over 150 potential employers are expected to be on hand.

The workshop schedule includes:  11 a.m. - How to Successfully Work a Job Fair; 12 p.m. - How to Use Social Media to Find a Job; and 1 p.m. - Preparing for a Career Change.

Free parking will be available and the location is wheelchair accessible.  

Here are several travel routes to the racetrack:

Take the Far Rockaway A-train to Aqueduct/No. Conduit Avenue station and walk to track, or take the RWNY shuttle bus to casino entrance, which runs every 15 minutes.

Take the Q 11 bus on Woodhaven Boulevard to Liberty Avenue. stop, then the Q 7 east to RWNY at Aqueduct.  

Take the Q 7 bus along Sutter Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard to RWNY at Aqueduct.

Take the Q 37 from Union Turnpike via 111th Street to RWNY at Aqueduct.

Take the Q 41 from Howard Beach or Jamaica Avenue to the Centreville & Rockaway Boulevard stop, and walk east to racetrack & casino entrance.  

Check online at here for more specific public transit directions.

For more information, driving directions, or if you would like to attend, contact either of Senator Addabbo’s district offices:  Howard Beach at 718-738-1111 or Middle Village at 718-497-1630.

Photo courtesy of the office of Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. 

Today in History: October 17th

Highlights of this day in history: Arab oil embargo fuels energy crisis; Americans clinch revolutionary victory at Saratoga; Deadly quake hits northern California; Mobster Al Capone convicted of tax evasion; Playwright Arthur Miller born. 

Maine Earthquake Felt Across New England

Sources:USGSNews 13WTICLos Angeles Times 

By Shanley Reynolds

Anchor: Brice Sander

Video courtesy of

Thousands Displaced by Floods in Nigeria

The people in this region are no strangers to rain. But this has been the heaviest rainfall in 40 years. Many blame the government for their suffering and say the authorities were not prepared to evacuate people, provide shelter and other emergency services - despite a warning that there would be major flooding this year. Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.

Spanish Students Join Anti-Austerity Campaign

Students in Spain are voicing their anger over the cuts in the education budget, saying their future is now at stake. Since 2010, some $6.5 billion have been cut from education funding in Spain. Tens of thousands of teaching jobs have been lost, class sizes have risen, and there have been dramatic increases in tuition fees. Scholarships, subsidies for textbooks and school dinners have disappeared, and other support grants have been cancelled. Students are deeply concerned, not least by comments this week from Spain's education minister. Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reports from Madrid.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama and Romney Set for Second Debate

Obama arrives in New York for town hall style debate as polls show half of US voters prefer his Republican rival.

Tucker Carlson on the Presidential Debate and 2012 Election

Tucker Carlson previewed the evening's presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, and talked about the 2012 election. He also responded to viewer telephone calls and electronic communications, and questions from Hofstra University students. 

NYS Assemblyman James Conte Dies

James D. Conte

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"It is with great sadness that we hear news of the passing of Jim Conte, who served Long Island residents and our entire state for more than two decades as a member of the Assembly. Throughout his career, Jim was an outspoken advocate on important issues facing not just his constituents and community, but all New Yorkers. He fought to increase awareness for tissue and organ donation and boost enrollment in donor registry, so those needing vital transplants could be given a new hope for life. The passage of 'Lauren's Law' this year reflected Jim's dedication and commitment to this important issue. In addition, Jim has worked for years to protect Long Island's beautiful natural habitats to ensure the region's shores and beaches could be enjoyed by visitors and residents for years to come. Above all else, Jim will be remembered for his kindness and genuine concern for the wellbeing of others, and with his passing, our state has lost a true public servant and a man of integrity and character. We will miss Jim, and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my condolences to his friends and family."

Details on Assemblyman Conte's life and death can be read in this 
New York Daily News article.

New Consumer Protections Issued to Protect Children

Manufacturers and Retailers Must Comply with New Product Safety and Recall Regulations

The New York Department of State today announced the adoption of new consumer protections aimed at shielding children under the age of twelve from dangerous and hazardous durable juvenile products and children’s products manufactured, distributed and/or sold in New York State.

The new consumer protection regulations set requirements for labeling standards, recalls notifications and removal of recalled toys and children’s products from the marketplace.

“These new consumer protections go a long way towards protecting New York children from unsafe toys and durable juvenile products. Recalled items which all too often remain on store shelves continue to pose a danger to unsuspecting users and have for too long exposed children to needless hazards”, said New York Secretary of State Cesar Perales.

“New Yorkers can have a renewed sense of confidence that the products they purchase for their children are safe.”

The new State consumer protections are specifically directed at entities within the children’s and durable juvenile products marketplace including manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

A manufacturer who introduces durable juvenile products for sale or distribution in New York State must include a product label in accordance with requirements as prescribed by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and must also include an owner product safety card for consumers to register their purchase.

Within twenty-four hours of issuing or receiving a product recall or warning notification from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the manufacturer must inform all retailers where the products have been delivered of the recall. Consumers who have turned in an owner safety card must also be contacted by the manufacturer.

 “To protect our kids, New York’s parents and family caregivers need accurate, timely information about unsafe toys and children’s products,” stated Chuck Bell, programs director for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. 

“No parent or caregiver wants to have hazardous products in the home, if the manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission has called for that product to be removed from the marketplace. These tough new rules will help ensure that recalled products are quickly removed from store shelves, and that consumers are promptly notified of hazards involving children’s products.  We commend the Department of State for its leadership in working with manufacturers and retailers to improve our New York’s safety system for children’s products.”

These new State consumer protections also mandate that retailers of durable juvenile products do not take delivery of, nor introduce for sale, any children’s product that does not have appropriate labeling.
Upon knowledge of a recall regarding a children’s product or a durable juvenile product, a retailer who has sold or is offering such product for sale must remove the hazardous children’s product or durable juvenile product from the store shelves; and post the recall or warning notice conspicuously for at least 60 days at all of the retailer’s locations where such item had been or was being sold.

The adoption of these regulations will provide stronger consumer protection to parents by arming them with information about the toys and children’s products they wish to purchase and timely information regarding recalls.

The regulations will be effective in three months after the notice of adoption. Those found to have violated the new regulation could face the imposition of a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.

 The New York Department of State shall impose penalties of up to $50,000 upon the occasion of a second violation or subsequent violations of these consumer protections.

Today in History: October 16th

Candy Crowley: Obama, Romney Scared of Journalist?

Sources:CNNTIMEFox NewsNew York Magazine
Fox News InsiderMSNBC 

By Dan Kennedy

Anchor: Neville Miller

Video courtesy of

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Quits, Michael Corbat Takes Over

Sources:CNNCNBCLos Angeles Times
The Wall Street Journal 

By George Dumontier

Anchor: Lauren Gores

Video courtesy of

U.S. Increases Military Drills in Asia

The U.S. navy has increased its training exercises off the coast of Thailand. The new drills are part of a strategic campaign which the White House calls its "pivot to Asia", but others see the rise in military activity as a political move by the US to flex its muscles. It comes at a time of deep tension over territorial disputes surrounding the group of islands known as the Scarborough Shoal. Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett got access to one of the vessels before exercises began.

Latino Vote Key to Swing States

The growing numbers of Latino voters living in critical swing states could have a powerful impact on this year's US presidential race. The fastest growing ethnic group in the country could play crucial role in four key states: Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina. However, as Republican anti-immigrant rhetoric continues and the Obama administration's record deportation numbers, getting Latino voters to move beyond their disillusionment will be a major challenge for both parties. Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds reports from Phoenix.

Iraq Limits Number of Syrian Refugees

Thousands of Syrians are fleeing the conflict at home to take refuge in neighboring countries. Jordan has announced it will open a second camp meaning as many as 250,000 refugees could be held in the country. But Iraq, another Syrian neighbor , is now limiting the numbers coming over the border saying it lacks the security and resources to hold them. Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from the al-Qaim refugee camp.

Cruise Ship Captain Meets Survivors in Italy

The captain blamed for the sinking of a cruise ship in Italy has apologized to survivors during a court hearing.   The Costa Concordia liner capsized in January, killing 32 people.   A lawyer for the victim's families says no one should have died.   Charlie Angela reports from Grosseto.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"In This Case, There's Going to Be a Tremendous Difference"

Lloyd Strayhorn Predicts a Major Victory for President Obama in the Second Debate

Fresh off his prediction that Joe Biden would defeat Paul Ryan in the vice presidential debate, which many believe was the case, world-famous astro-numerologist Lloyd Strayhorn's forecast says the stars and numbers overwhelmingly favor President Barack Obama, and that he will not pull punches during the second presidential debate on October 16. This interview segment was conceived, directed, edited and written by "The G-Man".  

"The U.S. Has Not Been Proactive on Korea"

Expert on the Asian Region Says the Obama Administration Must Address the Tension Between North and South Korea, China and Japan 


On October 12, From The G-Man contacted Charles K. Armstrong, the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences at Columbia University, in New York City, to discuss the growing tension in the Asian region and how the United States could be impacted.  

Dr. Charles Armstrong

Dr. Armstrong specializes in modern Korean, East Asian and international history. He has served as a special guest commentator on the Asian region for this news and information site since 2009, and From The G-Man proudly welcomes him back for an analysis of the recent conflicts involving North and South Korea, China, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan. 

Image of North/South Korea map courtesy of

Image of East Asia map courtesy of

Biden Versus Ryan: A TKO?

A Special Guest Commentary by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Les Payne

Biden Versus Ryan: A TKO?
In a match between an aging contender and a young upstart, the benefits of experience were clear

The vice-presidential debate, which set the table for the Romney-Obama rematch at Hofstra University on Oct. 16, resembled an old-fashioned boxing match between a cagey veteran and a wiry upstart from a GOP Party that is 98 percent white.

Unlike President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who stayed in their corners during the first of three debates, their stand-ins for high office clearly went down to Kentucky Thursday night to rumble. Vice President Joe Biden had all the moves of what might pass in some quarters as belonging to a black street fighter, while small-town Paul Ryan came on as the great white hope.

The tone was set early when a punch from the 69-year-old vice president came from nowhere and staggered his 42-year-old opponent during the debate last night.

The vice president landed his left hook over the matter of the $20 million that Rep. Paul Ryan had requested from the very Department of Energy he had just criminally accused of "crony capitalism and corporate welfare." Both Ryan and Romney have sharply criticized the $90 billion stimulus program the Obama administration committed to support clean energy.

"[Ryan] writes me a letter saying -- writes the Department of Energy a letter," said Biden, "saying 'The reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs.' His words! And now he's sitting here looking at me" talking "about cronyism … I wish he would be a little more candid."

The counterpunch seemed momentarily to have put Ryan on what boxing writers call "queer street," as his droopy eyes went blank and the smirk receded from his razor lips. When the Boston Globe in August revealed that Ryan sent four letters requesting funds for a conservation group, the Wisconsin congressman told an Ohio TV station: "I never asked for stimulus."

Last night, moderator Martha Raddatz challenged Ryan: "You did ask for stimulus money, correct?"

"On two occasions," he said, struggling to get his legs back under him. "We, we, we advocated for constituents who are applying for grants. That's what we do … "

"I love that," said Biden, barely able to contain himself. "I love that."

It was one moment of the vice-presidential debate when the two opponents personally butted heads. Most of the 90 minutes were spent in defense -- or attacking the record -- of public statements and even the characters of Obama and Romney.

With almost as many years in the U.S. Senate as Ryan is old, Biden smiled condescendingly as he worked the opening foreign-policy rounds on Libya, Iran and Afghanistan. Repeatedly, he out-punched the less prepared Ryan, derisively dismissed as "my friend," with shouts of: "That's a bunch of malarkey," "Not a single thing he said is accurate," "This is a bunch of stuff" and "Look, here's the deal."

So tough was Biden in such clinches that, at one point, Ryan pleaded: "Mr. Vice President, I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other."

After stumbling on during discussions about Iran and Afghanistan, Ryan regained his footing in the more familiar arena of domestic policy, fighting Biden to a near standstill and leaving viewers to choose sides between the two parties' starkly different viewpoints on taxes, job cuts and Medicare. And though each is Catholic, their views on abortion diverged, with Ryan opposing abortion in almost all cases and Biden supporting Roe v. Wade.

The vice president turned and directly challenged TV viewers to consider Supreme Court appointments when choosing between Obama and Romney.

"The next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That's how close Roe v. Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for -- for Mr. Romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? Do you think he's likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw (inaudible) -- outlaw abortion?"

The congressman drew the audience laugh of the night when defending against gaffe-prone Biden's reminder of Romney's 47-percent remarks. "With respect to that quote," Ryan retorted, "I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way."

In the wake of the ensuing outburst from the Centre College crowd, Biden shot back, "But I always say what I mean. And so does Romney." Later, he added, "That little soliloquy on 47 percent -- [if] you think [Romney] made a mistake ... I got a bridge to sell you."

All night, the split-screen TV shots showed the two men seated before the moderator at a table, oddly appearing to look off-screen. Biden gazed to the left and Ryan to the right, as if talking to someone on opposing window ledges. In a cagey move, Ryan turned directly to face the camera and ended the debate with a rehearsed attack on the Obama administration.

"The choice is clear, and [it] rests with you," he said. "Thank you."