Signs and Wonders
Battle of Antietam
Associated Press/Photo by Alexander Gardner (Library of Congress)
Battle of Antietam

Signs and Wonders 09.17

Campaign 2012

No stigma attached. Nearly one-quarter of young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 lived with their parents between 2007 and 2009, according to a newly released Ohio State University study. That’s up from 17 percent in 1980. Another study, titled “The Boomerang Generation,” says the number is even higher: 33 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds. “If there’s supposed to be a stigma attached to living with Mom and Dad through one’s late 20s and 30s, today’s boomerang generation didn’t get the memo,” said Kim Parker, lead researcher on “The Boomerang Generation.” The economy is a major reason for the phenomenon.

Stay tuned. With less than two months to go before the election, Republican Mitt Romney remains behind in Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. He must win one, and probably two, of these states in order to get enough electoral votes to win the presidential election. In fact, according to Real Clear Politics, President Obama has 237 electoral votes pretty much locked up. He needs only 270 to win reelection. Romney has 191 electoral votes. That means he will need to get 79 of the 110 electoral votes RCP puts in the “too close to call” category. That’s not impossible. And, of course, these numbers are just today’s snapshot. World events and the actual process of campaigning do make a difference.

Cinéma vérité. Dinesh D’Souza’s anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America appears to have peaked at the box office, but not before it hit $30 million in ticket sales. The movie is now one of the top-grossing documentary films of all time, recently passing Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth at the box office. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is the most successful documentary of all time, taking in about $120 million. I spoke with D’Souza in Washington a couple of weeks ago, and he told me, “We’re happy with the movie, and we’ve got a good plan for marketing it. Kind of a steady build up until Election Day.” It may have peaked a bit earlier then they had hoped, but not by much. It’s been a remarkable phenomenon indeed.

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Antietam remembered. Sept. 17, 1862, was then and remains today the bloodiest day in American history. The Battle of Antietam took place 150 years ago today near Sharpsburg, Md. In about 12 hours, more than 21,000 Americans were either killed or wounded. The casualties were about equally divided between North and South, but because the Confederate force was so much smaller, the losses had a greater effect. Most historians call the battle a tactical “draw” but a strategic victory for the Union because it halted Lee’s northward advance, and because it precipitated President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued just a week later, on Sept. 22. Lincoln had earlier planned to issue the proclamation, but the war had not gone well for the Union, and Lincoln’s advisors said to issue it after a Union victory, so it didn’t look like an act of desperation. The narrow victory at Antietam allowed him to do just that. Though the Civil War ground on for three more years, ultimately claiming nearly 3 percent of the American population, the Battle of Antietam is now considered a major turning point in the conflict, and therefore a defining moment in American history.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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