Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 8:58 am
If you toss a corn dog at a state or county fair this summer, you may bonk a politician.
Congress is in recess, but for politicians, it's not recess of the kind they have in grade school. Many pols, especially in a close election year, spend the summer shaking hands at meet-and-greets. They cock their heads to pay rapt attention during listening tours and community meetings, raise money, make speeches, hurl charges, countercharges and ask for votes.
Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County. He can't vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Credit Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio
Former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack speaks at a political soapbox at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.
One of the country's toughest congressional races is in Iowa between Republican Rep. Steve King and the state's former first lady, Christie Vilsack.
Iowa is losing a seat in the House after the election, due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District against a political newcomer.
Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, has promised to improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians during his first 100 days in office. But Morsi, shown here in July, is dealing with multiple challenges, including an economy that has been struggling since last year's revolution.
Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, has made sweeping promises to the Egyptian people, saying he'll improve the quality of their lives during his first 100 days in office.
Morsi has been busy on several fronts, but he has only a few weeks left to fulfill those big pledges.
His promises have come in nightly radio broadcasts during the holy month of Ramadan. A decent loaf of bread is a demand for us all, he declared in one of those broadcasts, saying subsidized bread will be more widely available and of better quality.
The quayside at Compagnia della Vela in Venice, Italy, is largely deserted. Authorities have targeted yacht owners as part of a crackdown on tax evasion, and many boat owners have sailed to other countries in the Mediterranean.
Credit Bloomberg via Getty Images
A foreign yacht is berthed at Porto Santo Stefano. Italian police have been raiding ports to check if yacht owners have been paying enough taxes.
Italy has a public debt of nearly 2 trillion euros, and it's cracking down on its notoriously wily tax evaders. Owners of luxury yachts are a prime target, with tax police launching dockside raids to see how individual tax files line up with owning and maintaining an expensive boat.
But yachts are mobile assets. In response, many boat owners are simply weighing anchor and setting course for more tax-friendly Mediterranean marinas.
Kristian Matsson, the smallish Swede who performs under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth, sings, plays guitar and occasionally takes a turn at the piano. That's all there is to his act: no backing band, no frills. Heck, he barely needs amplification, given the volume at which he performs. But that right there — the gigantic force of his delivery, the percussive hyper-dexterity of his playing — is part of what makes him so magnetic on stage. On paper, he's just another poet strumming a guitar.