A Japanese Maple in autumn. From National Geographic.
Angry America from the Editorial Board of the Economist [of the UK]
"Barack Obama and the United States are both doing a little better than Americans seem to believe."
China's Fast Rise Leads Neighbors to Join Forces from the New York Times
"China’s military expansion and assertive trade policies have set off jitters across Asia, prompting many of its neighbors to rekindle old alliances and cultivate new ones to better defend their interests against the rising superpower. A whirl of deal-making and diplomacy, from Tokyo to New Delhi, is giving the United States an opportunity to reassert itself in a region where its eclipse by China has been viewed as inevitable."
New Alliance for U.S., Russia: Fighting Heroin from the Washington Post
"While the two countries have been getting along famously in recent months, resolving serious differences over arms control, Iran and trade, they have not agreed on what to do about the mountains of heroin cascading from Afghanistan. The complaints from Russia grew ever louder - until Friday."
There has to be more to it than this!
Reform Must, and Will, Come to Russia (Op-Ed) from the Los Angeles Times
"Yukos' imprisoned leader sees a new political generation coming, one unable to accept the current power elite's corruption."
Miss the Middle Ages? Try Afghanistan (Op-Ed) from the Los Angeles Times
"The political model that best illustrates the philosophy and practice of the Afghan government is a medieval court."
It's Morning in India (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times
"What is most striking to me being in India this week, though, is how many Indians, young and old, expressed their concerns that America also seems at times to be running away from the world it invented and that India is adopting."
The War Recovery? (David Broder) from the Washington Post
"I know that Democrats have fallen into a peck of trouble and may lose control of Congress. But even if they do, Obama can still storm back to win a second term in 2012. He is that much better than the competition. In what respects is he enduringly superior? Let's start with the basics."
For the first time in ages Broder captures my view precisely -- until the last two paragraphs where his "war" comment strikes me as wildly off-base.
Can Republicans Rescind Obamacare? (Lawrence R. Jacobs and Theda Skocpol) from the Los Angeles Times
"They may be able to chip away at it, but they probably won't get the votes they need to get rid of Obamacare wholesale."
In Midterm Elections, Democrats May Surprise Everyone -- by Activating the Black and Latino Base (Errol Lewis) from the New York Daily News
"There's abundant evidence - often ignored or discounted by mainstream media outlets - that the organized base of the Democratic Party is stirring in ways that pollsters and pundits are likely to miss."
The Grand Old Plot Against the Tea Party (Frank Rich) from the New York Times
"The Tea Party’s hopes for actually affecting change in Washington will start being dashed the morning after. The ordinary Americans in this movement lack the numbers and financial clout to muscle their way into the back rooms of Republican power no matter how well their candidates perform."
Nation-Building: A Review of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier
"To like this book, you have to like politics. “Ratification” is an ur-text of the Almanac of American Politics. It has process, issues, arguments, local context, major players, minor players — and hoopla."
MOVIE STUDIO NUGGET!!
Film Giant MGM Strikes Bankruptcy Rescue Deal from Agence France Presse
"James Bond seems set to live another day after debt-ridden film giant MGM secured a deal to end months of financial deadlock, which put the latest 007 movie on ice along with the studio's fate."
Halloween 2010: History, Top Costumes, Myths, and More from the National Geographic News
"Get the facts on Halloween 2010 and Halloween history, this year's most popular costumes, record-breaking pumpkins, and more in National Geographic News's Halloween roundup."