"In a significant and dramatic strike in the campaign against Al Qaeda, the Defense Ministry here said American-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the group’s outpost in Yemen, was killed on Friday morning. In Washington a senior official said Mr. Awlaki had been killed in an American attack by an unpiloted drone firing a Hellfire missile."
The Killing of Anwar al-Awlaki is a Major Blow for al-Qaeda (Con Coughlin) from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK]
"Another bombing raid, and another al-Qaeda terrorist mastermind bites the dust. The latest attack, which is said to have killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-born terrorist who masterminded the East Midlands Airport cargo bomb plot, means that 2011 is turning out to be an exceptional year for the West's counter-terrorist offensive against al-Qaeda."
Just Look at What You Did! (Nicholas Kristof) from the New York Times
"In a Mother’s Day column in the spring, I suggested that readers commemorate the day not only with flowers but also with a donation to lift up women around the world. Readers showered one group that I mentioned, www.MothersDayMovement.org, with more than $135,000 that was forwarded to a slum empowerment group in Kenya. So while in Kenya recently, I dropped by to see what was being done with your money."
Occupy Wall Street Growing Rapidly from Daily Kos
"Occupy Wall Street is experiencing a burst of rapid visibility and support. Several established groups are now getting involved:"
As some may have noticed, I haven't given this protest any coverage on this blog. To be frank, it has yet to pass the "seriousness" test. Based on what I've read and seen, the protesters are protesting "against Wall Street". Now, I think such a protest is long overdue! But what EXACTLY are they protesting against? What are they advocating FOR? So far, they have celebrated a "leaderless" approach -- but what shows up is a unusually unfocused movement that routinely lands for me as more a form of collective tantrum than a movement that has any substantive agenda worth being for or against. The contrast with the protests in Madison could not be more stark. Don't get me wrong -- I think the Wall Street protests have real PROMISE -- but, by my accounting, they are on no trajectory that I can see to fulfilling on anything. Maybe the union folks who are joining the protests see something I don't. I hope so. I'm still watching.
For the Unemployed, Geography Can Be Destiny (Richard Florida) from the Atlantic
"the geography of unemployment remains incredibly uneven. The unemployment rate was a staggering 30 percent in El Centro, California and Yuma, Arizona—roughly ten times that of Bismark (3 percent) ... "
Hispanics Rise in Key States from the Wall Street Journal
"Both Parties Vie for Support Among an Ethnic Group That Has Voted Democratic."
Obama May Have More Than Five Votes to Uphold Health-care Law (Eva Rodriguez) from the Washington Post
"The Obama administration’s decision on Wednesday to seek review of a lower court’s ruling on the constitutionality of its signature health-care program almost guarantees a Supreme Court decision by next June. And the administration is predicting victory. ... So, does the president have the requisite five votes to prevail? I think so — and maybe more."
Obama Charts a New Route to Re-election from the New York Times
"With his support among blue-collar white voters far weaker than among white-collar independents, President Obama is charting an alternative course to re-election should he be unable to win Ohio and other industrial states traditionally essential to Democratic presidential victories."
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer Will Seek Health Care Law Waiver To Establish Single Payer In His State from Think Progress
"... another governor is looking to take advantage of flexibility in Obama’s health care law in order to establish a single payer system. Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) announced yesterday that he will be seeking a waiver to set up his own universal health care system in his state modeled after the single payer Canadian health care system that began in the province of Saskatchewan"
Americans Reject the Right’s Bogus `Class Warfare’ Charge (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"Fox News is out with a new poll that seems designed to gauge the public’s attitude towards Obama’s new posture. For those making the “class warfare” argument, these results won’t be encouraging. Question: Do you think Barack Obama’s political strategy for reelection is designed to bring people together with a hopeful message, or drive people apart with a partisan message? Bring people together: 56% Drive people apart: 32%"
Are Neocons The Real Conservatives? (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
"The impulse to witness change and regard it as apocalyptic in its implications - and therefore to become more radical in attempting to arrest or mitigate it - is certainly a deep part of the conservative conversation. ... I would simply argue that alongside this strain there is an equally countervailing one of respect for existing institutions, pragmatic prudence in governing, and an understanding of the value of moderation in political life."
Sullivan is reflecting on this longer piece by Cory Robin.
Perry: Media Bubble Boy (Mark Yzaguirre) from the Frum Forum
"one reason for Perry’s lackluster performance is because he hasn’t faced direct, sharp questioning for much of his political career and he’s functioned in something of a bubble for quite some time. Right now, his policies and background are being scrutinized to a degree he isn’t accustomed to."
A good discussion as to WHY he has faced so little scrutiny in Texas.
Perry Slumps in Polls, but Not to Romney’s Gain (Nate Silver) from the New York Times
"The polls suggest that Rick Perry’s struggles in the debate — amplified by a storm of skepticism among influential Republicans — have taken a bite out of his numbers. But the spoils seem to have gone mainly to other conservative candidates in the race, rather than Mr. Romney."
Most GOP Voters Saying "Anybody But Romney" (Robert Tracinski) from Real Clear Politics
"The Republican primaries have been taking a weird, wrenching turn. The pattern could be described as chaotic, except that it has one consistent theme. That theme is that Republican voters are searching for someone, anyone, other than Mitt Romney."
INCOMPLETE/ABANDONED BUILDINGS NUGGET!!
Incomplete Buildings And Monuments Around The World (PHOTOS) from the Huffington Post
"Last week it was announced that Barcelona's iconic basilica, La Sagrada Familia, was finally given a completion date some 144 years after its groundbreaking. This got us thinking: What other monuments have been left incomplete? As it turns out, the answer is, "a lot.""