Good Riddance, Gaddafi (Dirk Vandewalle) from the Daily Beast
"Many fear turmoil and strife after the dictator’s fall. In fact, there’s reason to believe that Libya will be just fine."
Fault Lines in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (Stephen Glain) from the Nation
"Seemingly within reach of unprecedented power in a post-Mubarak Egypt, the group faces the prospect of implosion."
WikiLeaks’s Harmful New Dump (P.J. Crowley) from the Daily Beast
"The latest revelations from Julian Assange will inhibit diplomacy, see some ambassadors’ tours curtailed, and raise the risk faced by U.S. sources who have been named. Former State Dept. spokesman P. J. Crowley on the fallout."
On Al Qaeda, the GOP's Sounds of Silence (Dick Polman) from WHYY [of Philadelphia]
"Basically, if Republicans can't tag Obama as a terrorist appeaser, or caricature him as a wuss committed to a "pre-9/11 mindset," or joke that he'd rather read terrorists their Miranda rights, they aren't programmed to say anything at all. Confronted with the factual truth that Obama's counter-terrorism strategy is demonstrably superior to the Bush-Cheney strategy (the latter featured an invasion of the wrong country under false pretenses, far from the al Qaeda epicenter, at a cost approaching $1 trillion), the Republicans are rendered mute."
Struggling with a Great Contraction (Martin Wolf) from the Financial Times [of the UK]
An important assessment of the global economy that should be read in its entirety.
"What has the market turmoil of August been telling us? The answer, I suggest, is three big things: first, the debt-encumbered economies of the high-income countries remain extremely fragile; second, investors have next to no confidence in the ability of policymakers to resolve the difficulties; and, third, in a time of high anxiety, investors prefer what are seen as the least risky assets, namely, the bonds of the most highly rated governments, regardless of their defects, together with gold. Those who fear deflation buy bonds; those who fear inflation buy gold; those who cannot decide buy both. But few investors or corporate managers wish to take on any longer-term investment risks."
The New Resentment of the Poor from the Editorial Board of the New York Times
"These Republican leaders, who think nothing of widening tax loopholes for corporations and multimillion-dollar estates, are offended by the idea that people making less than $40,000 might benefit from the progressive tax code. They are infuriated by the earned income tax credit (the pride of Ronald Reagan), which has become the biggest and most effective antipoverty program by giving working families thousands of dollars a year in tax refunds. They scoff at continuing President Obama’s payroll tax cut, which is tilted toward low- and middle-income workers and expires in December."
The Cheney Regency (Jefferson Morley) from Salon
"In his new book the former vice president disses his boss -- and boasts of power."
A related story:
Former Powell Chief of Staff: Cheney "Fears Being Tried as a War Criminal" from ABC News
"In no uncertain terms. Cheney, Wilkerson told ABC News, "was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration" and "fears being tried as a war criminal.""
Not that he ever repents anything, Cheney may eventually repent that he used his memoir to settle so many scores. The reaction from Powell and others has been, low and behold, to begin to *tell the truth* about Cheney's role in the Bush administration.
Never-Fail Prediction System Shows 2012 Win for Obama from Raw Story
"Lichtman created a formula that has correctly predicted the winner of each election since 1984, beginning with the reelection of President Ronald Reagan, U.S. News and World Report reported. The formula that predicted Obama's 2008 win is again showing that the incumbent president will win the election, despite the term-low approval rating Obama has been maintaining for past weeks."
Obama Targets GOP for Fall Offensive from The Hill
"President Obama is preparing to fight a political war this fall on two fronts -- the first against Republicans who want his job and the second against Republicans who want to make his job more difficult. Obama is taking dead-aim at the latter group, targeting Congress in a fall offensive that the president’s reelection campaign hopes will bruise the overall GOP image beyond repair."
This sounds like a version of Truman's successful "do nothing congress" message of 1948. Given public attitudes about congress right now, this strategy has potential -- but Obama and his team will have to really BRING IT to the GOP! His pattern has been to come forth with a tough message, get some pushback form the GOP, and then scale back the tough messaging or abandon it completely.
Tea Party Senate Primary Campaigns to Watch (Ben Adler) from the Nation
"Tea Party activists are not happy with Republicans in Washington, and they're preparing to challenge a whole bunch of them."
Rick Perry Panic Fires the Left from Politico
"In his two weeks as a presidential candidate, Rick Perry has done something that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney could do: wake up the left."
This is the best political news I have heard in months! Since the 2010 elections, the left has been indulging in angsty hand-wringing and over-done bitching about Obama. Now is the time to get clear that a Perry presidency (or Romney or Bachmann) would be CATASTROPHIC for EVERYTHING progressives (and even most moderates) care about. Time to get straight about that. W. Bush was able to secure a second term in '04 by his base rousing itself and rising to the moment. It is time for folks on the left to do the same!
Rick Perry's God (Christopher Hitchens) from Slate
"Does the Texas governor believe his idiotic religious rhetoric, or is he just pandering for votes?"
PUBLIC EDUCATION NUGGET!!
Confessions of a Bad Teacher (John Owens) from Salon
"I took a job in the NYC public school system because I wanted to make a difference. I ended up living a nightmare."
Modern Steinbecks Emerge to Chronicle Tough Times (Jeff Martin) from Salon
"A burgeoning literary movement is telling the story of the Great Recession through those hurting the most."
HITLER'S HENCHMEN NUGGET!!
'He Got Away Lightly with Suicide': Goebbels' Secretary, 100, Breaks Vow of Silence to Reveal Secrets of Hitler's Propaganda Minister from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"The former secretary of Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels has broken a 66-year vow of silence to talk about her service for the man who made Germans hate the Jews. ... after five months of negotiations she has given a single interview to Bild, Germany's biggest newspaper, in which she describes her four years as the chief secretary of the man closest to Hitler."
An amazing story. The Daily Beast has more on this interview HERE.