Wednesday, March 21, 2012

News Nuggets 918

DAYLEE PICTURE: Waves glowing with bioluminescent ocean life on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives.  From National Geographic

Good News for the Rich: New GOP Budget vs. Jesus of Nazareth (Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite) from the Washington Post
I've really been looking at the contradictions noted here between the teachings of Jesus and the views of evangelicals when it comes to taxes and social programs.  How do these things get reconciled?  
"...more than any other shift in recent decades, the strong redefinition of the core of the Gospel message away from Jesus’ explicit announcement that his ministry was about “good news for the poor” toward merging biblical values with so-called “family values” defined as anti-gay, anti-abortion, and now, even anti-contraception, is the key to explaining this support. Conservatives have managed to merge conservative fiscal ideas with ‘support for the family.’"

Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War (Stephen Walt) from Foreign Policy Magazine 
"Now that the war is officially over and most U.S. forces have withdrawn, what are the most important takeaways?"
One can only hope that our defense establishment takes in EVERY ONE of the lessons laid out here.  

The Loneliest Superpower (Minxin Pei) from Foreign Policy Magazine 
How did China end up with only rogue states as its real friends?"

On China's Great Leap Backward (Niall Ferguson) from the Daily Beast 
"Beijing purges one of its own—the Cultural Revolution isn’t over."

Oil Under Our Noses (Stephen Kelly) from the New York Times
"Thanks in part to surging oil imports from our continental neighbors, Persian Gulf oil now constitutes a significantly smaller share of American oil imports than it did just 20 years ago. At the same time, domestic oil production is actually increasing after decades of decline, meaning we have to import less than before. Taken together, these trends suggest that the oil weapon, at least in the hands of Persian Gulf producers, may no longer have the same edge for the United States."

Obama's Plan to Win Reelection (David Corn) from Mother Jones Magazine 
"The word from the White House: No more Mr. Nice Guy. For real this time."

Paul Ryan, Helping the Poor by Hurting Them (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"Ryan’s justification was straight out of Dickens. He wants to improve the moral fiber of the poor. There is, he told the audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute later Tuesday, an “insidious moral tipping point, and I think the president is accelerating this.” Too many Americans, he said, are receiving more from the government than they pay in taxes."
Yes -- and they are disproportionately from Red States.  As we have posted and discussed here before, statistically it is the Blue States who pay in more than they get out in terms of social spending.  Red States take out more than they put in.

For Democrats, GOP Budget is Christmas in March (Seung Min Kim) from Politico
"To Democrats, the release of the House GOP budget is like Christmas in March. And they’re planning a celebration of sorts. Democrats are organizing media blitzes, House floor speeches and town halls back home to seize on the changes to Medicare that Republicans are expected to propose Tuesday. To blunt GOP talking points that only Republicans are willing to confront the debt, Democrats intend to unveil their own budget next week calling for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes on the rich."

The GOP Rides Paul Ryan’s Road to Ruin (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"His snake oil-castor oil budget is a gift to Dems, but only if they give up on "grand bargains" with extremists."

GOP Releases Plan to Save America From the Poor (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"The House Republicans unveiled their new budget today, complete with a spooky video pressing home the point that only the House Republicans and their leader Paul Ryan stand between us and CIVILIZATIONAL COLLAPSE. ... All in all, we have a standard mix of specific benefits for the rich, specific pain for the poor, and a lot of vague promises that would entail pain for the middle class, without committing themselves in a way that could hurt politically."

Illinois Verdict: The Race Goes On With Divided GOP (Ronald Brownstein) from National Journal
" reaffirming the basic patterns of demographic and ideological support for the two men, the Illinois result is unlikely to significantly dent the expectation that the Republican race could careen all the way to June."

Voter Turnout Extremely Low For Illinois Primary from CBS 2 [of Chicago] 
"Turnout for Tuesday’s Illinois primary in Chicago was a meager 24 percent, officials said. It was the lowest turnout for a presidential primary in the past 70 years."
Say again? "... the lowest turnout ... in the past 70 years."!?  WOW!

A New Candidate Might Be The Best Option For An Increasingly Dispirited And Divided GOP (Doug Schoen) from Forbes
"... while the Republican presidential primary may be Romney’s to win, that has more to do with arithmetic and delegates than it does with voters."

Polarization, the Next Step (Jonathan Bernstein) from the Washington Post 
"The biggest continuing story in Congress has been the ability of Tea Partyers and other movement conservatives to keep relatively moderate Republicans from defecting from their version of the party line, no matter what that line might be."

Chuck Winder, Idaho Lawmaker, Suggests Women Use Rape As Excuse For Abortions (Laura Bassett) from the Huffington Post
"The sponsor of an Idaho mandatory ultrasound bill, state Sen. Chuck Winder, made some highly controversial comments Monday during his closing arguments, suggesting women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion. Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, which requires woman to have an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies."

In Talk Radio, Ad Exodus Dooms Limbaugh's Model (David Brock) from Politico
"Media Matters, along with numerous other groups, have begun to educate advertisers about the damage their financial support of Limbaugh’s program can do to their brands. There is a myth that advertiser actions, like those now targeted at Limbaugh, impinge on his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. The truth is just the opposite: They are a demonstration of the power of the First Amendment."

Amazing 3D Printer in Action: Watch a Working Wrench Being Made from Powder from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"We’re going to need a lot of tools as we expand into space – to build and maintain space stations and craft. However, the problem of how to replace tools should they break has always been a worry. After all, it’s quite an undertaking to fly them into orbit. But now scientists believe astronauts will be able to build unlimited replacements – simply by printing them."

Drawing “Pinocchio” from Salon
"A fascinating book traces the work of an early Disney sketch artist."

Jack Kerouac’s “The Sea is My Brother” and Other Lost Novels (Sarah Stodola) from the Daily Beast
"From Jack Kerouac’s newly published first novel to Irene Nemirovsky and Truman Capote’s forgotten work, 10 novels that were thought lost but then found."

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