The Triumphal Rise of Aung San Suu Kyi (Thilo Thielke) from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"A newfound optimism has infected much of Burma. The government has relaxed controls and might even make room for pro-democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in the cabinet after this Sunday's by-elections. But government clashes with ethnic minorities in the north of the country have tarnished these hopes for some."
Is a Dangerous Divide Opening Between Beijing Leaders? from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"For weeks, China's communist leaders have been embroiled in a bitter power struggle that could jeopardize a carefully planned transition in the national leadership and the course charted by more moderate reformers. Although the state has tried to keep the feuding under wraps, the Internet is awash with rumors -- including those of a possible coup."
Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack (Ron Rosenbaum) from Smithsonian Magazine
"America's longtime counterterrorism czar warns that the cyberwars have already begun—and that we might be losing."
Pushing Back: President Barack Obama's Advisors Fire Back at Mitt Romney from Foreign Policy Magazine
"What specifically would you do to address the Iranian threat that is different from what President Obama is already doing? Do you believe there are still viable options for dealing with the Iranian threat short of war? What would your proposed military action against Iran involve, and how would you deal with its potentially destabilizing consequences?"
George Zimmerman Video Outrage: Where Are Injuries From Travyon Fight? (Jesse Singal) from the Daily Beast
"Newly released police video of George Zimmerman reveals none of the injuries he said he received from Trayvon Martin. Jesse Singal on how the footage lays bare the worst, most dangerous tendencies of the Internet—and ourselves."
Trayvon Martin Killing: Witness Says He Saw Zimmerman Walk Away Uninjured from the Guardian [of the UK]
"Account contradicts allegation from Zimmerman's father that Trayvon Martin left his son with injuries including a broken nose."
Sanford Frets About Prospect of Riots Over Trayvon Martin Killing (Allison Samuels) from the Daily Beast
"Residents and authorities fear angry and frustrated citizens may explode into the streets as more conflicting information about Trayvon Martin’s slaying surfaces and the investigation drags on without an arrest."
The more I read about Sanford, the more it strikes me as a place where the race relations are really messed up. I suspect that there is a really bad history here that has yet to be discussed but that is coloring this entire episode. Whites are really paranoid (thus producing folks like Zimmerman) while blacks are deeply alienated.
Zimmerman’s Father Says ‘So Much Hate’ Coming from Obama from Raw Story
"“In an interview with WOFL on Wednesday, George Zimmerman’s father, who did not wish to reveal his first name, said that people who think that Trayvon Martin should never have been shot “would have preferred my son being beaten to death.” ... "I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP,” Zimmerman’s father insisted."
The father is a former judge in this community.
The Real Boundaries of the Bible Belt (Richard Florida) from the Atlantic
"Religiosity is higher in lower income states where poverty is prevalent. The share of state residents who say religion is very important to their daily lives is correlated with the poverty rate (.60) and negatively associated with state income levels (-.56). Education plays a role. Religiosity is higher in less educated states, and negatively associated with the share of state residents that are college grads (-.55)."
A Clinic’s Landlord Turns the Tables on Anti-abortion Protesters (Petula Dvorak) from the Washington Post
"In some cases, the family of a protester who called Stave’s home could get up to 5,000 calls in return."
Obama 2012: Built to Broadcast (Tim Dickinson) from Rolling Stone Magazine
"When Obama 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe likened the campaign's email list to a television network in his campaign memoir, it was a rough analogy. But for the revamped Obama 2012 campaign, the meaning is quite literal. ... The Road We've Traveled is remarkable for its glitz and directorial pedigree—the filmmaker is Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim, who directed Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. But the same media strategy is evident throughout the 2012 campaign."
The Obama network ... I love it!
Republicans Offer Only Theater of Absurd (Maureen Gill) from the Journal Tribune [of Maine]
"Aren’t we getting tired of nothing coming out of the Republicans but a bunch of nonsensical and mendacious huff and puff? America is drowning in serious issues requiring intelligent discourse, political compromise and reasonable resolution, but what’s coming out of the right is pure Theater of the Absurd. ... If President Obama found a cure for cancer, his opponents would scream “Obama’s warring on your God-given right to die and go to heaven!”"
Obama Pollster: Romney Can't Etch-A-Sketch His Way To The General Election (Benjy Sarlin) from Talking Points Memo
"Voters are tuning in to the presidential race much earlier than usual, giving Mitt Romney much less leeway to pull an "Etch A Sketch" and reinvent himself in the general election."
WI-GOV: GAB Throws Out Few Petition Signatures; Recommends Walker Recall Proceed from the Wisconsin State Journal
"Despite conservatives' fears of an army of Mickey Mouses and Adolf Hitlers signing recall petitions against Gov. Scott Walker, elections officials found only five fake names and nearly 901,000 valid signatures collected to recall the Republican governor — far more than enough needed for the election to go forward. ... If the board orders elections on Friday as expected, recall primary elections — if necessary — are expected to be held on May 8, followed by a June 5 general election."
SC-GOV: Haley Indictment Imminent? Stay Tuned… from the Palmetto Public Record [of South Carolina]
"Two well-placed legal experts have independently told Palmetto Public Record they expect the U.S. Department of Justice to issue an indictment against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on charges of tax fraud as early as this week."
POLITICAL BOOK REVIEW NUGGET!!
How War Came Home to Stay: ‘Drift’ by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC Traces American Militarism (Janet Maslin) from the New York Times
"A book by the host of a political talk show is often an ancillary product or marketing tool. But “Drift,” by Rachel Maddow, whose show is on MSNBC, is much more. It is an argument — a sustained, lucid case in which points are made logically and backed by evidence and reason. ... Ms. Maddow’s point is that the way we go to war has changed: that there has been an expansion of presidential power, a corresponding collapse of Congressional backbone and a diminution of public attention."
LINGUISTIC POLITICAL BACKFLIP OF THE DAY!!
Gingrich Says No Deal After a Secret Talk with Romney (Ralph Z. Hallow) from the Washington Times
"Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich met secretly with GOP rival Mitt Romney on Saturday, according to a source close to the campaign, but the former House speaker says he has made no deal to end his bid for the GOP nomination."
The wording here is too clever by half. If you're Romney, you WANT Gingrich to stay in the race, not to LEAVE it. Fifty-fifty says there was a deal -- for Gingrich to stay in the race.
Dear Sugar: Beauty and the Beast (from 2010) from The Rumpus
"Confronting a letter writer who fears he may be too ugly for a romantic relationship:"