DAYLEE PICTURE: Quiver trees in Namibia. From National Geographic.
UP-FRONT SANTORUM-SPEAKS-THE-TRUTH NUGGET!!
Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post
Yes, we might as well. This may be the FIRST things Santorum has ever said with which I whole-heartedly agree! From a GOP perspective, though, what a dumb statement!
"Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn't the GOP nominee and for a second day compared rival Mitt Romney to an Etch A Sketch toy."
Chinese Coup Watching (Isaac Stone Fish) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Last week, controversial politician Bo Xilai, whose relatively open campaigning for a seat on China's top ruling council shocked China watchers (and possibly his elite peers, as well), was removed from his post as Chongqing's party secretary. He hasn't been seen since. Rumors of a coup, possibly coordinated by Bo's apparent ally Zhou Yongkang, are in the air. Western media has extensively covered the political turmoil"
An Exchange With Jeffrey Goldberg on 'Bluffing,' Israel, and Iran (James Fallows) from the Atlantic
"I sent him a very long opening "question" a few hours ago, and he has now sent back his first-round reply. With his approval, I'm putting this round up now. Tomorrow I will follow up with more questions, and I'll post those and his reply when they're ready. For now, here is the initial round."
To Stop Iran, the G.O.P. Should Back Obama (Mark Dubowitz) from the New York Times
"To prevent a nuclear Iran, Republicans should do the unthinkable: get behind Obama and double down on sanctions."
FACT CHECK: More US Drilling Didn't Drop Gas Price from the Associated Press
"It's the political cure-all for high gas prices: Drill here, drill now. But more U.S. drilling has not changed how deeply the gas pump drills into your wallet, math and history show. A statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production by The Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump."
U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence from the New York Times
"Declining oil consumption and new energy production have brought the United States closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon.
America’s ‘Right’ Makes the French Right Seem ‘Left’ (Pierre-Yves Dugua) from Le Figaro [of France in English]
“As a journalist, what interests me most is the need to impress upon my readers that they must abandon their instinctive desire to use the United States as a benchmark for France. Ron Paul is nothing like Le Pen. Barack Obama is more right-wing than Nicolas Sarkozy. We must stop treating the Americans like fools just because they aren’t like the French. … I say the same to Americans: 'stop believing that the world wants to be like you.'”
Please Stop Apologizing (Bill Maher) from the New York Times
"I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone. That’s why we have Canada. That’s not us. If we sand down our rough edges and drain all the color, emotion and spontaneity out of our discourse, we’ll end up with political candidates who never say anything but the safest, blandest, emptiest, most unctuous focus-grouped platitudes and cant. In other words, we’ll get Mitt Romney."
Etch A Sketch Shakes Campaign, Rattles Romney from NBC 4 [in Washington DC]
"A Rick Santorum spokeswoman was handing out Etch A Sketches before a Mitt Romney town hall Wednesday in Arbutus, Md., furthering the goading of the GOP front runner after a gaffe by his campaign earlier in the day. And it apparently worked. After the event, Romney shot back at reporters who quizzed him about it."
Media Matters Launches Radio Campaign Against Rush Limbaugh from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post
"The liberal Media Matters for America is using a past campaign against Glenn Beck as a template. In Limbaugh, however, they're going after bigger game. He's already fighting back and the group's stance has provoked concerns that an effort to silence someone for objectionable talk is in itself objectionable. Media Matters is spending at least $100,000 for two advertisements that will run in eight cities."
Obama's Romney Smackdown (Eleanor Clift) from the Daily Beast
"The Obama campaign wants to be sure general-election voters remember the picture Romney is drawing now."
Mitt Romney’s Etch A Sketch Disaster (Joe Klein) from Time Magazine
"Eric Fehrnstrom’s Etch A Sketch gaffe yesterday may go well beyond a momentary embarrassment and become a campaign-defining disaster, much as John Kerry’s “I voted for it before I voted against it” gaffe — which came at almost exactly the same point in that campaign, as Kerry locked down the nomination — was in 2004. This is true for several reasons:"
A review of other pundits on this terrible gaffe:
Etch a Sketch: The Trend that Can’t be Erased (and Other Metaphors) (Natalie Jennings) from the Washington Post
"Several Washington Post reporters and columnists offered their takes on the sentence that dominated the headlines, supplanting news about Romney’s momentum after his Illinois primary win Tuesday and the two big endorsements he received on Wednesday."
My view on the Etch-a-sketch debacle: not that he'll take any advice from me -- but Romney needs to start firing people. He has been running for president for FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS and yet his campaign would be a legless centipede, it has shot itself in the feet so many times!
For Romney, No Getting the Benefit of the Doubt from MSNBC
"He gets almost no benefit of the doubt. Every gaffe becomes a story; every mistake become fodder for late-night comedians. And more importantly, this is what happens when you don't have a solid base of support that can serve as a cocoon of protection during the toughest of times."
After a Couple Of Weeks Of His Party Getting Beat Up On Women’s Issues, Romney Faces Huge Gender Gap (Thom Riehle) from the Economist
"Among women, President Barack Obama leads Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney by 55%-38% in the Economist/YouGov poll (Week of 3/17/2012). That 17-point deficit among women right now."
Rick Santorum 1994 Campaign: The Opposition File (Jason Cherkis) from the Huffington Post
In 1994, as he was making his first successful run for the U.S. Senate, Rick Santorum was followed by a trackers, who were hired by the state Democratic party and equipped with video cameras. The trackers trailed Santorum into public events at municipal buildings, on factory floors and inside community centers across Pennsylvania. They recorded how many people were in the room, whether or not media was on hand and Santorum's every word."
Obama's "Thank You" Goes Viral from NBC 4 [in Washington DC]
"Instead of just shaking his hand, Stephon told the president he was proud of him, but not out loud. Stephon is deaf, so he did so in sign language. That’s a moment that could stump a politician. But to Stephon’s surprise, Obama responded with a sign of his own -- hand to chin, arm straight out back at Stephon. A simple, “Thank you.”"
It's great having a 21st century president!!