Ehud Olmert, Former Israel Prime Minister, Against Iran Strike from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post
"A former Israeli prime minister added his voice Sunday to a growing chorus of Israeli officials against a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. ... "There is no reason at this time not to talk about a military effort," he said, "but definitely not to initiate an Israeli military strike.""
France’s New Right Eyes the Mainstream (Lysiane Gagnon) from the Globe and Mail [of Toronto]
"Beyond their official labels, Mr. Mélenchon and Ms. Le Pen have much in common: They’re both shameless populists. They both loathe globalization, capitalism and “liberalism,” a word the French equate with unregulated market forces. They both resent the European Union – Mr. Mélenchon campaigned against the Maastricht Treaty while Ms. Le Pen wants to opt out of the euro zone and reinstall borders around France. "
Prediction: These are precisely the kinds of folks who will emerge across the EU in the coming years, a product of the recession and the misguided economic policies of EU leaders over the last two years.
Who Will Care for These Lost and Abused Children of Britain? (Yasmin Alibhai-Brown) from the Independent [of the UK]
"These are the best of times for the rich and middle classes and the worst of times for the disadvantaged, hopeless and vulnerable. I am talking about the children of Britain. Most are better looked after and loved than ever before in history while the rest are as wretched and impecunious as poor Victorian children. Exceptional individuals and committed organisations do try to save these lost kids, but the rest of society seems not to give a damn. More attention is paid to the recycling of rubbish than to the many kids trashed by families and disregarded by the state."
Myth Of Decline: U.S. Is Stronger and Faster Than Anywhere Else (Daniel Gross) form the Daily Beast
"Listen, the U.S. is better, stronger, and faster than anywhere else in the world."
Oil's Dark Heart Pumps Strong: A Review of Private Empire: Exxon Mobil and American Power by Steve Coll (Dwight Garner) from the New York Times
"Steve Coll’s book details Exxon Mobil’s harassment of scientists, its entanglements in wars, its withholding of information from Congress, its arrogant culture — and yet it is surprisingly impartial."
Wasting Our Minds (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"What should we do to help America’s young? Basically, the opposite of what Mr. Romney and his friends want. We should be expanding student aid, not slashing it. And we should reverse the de facto austerity policies that are holding back the U.S. economy — the unprecedented cutbacks at the state and local level, which have been hitting education especially hard. Yes, such a policy reversal would cost money. But refusing to spend that money is foolish and shortsighted even in purely fiscal terms. Remember, the young aren’t just America’s future; they’re the future of the tax base, too."
Foreclosed Homes Destroyed By Previous Owners (VIDEO) from the Huffington Post
"With millions of Americans still facing foreclosure, the phenomenon of homeowners ransacking their houses on their way out may only continue. In Florida, one in every 336 housing units received a foreclosure filing in March, according to RealtyTrac. The glut of foreclosures across the country is weighing on property values, and with former homeowners leaving their houses completely stripped, the houses are likely to drag down neighboring property values even more."
Radioactive: Revelations on Nuclear Plants Sound a Warning from the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Like a dark family secret long suspected but never confirmed, the shock of discovery is all the more lurid for coming into the light years later. So it is with the news of radioactive material released into the air -- at levels higher than any seen in the nation -- at closed nuclear fuels plants in Armstrong County. ... The plants operated in Apollo and Parks Township from 1958 through 1984. Mr. Ring found "numerous large-scale releases of ionizing radiation into the neighboring environment" during the operating lives of the plants."
Wheeling Woman's Fight with Debt Collectors Goes on Air from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"Diana Mey has played David to some of the biggest Goliaths of her time, winning judgments worth millions of dollars from telemarketers, debt collection agencies and credit card companies. In August, a West Virginia circuit court judge awarded her $10.8 million in a lawsuit in which she alleged harassment and violations of state law after debt collectors threatened her with sexual assault over a debt she did not owe."
Hardly a Close Ally, Clinton Teams With Obama to Raise Cash and Votes from the New York Times
"The 44th president is enlisting the 42nd president, both as a historical validator of his own leadership and as a PIN to one of the richest A.T.M.’s in American politics. Rather than viewing him as a relic of the past, Mr. Obama is embracing Mr. Clinton as a party wise man who can reassure both the general public and the well-heeled benefactors needed to win re-election."
The Legendary Paul Ryan (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"Ryan’s rise occurred so rapidly that an old hand like Gingrich hadn’t yet fully grasped the fact that he had become unassailable, though most (and, by now, virtually all) of his fellow Republicans had. Ryan’s prestige explains, among other things, the equanimity with which movement conservatives have reluctantly accepted the heresies of Mitt Romney. They may not have an ideal candidate, but they believe Romney could not challenge Ryan even if he so desired."
Mitt Romney’s Road to Presidency This Fall Looks Narrow on Electoral Map (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"It’s no secret that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a narrow path to win the presidency this fall. Nowhere is that reality more apparent than when examining the electoral map on which Romney and President Obama will battle in November. A detailed analysis of Romney’s various paths to the 270 electoral votes he would need to claim the presidency suggests he has a ceiling of somewhere right around 290 electoral votes."
Election Between Obama and Romney Will Be Boring—and That’s Fine (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast
"Mitt Romney peddling Muzak. The U.S. retreating from war and recovering from recession. A less-toxic culture war. The 2012 election is shaping up as a boring contest—and that’s good for America."
WORLD WAR II NUGGET!!
Excerpt from The Death of Hitler : The Full Story with New Evidence from Secret Russian Archives (Ada Petrova and Peter Watson) from the Washington Post
"On a cold afternoon at the end of March 1945, General Dwight D. Eisenhower sat down at his headquarters in Reims, north-eastern France and drafted an unprecedented and historic cable. It was sent to Moscow, for the personal attention of Joseph Stalin. This was the first time in all the years of war that the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force had communicated directly with the Soviet leader, but there were now urgent and pressing reasons for doing so. ... In the climate of suspicion that was developing between America and Britain on the one hand, and Russia on the other, such a clash had to be avoided at all costs. It could bring catastrophe at this vital stage of the War."
VIETNAM WAR NUGGET!!
Saigon: The Last Day (Lopren Jenkins) from NPR
"NPR Senior Foreign Editor Loren Jenkins was a reporter for Newsweek in Saigon when the city fell to the North Vietnamese in late April 1975. He recounts the chaotic final hours at the U.S. Embassy as the last Americans pulled out of Vietnam."