Tuesday, February 26, 2013

News Nuggets 1192

DAYLEE PICTURE:A Rough Green Snake in a maple tree in Japan.  From National Geographic.

China Has Its Own Debt Bomb (Ruchir Sharma) from the Wall Street Journal 

"Not unlike the U.S. in 2008, China is at the end of a credit binge that won't end well."

Revanchist China (John Lee) from Project Syndicate
"As Obama and Abe forge a common strategy aimed at helping to manage China’s rise peacefully, they must understand that China’s conception of renewal seeks to resurrect a glorious past, and that this implies revision, not affirmation, of the existing regional order. This means that they will have to limit China’s strategic and military options, even if they cannot constrain its ambitions."

Italy’s Political Mess: Why the Euro Debt Crisis Never Ended (Michael Schuman) from Time Magazine
"The political upheaval in the euro zone’s third-largest economy in the wake of this week’s national election shows us just how troubled the euro zone really is, and how dangerous its debt crisis remains to the global economy."

Overturning The Voting Rights Act Would Be Seminal Moment For Conservative Legal Movement from Talking Points Memo
"The case carries important implications, not merely for voting rights in the mostly southern regions targeted by Section 5 but also for the conservative legal movement’s longstanding efforts to limit the scope of federal power."

Trust and Society (Bruce Schneier) from the Montréal Review
"In today’s society, we need to trust not only people, but institutions and systems. It’s not so much that I trusted the particular pilot who flew my plane this morning, but the airline that produces well-trained and well-rested pilots according to some schedule. And it’s not so much that I trusted the particular taxi driver, but instead the taxi licensing system and overall police system that produced him. Similarly, when I used an ATM this morning — another interesting exercise in trust — it’s less that I trusted that particular machine, bank, and service company — but instead that I trusted the national banking system to debit the proper amount from my bank account back home."

Poll: Republicans 'Out of Touch' from Politico
"Sixty-two percent of adults say the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56 percent say it’s not open to change and 52 percent say it’s too extreme, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday. ... “Opinions about the Democratic Party are mixed, but the party is viewed more positively than the GOP in every dimension tested except one,” the Pew survey states. “Somewhat more say the Republican Party than the Democratic Party has strong principles (63 percent vs. 57 percent).”"

Why Republican Governors Hate the Republican Congress (Molly Ball) from the Atlantic

"The party's stars in the states have stayed popular by showing they can govern -- unlike their counterparts on Capitol Hill."

A Day in the Life of the Republican Party’s Search for Newness (Mark Halperin) from Time Magazine
"In the internal divisions over how to handle the end of the endgame on the sequester PR fight, the GOP is oh-so divided on what kind of legislation to offer.  Lindsey Graham and a few others are suddenly born-again tax raisers. John McCain is affronted by the notion of turning spending decisions fully over to the President.  And there remains a deep, subterranean fear that the White House would win the hearts-and-mind battle (big) if the current cuts kick in."

The GOP vs The Pentagon? (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Dish
"The trouble is: whichever of these positions the GOP takes will hurt them.  The president’s proposals for debt reduction are simply much more reasonable and pragmatic and doable than the GOP’s – and he has far higher favorable ratings than the Congressional Republicans."

If Spending is Cut, GOP Will Get the Blame (Julian Zelizer) from CNN 
"Although many Republicans are standing firm, insisting that their party will be fine if the cuts go through, there are many reasons for the GOP, through a sober eye, to see the dangers that lay ahead. The cuts could push congressional politics in a liberal direction and establish the foundation for solid Democratic gains in 2014."

How the Sequester Will Harm Republican States (Daniel Gross) from the Daily Beast
"Republicans cheering for the sequester to kick in this week may find that their big-government states will suffer the most. Daniel Gross on the budget's poetic justice."

The GOP Rage Machine and Its Mainstream Apologists (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"How the credulousness of mainstream media figures like Bob Woodward and Ron Fournier enables Republican extremism. By Michael Tomasky."

PRES-2016: Christie Not on CPAC's Guest List from CNN
"It’s considered a key speaking engagement for any Republican considering a bid for president, but one potential 2016 candidate didn’t get an invitation to this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference."
It's amusing how quickly the list of "hot GOP talent" for the nomination in 2016 is already being winnowed down.  The list seems so rich with viable prospects: Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and on.  But I think one can take this as a harbinger of what awaits Gov. Christie.  He's barely even cleared his throat and he's already toast. 

And what about that Bobby Jindal?
LA-GOV: Bobby Jindal Faces Deepening Troubles In Louisiana from the Huffington Post
"... recent polls suggest that Jindal's once-formidable job performance rating has fallen below 50 percent just over a year after he was re-elected without serious opposition. "He's got a large number of people in Louisiana who just do not like him," said Baton Rouge-based pollster Bernie Pinsonat, not usually a Jindal critic."

The Robot Will See You Now (Jonathan Cohn) from the Atlantic

"IBM's Watson—the same machine that beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy—is now churning through case histories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, learning to make diagnoses and treatment recommendations. This is one in a series of developments suggesting that technology may be about to disrupt health care in the same way it has disrupted so many other industries. Are doctors necessary? Just how far might the automation of medicine go?"

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