Obama Plans to Pick Up the Pace on Judges (Kevin Drum) from Mother Jones Magazine
"Sure, Republicans in the Senate have been obstructionist, but Obama himself has nominated many fewer judges than other presidents have during their first years in office. Apparently that's about to change."
Obama Pushing to Diversify Federal Judiciary Amid GOP Delays from the Washington Post
"In Florida, President Obama has nominated the first openly gay black man to sit on a federal district court. In New York, he has nominated the first Asian American lesbian. And his pick for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit? The first South Asian. Reelected with strong support from women, ethnic minorities and gays, Obama is moving quickly to change the face of the federal judiciary by the end of his second term, setting the stage for another series of drawn-out confrontations with Republicans in Congress."
Deal to Avert Government Shutdown Likely, Officials Say from the Washington Post
"The House plans to vote Thursday on a spending measure that would keep the government running after its current funding mechanism elapses March 27. It would provide funding through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, allowing new flexibility to the Pentagon to manage the $40 billion hit the military took Friday but otherwise locking in the sequester’s lower spending levels."
'Peak Oil' Doomsayers Proved Wrong (David Frum) from CNN
A provocative piece from Mr. Frum.
"Predictions that the world would imminently "run out of oil" have been worrying oil consumers since at least the 1920s. They always prove wrong, for reasons explained by the great oil economist M.A. Adelman after the last "oil shortage" in the 1970s: Oil reserves, Adelman writes, "are no gift of nature. They (are) a growth of knowledge, paid for by heavy investment." For all practical purposes, the world's supply of oil is not finite."
Republicans and Their Faulty Moral Arithmetic (Arthur Brooks) from the Wall Street Journal
"... only 33% of Americans said that Mitt Romney "cares about people like me." Only 38% said he cared about the poor. Conservatives rightly complain that this perception was inflamed by President Obama's class-warfare campaign theme. But perception is political reality, and over the decades many Americans have become convinced that conservatives care only about the rich and powerful. Perhaps it doesn't matter. If Republicans and conservatives double down on the promotion of economic growth, job creation and traditional values, Americans might turn away from softheaded concerns about "caring." Right? Wrong."
Voting is No ‘Racial Entitlement,’ Justice Scalia (Melissa Harris-Perry) from MSNBC
"Some of those same states–more than 150 years later–are still trying to pass laws that would deny the vote to the very people the Voting Rights Act, and Section 5 in particular, were meant to protect. So excuse me, Antonin, if I am a little dismayed that you now describe the rights of citizenship as a “racial entitlement.”"
Voting Rights Act Not a ‘Racial Entitlement’ (Leonard Pitts) from the Miami Herald
"Yes, the South has changed — largely because of the law Shelby County seeks to gut. Even so, attempts to dilute the black vote have hardly abated. We’ve just traded poll taxes and literacy tests for gerrymandering and Voter ID laws. So we can ill afford to be as naïve as a top court conservative at the prospect of softening federal protection of African-American voting rights. “Trust us,” says the South. And the whole weight of history demands a simple question in response. Why?"
The Elusive Soul of the Nation (Stanley Crouch) from the New York Daily News
"This is what I was thinking about as Parks and Marsalis spoke at Joe’s Pub last week. Our challenges are many, enshrouded as we are by polluting factoids. But be confident that the American character will always prevail, troubled or not — and that the whole world knows it."
This is Why Obama Can’t Make a Deal with Republicans (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"The question my column left open was whether improving the lines of communication would actually change anything. Chait’s view is no, it wouldn’t. He begins by quoting Upton Sinclair’s famous line: “It is impossible to make a man understand something if his livelihood depends on not understanding it.”"
The Story of Romney’s Career: “What I Said Is Not What I Believe” (Daniel Larison) from the American Conservative
"Earlier today, Mitt Romney addressed his well-known 47% remarks and said this: 'What I said is not what I believe.' The funny thing about this quote is how often his defenders and supporters would use this same argument during the election to protect him against criticism. Romney supporters often relied on his record as a famously unprincipled political weather-vane to defend him against any substantive criticism of what he said during the campaign on the grounds that he didn’t or couldn’t “really” believe it."
Fox News Interview Shows Mitt Romney Still Doesn’t Get Why He Lost (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast
"Nearly four months after he blamed his loss on Obama’s ‘gifts’ to minorities, Romney returned for a Fox interview to prove he’s still clueless about why he came up empty on Election Day."
Pres-2016: Jeb Bush Won’t Rule Out 2016 Presidential Bid from The Hill
"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said Monday he would consider running for president in 2016. Speaking on NBC’s “The Today Show,” Bush was asked directly if he could rule out a bid in the next cycle. “I won’t [rule it out] but I’m not going to declare today either,” Bush said."
Inside Nature's Subway: The Stunning Zion Natural Park Subway that Only 80 People Can See a Day from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"A stunningly beautiful canyon in Utah's Zion National Park has become so popular that park officials have instituted a lottery for hikers who want to discover its untouched natural beauty. Down between two peaks called the North and South Guardian Angels, the Subway's low light is the perfect place for algae to grow in vibrant and rich greens."
STUNNING is right!!