Wednesday, March 13, 2013

News Nuggets 1202

DAYEE PICTURE: A sunrise over rural Iran.  From the Atlantic.

What the Iraq War Did To and For the Middle East (James Fallows) from the Atlantic
"I mean to distinguish the casus belli that is now most often discussed -- the discredited and possibly manufactured warnings about Weapons of Mass Destruction -- from the vision expressed by the war's most serious-seeming advocates. These were people for whom the WMD threat, or reminders about Saddam Hussein's [alleged] plot to murder the first President Bush, were useful ways to add urgency to what they viewed as the real, moral purposes in going to war. Depending on the advocate, these included: ..."
Fallows references this book in his review here.

The Coming Collapse of the Middle East? (Fred Kaplan) from Slate
"Ten years later, it’s clear that the Iraq war cast “a very large shadow” indeed, but it was a much darker shadow than the fantasists who ran American foreign policy back then foresaw."

Popeology 101: How to Interpret the Sistine Chapel Results (Howard Chua-Eoan) from Time Magazine
"The ideology may have already been preordained since, before his abdication, Pope Benedict XVI basically packed the College of Cardinals with prelates who apparently agreed with his conservative agenda. ... Still, the politics of the Holy See will divide even Cardinals who share the same interpretation of doctrine. There are two large factions. For want of real designations, let’s call them the repairers and the bureaucrats."

Analysis: For First Time, a Pope from the United States is a Serious Possibility from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"On the day when three different size white cassocks were unpacked and placed in the room next to the Sistine Chapel for the next pope, talk emerged Monday that a cardinal from the United States could end up wearing one of them. It's the first time Americans have been considered serious contenders, particularly if voting for the leading candidates becomes deadlocked."

Smart, Poor Kids Are Applying to the Wrong Colleges (Matthew Yglesias) from Slate
"How an information mismatch is costing America’s best colleges 20,000 low-income students every year."

Paul Ryan's Budget, Simplified: Save the Rich, Spare the Old, Forget the Poor (Derek Thompson) from the Atlantic
"Paul Ryan's new budget is quite long, but its thesis can be stated briefly. If you cut spending on the poor to the bone and radically change the U.S. government's promises to help needy people pay for health care, it is remarkably easy to balance the budget."

Paul Ryan’s Magical Budget (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post 
"Paul Ryan’s budget is an amazing and wondrous document.  Not only does it balance the budget in 10 years while reducing tax rates, it also does so without any pain or suffering — or even breaking a sweat. ... Here’s how: The former Republican vice presidential candidate’s budget eliminates ___ loopholes in the tax code, cutting the ___ and the ____ deductions. It reduces spending on the ____ program by _____ and the _____ program by _____. Retirees would see ____, students would experience ____ and the poor would be _____. There are so many blanks in Ryan’s budget that it could be a Mad Libs exercise. "

Heresy Hunters Rule CPAC, and GOProud, Chris Christie Need Not Apply (Michael Moynihan) from the Daily Beast
"Ideological purity! Patriots only! The heresy hunters of this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference sniffed out and rejected those who aren’t ‘suitably’ right wing, like Chris Christie and GOProud. It’ll ensure the same losing result, writes Michael Moynihan."

How Can Hillary Pass Up 2016? (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos
"With Quinnipiac the latest to show Hillary Clinton romping toward the White House, it's becoming increasingly clear that she would face an easier path to the White House than anyone since Eisenhower, and maybe even since Thomas Jefferson."

Is Jeb Bush Running for President? (Joy-Ann Reid) from the Miami Herald 
"’s easy to “misunderestimate” Dubya’s baby brother, and to forget that he is one of the savviest political operators to emerge from the fever swamps of Florida politics."

With Woeful Approval Rating, Pa. Gov. Corbett’s Re-Election Hopes Look Dim from Talking Points Memo
"His constituents down on his job performance, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) approaches his 2014 re-election campaign in a politically precarious position, according to a poll released Tuesday. The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed a mere 33 percent of Keystone State voters approving of the job Corbett is doing. ... In hypothetical matchups of next year's gubernatorial race, Corbett lagged behind all five Democrats tested by PPP."

Survival of the Friendliest; Did Dogs “Self-domesticate”? Did Humans? (Tiffany O'Callaghan) from the New Scientist via Slate
"He was telling me that our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, are not good at reading gestures the same way that we are in a cooperative context. I said, "Wait a second, I think my dog can pass the same test the apes are failing." That's how it got started."

The Good Goering: Nazi Hermann's Younger Brother Could Be Honoured for Saving Jews During the Holocaust from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Albert Goering, who died in 1966, believed to have saved hundreds of Jews . Petitioned for them to be freed and funneled aid to refugees across Europe. Yad Vashem in Israel preparing file for Righteous Among the Nations award."

The Case for Reviving Extinct Species from the National Geographic
"There are a lot of reasons for bringing back extinct animals, the author argues."

The Kiss Before Dying: Nurse's Poignant Farewell to First World War Soldier Gassed in the Trenches from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Edith Appleton kissed Private Kerr once for his mother, once from herself.  Moving extracts from her diaries reveal she grieved for her 'poor little boy'"

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