DAYLEE PICTURE: A Reed Frog in Botswana. From National Geographic.
UP-FRONT CPAC NUGGET!!
Unlike many of the critics of the GOP and CPAC, Walter Shapiro is one of the most knowledgeable and seasoned reporters on Congress.
Republican Disarray on Full Display at CPAC (Walter Shapiro) from Yahoo News
"In an era when every politician is a robotic follower of message discipline, CPAC was riotously off-message. The chief reason for the thematic disarray was that most prominent Republicans simply do not agree on the long-term message to offer that will help them win presidential elections."
Arguing Iraq—Ten Years Later: A Symposium from the New Republic
"Ten years ago this week, the U.S. began its invasion of Iraq, ostensibly in search of "weapons of mass destruction." Today, the American war in Iraq is over, but the argument about it still hovers over our foreign policy. We asked eight writers—some of whom supported the war, others who opposed it—to reflect on what the past decade has meant."
Tomas Young, Dying Iraq War Veteran, Pens 'Last Letter' To Bush, Cheney On War's 10th Anniversary from the Huffington Post
"A bullet from an AK-47 severed his spine. Another struck his knee. Young would never walk again, and in fact, for the next nearly nine years, he would suffer a number of medical setbacks that allowed him to survive only with the help of extensive medical procedures and the care of his wife, Claudia. ... He has ... saved his most powerful criticism for what he claims will be his last. Young says he'll die soon, but not before writing a letter to Bush and former Vice President Cheney on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War."
G.O.P. Opposition to Immigration Law Is Falling Away from the New York Times
"Republican opposition to legalizing the status of millions of illegal immigrants is crumbling in the nation’s capital as leading lawmakers in the party scramble to halt eroding support among Hispanic voters — a shift that is providing strong momentum for an overhaul of immigration laws."
Red States Respond To Obamacare With Angry Tea-Party Denial (Joe McLean) from the Daily Beast
"The rejection of low-cost private insurance could prove a blessing in disguise, moving us closer to a single=payer system, writes Joe McLean."
RNC Reassures Angst-Ridden Religious Right that Nothing's Going to Change (Jed Lewison) from Daily Kos
"Romney's biggest improvement over John McCain was turning out more evangelical whites, but it wasn't nearly enough to carry him to victory. Republicans basically can't win presidential elections with their current coalition."
The GOP: A Party Increasingly at Odds With Itself (Stuart Rothenberg) from Roll Call
"The Republican Party continues to fracture more seriously than I expected following last year’s re-election of President Barack Obama. ... if Republicans have a long-term problem that requires major changes in message and organization, the party has equally big near-term problems. I recently asked a smart veteran Republican pollster what his party could do to turn things around in the near future. His response what refreshingly honest: Nothing."
Social Conservatives Figure Out They’re Screwed (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"...if you think of politics as “stuff you do to win elections” and policy as “stuff you do when you win elections,” it makes perfect sense. Exploiting fear of gays and undocumented immigrants is a part of the GOP’s political strategy. It’s not really a big part of its policy agenda. Regressive tax cuts and lax business regulation is not a platform for winning elections, it’s what you do when you win an election."
What Happened to the Tea Party Caucus? (Daniel Newhauser) from Roll Call
"Democrats slam the group as a haven for radicals while conservatives tout membership among their bona fides, but the fact is Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus has been inactive for several months."
Colorado: How to Turn a State Liberal (David Sirota) from Salon
"Colorado's progressive miracle is a road map to a much brighter America. Here are 9 steps behind the transformation."
Are Paul Ryan's 15 Minutes Over? (Jon Terbush) from The Week
"A new poll shows that even Republicans are having second thoughts about their former VP nominee By Jon Terbush."
PRES-2016: No, Wait -- Could Rand Paul Actually Win? (James Hohmann) from Politico
"Here are five reasons why Paul will be a force to be reckoned with ahead of 2016, even if the odds of him winning the nomination are long."
The answer to the big question is no -- but these are the types of stories you get when there is so little actually going on in Washington right now.
FL-GOV: Florida Poll: Charlie Crist Crushes Gov. Rick Scott from Politico
"Crist — who switched to the Democratic Party after having served as a GOP governor — gets 50 percent while the Republican Scott pulls in 34 percent, with the remainder being undecided or not answering, according to a Quinnipiac Polling Institute survey."
CABLE TV NUGGET!!
Verizon, Cablevision Emerge as Unlikely Allies of Cable-TV Customers Fed Up with Bundling from the Washington Post
"Cable viewers have long complained about paying ever-higher bills for hundreds of channels they don’t want to watch. Now, in a twist, some cable companies are beginning to agree."
HOPE-FOR-PAWS DOG RESCUE NUGGET!!
Dog Rescue Mission: Parker from Hope for Paws
EUROPEAN PHOTO NUGGET!!
Nature in All Her Dazzling Beauty: Stunning New Landscape Photos Capture the Breath-Taking Countryside of Italy and France from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Italian photographer Alessio Andreani captured beautiful shots of the European landscapes for a series of images. The 25-year-old says he often had 'only a few seconds' to capture the shot he wanted as the sun rose or went down."