Thursday, March 21, 2013

News Nuggets 1206

DAYLEE PICTURE: Sunset Cloud Village in the Red Land region of China.  From National Geographic.

Analysis: Obama, He Had Us at 'Shalom' (Herb Keinon) from the Jerusalem Post [in English]
"As Irit Linor said on Army Radio, discussing what she deemed the over-the-top Obama Madness that gripped the nation, if this is the way the country greeted Obama, what’s left to greet the Messiah? We are a nation that feels isolated – unaccepted and hated in the region, misunderstood abroad."

The Painful Lessons of Iraq (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post 
"Ten years ago this week, I was covering the U.S. military as it began its assault on Iraq. As I read back now over my clips, I see a few useful warnings about the difficulties ahead. But I owe readers an apology for being wrong on the overriding question of whether the war made sense. Invading Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein a decade ago was one of the biggest strategic errors in modern American history."

As Senate Passes Spending Measure, Stark Budget Views Are on Display in House from the New York Times
"The Senate passed a spending measure on Wednesday to keep the government financed through the end of September, resolving one contentious budget fight as Congress moved quickly to the next."

No, Government Spending Really Isn’t Going Up Right Now (Jared Bernstein) from On The Economy
"On the Bill Maher show the other night, I pointed out that contrary to the talking point that government spending is spiraling out of control, it in fact went up only 0.6%, 2009-2012.  Whenever I say that, I get emails from people who don’t believe it, and not just complaining conservatives.  Many progressives can’t believe that’s the case given the hair-on-fire rhetoric about Obama’s alleged ongoing spending spree. Well, here are the numbers, straight out of CBO."

Dems No Longer Fear 'ObamaCare' from The Hill
Three years after President Obama signed his landmark healthcare law, Democrats are confident they’ve finally played the politically divisive issue to a draw. Thursday marks the third anniversary of the final House vote to pass the Affordable Care Act, and Obama signed the bill into law three years ago Saturday. While the debate over the law’s merits still rages in Washington, there are also strong signs that beating up on ObamaCare simply isn’t the potent political weapon it once was."

The GOP’s Looming Gay Crisis (Andrew Sullivan) from The Dish
"In the latest polling, 81 percent of those under 30 favored marriage equality. I was shocked by the number, but shouldn’t have been. ... for the young generation, and all those who follow it in the future, the GOP’s aggressive stance and brutal rhetoric against marriage equality simply identifies them as bigots. Some may not be. But that is what they will be seen to be."

The GOP Still Won't Own Up to Its Real Problem With Voters (Joshua Green) from Businessweek
"Implicit in the suggestion is that African Americans don’t feel respected or cared about by the GOP. While that is, on the one hand, head-smackingly obvious, it strikes me as the height of cynicism that the report doesn’t delve a little deeper into why this might be so."

Shining a Light on Two Major GOP Problems (Jonathan Capehart) from the Washington Post
"The attempt to keep blacks from voting and the effort to undermine the legitimacy of the first African American president backfired — not just with his most loyal constituents, but also with a majority of the American people."

On Government Spending, GOP Faces a Reckoning (Neera Tanden, Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin) from the Washington Post
"... the so-called sequester may well be the beginning of the end of the budget wars that have long gripped Washington, because Republicans may soon face an electoral reckoning they cannot overcome. The rising coalition of African Americans, Latinos, Asians, women and young people that helped reelect President Obama does not share the anti-government sentiment of the conservative base. Time is running out for those on the right who are seeking to slash the size of government."

The Tea Party Caucus is Dead and That's OK (David Weigel) from Slate 
"There's no way to un-spin this. Nationally, the Tea Party flag is so tattered that it's not in a Republican's interest to maintain it."

With Leaders Like This, Libertarians Can't Trust the Tea Party (Conor Friedersdorf) from the Atlantic
"Wouldn't it be nice if libertarians could enthusiastically embrace the Tea Party, a protest movement that purports to be about small government and strict adherence to the Constitution? ... But for now, the Tea Party movement cannot be trusted in the realm of foreign affairs, because on executive power, too many of its leaders are still closer to Dick Cheney and John Yoo than James Madison."

Why Paul Ryan’s Star Dimmed (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast
"Once celebrated as the GOP’s next big thing, the Wisconsin congressman has lost the respect of the media and is taking fire from his own side over his fantastical budget. Howard Kurtz on how Romney’s running mate fell from grace."

The "Rick Perry Comeback" Meme is Even Funnier Than You'd Think (David Weigel) from Slate
"...why not ask whether he can come back? If Mark Sanford can come back, can't Rick Perry? Ha, ha, no. The big problem is that the people praising Rick Perry in this story worked for Rick Perry."

Steel Yourself Could a robotic exoskeleton turn you into a real-life Iron Man? from Slate
"Last week, I watched as physical therapists at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan helped Woo into a robotic exoskeleton. He braced himself for a moment with crutches. Then he stood up and strode out of the room, his carbon-fiber leg joints whirring with each step. “My kids call me Iron Man,” Woo told me with a grin. “They say, ‘Daddy, can you fly too?’” He can’t. But don’t rule out the possibility."

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