Unlearned Lessons and the Syrian Civil War (Paul R. Pillar) from the National Interest
"Diehl's declared objectives in his signed column are to absolve himself and other Iraq War proponents from any credibility gap when they advocate U.S. immersion in yet another Middle Eastern war, and to warn of how any Iraq War syndrome might unwisely dissuade the United States from conducting worthwhile military interventions—such as in Syria."
Kim Jong Un is Not Crazy (Stephan Haggard) from CNN
"March brought us a series of what pundits like to call "provocations" by North Korea. On closer inspection, Pyongyang has opted for rhetoric over actual military actions. While Kim Jong Un's pursuit of nuclear and missile capability remains worrisome, escalating signals of resolve could suggest nervousness as much as strength. So, is the regime in trouble?"
Will the Chinese Be Supreme? (Ian Johnson) from the New York Review of Books
"[China and Japan] are somewhat suddenly locked in their most sustained and bitter dispute since the war, one that doesn’t have an easy way out for either side. How all this has come to pass is drawn out in several important new books. ... at heart they share a common idea: China is burdened with historical baggage that makes its rise less linear than many imagine. By extension the authors imply that the current troubles aren’t inevitable and may be more manageable than some would believe."
The Apology Heard 'Round the World (Henri J. Barkey) from the National Interest
"The apology was as dramatic as the events that led to it: Netanyahu called Erdogan from an airport tarmac as President Obama looked on. U.S., Israeli and Turkish diplomats had been working on resolving the impasse for months..."
Egypt Becoming a Nightmare for Muslim Brothers (Zvi Mazel) from Real Clear World
"For the Muslim Brotherhood, the long awaited dream come true is turning into a nightmare. Having survived 80 years of persecution to achieve power democratically, they suddenly find themselves the focus of widespread popular hatred."
Economic Data Show That, at Last, (Many of) the Fundamentals Are Sound (Daniel Gross) from the Daily Beast
"It may be a dumb catchphrase, but Tuesday’s round of positive economic data—credit-card and mortgage delinquency down, auto sales and production up—is a sign the fundamentals are finally looking somewhat sound."
Sequestration Effects: Cuts Sting Communities Nationwide from the Huffington Post
"It's now an article of faith that dire sequestration warnings were overblown. ... This is a dramatic misunderstanding of what's actually happening. The grips of sequestration are just now beginning to be felt and the effects are already quite dramatic."
Germany Doesn't Get Much Sun. How Did It Become a Leader in Solar Energy? (Andrew Curry) from Mother Jones Magazine
"Germany’s little-guy suppliers are destabilizing big power companies. ... Solar panels line Germany's residential rooftops and top its low-slung barns. They sprout in orderly rows along train tracks and cover hills of coal mine tailings in what used to be East Germany. Old Soviet military bases, too polluted to use for anything else, have been turned into solar installations. Twenty-two percent of Germany's power is generated with renewables."
Obama Seeks to Shift Conservative Tilt of Key Court from the Washington Post
"President Obama has pressed senators from both parties in recent weeks to confirm a new federal judge for one of the country’s most powerful courts, using an aggressive strategy to campaign for a judicial nominee whom White House officials consider a potentially crucial figure in boosting the president’s second-term agenda. The effort reflects a new White House effort to tilt in its favor the conservative-dominated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is one notch below the Supreme Court and considers many challenges to executive actions."
Obama's Trash-Talkers from Politico
"Twitter is aflame these days with high-ranking former Obama aides. Liberated from any official constraints, overflowing with opinions and no small measure of old resentments at political foes and the news media, they are letting the world know what they really think — and seemingly enjoying themselves no end while doing so."
The Really Early 2016 Line: Hillary, Biden Look Strong Over Potential GOP Field from the McClatchy News Service
"The 2016 presidential election is far off, but an early sign indicates that Republicans could face trouble if Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden becomes the Democratic nominee, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll."
Early Look At 2016 GOP Field Shows 5-Way Horse Race, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; New Jersey's Christie Has Just 14% from Quinnipiac University
"Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio gets 19 percent of Republican voters, with 17 percent for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 15 percent for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and 10 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Other contenders are at 3 percent or less."
"Just 14%"? Where does that only come from? Given the right-wing thrashing Christie has taken since the middle of last year and that he wasn't even invited to speak at the CPAC conference, it's far more striking to me that he is anywhere near 14%.
13% of Americans Believe President Obama Is the Antichrist (Matt Berman) from the National Journal
"New polling shows just how many conspiracy theorists lurk among us—and what they believe."
Obama, Both Bushes, Clinton and Carter, the ‘World’s Most Exclusive Club,’ to Reunite (Zeke J Miller) from Time Magazine
"On April 25, President Barack Obama will be united with his four living predecessors in Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University, officials confirmed Tuesday. According to White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, both Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be on hand when the 43rd President’s library and museum are dedicated. The last time all five met was in January 2009 before Obama was sworn in, in a meeting and lunch hosted by Bush in the Oval Office for the members of the “world’s most exclusive club.”"
HOPE-FOR-PAWS DOG RESCUE NUGGET!!
Night Rescue: Perry from Hope-for-Paws via YouTube
Getting Happier: Three Books on Happiness from the Los Angeles Review of Books
"I suddenly realized that happiness is not something to be taken for granted (I can hear you saying “duh!”). When I came to this blinding insight, my parenting aims turned on a dime. I also discovered that my wife had appreciated this all along, and that equipping our kids to be happy had always been part of her parenting agenda."
RADICAL POLITICS NUGGET!!
Exclusive: Bill Ayers On the Weathermen, Obama’s Crap Job & More (Marlow Stern) from the Daily Beast
"Robert Redford plays a member of the Weather Underground in ‘The Company You Keep’ The group’s real-life founder, Bill Ayers, tells Marlow Stern about its radical agenda, how we provoked North Korea, and more."