Monday, September 30, 2013

News Nuggets 1306

DAYLEE PICTURE: A REALLY BIG rubber duck in the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh.  From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dawn of a Revolution in Health Care from the Editorial Board of the New York Times
"The United States is embarking on a truly historic journey toward near-universal health care coverage this week. Starting Tuesday, the federal government will make it possible for millions of uninsured Americans who can’t get health insurance, or can’t afford it, to obtain coverage with the aid of government subsidies. It is a striking example of what government can do to help people in trouble."

GOP Wants Obama To Negotiate With Himself (Stan Collender) from Capital Gains and Games
"One of the biggest differences between the current shutdown situation and the ones that occurred in 1995 and 1996 is that Bill Clinton could negotiate with Newt Gingrich knowing that the deal they agreed to would be accepted by their respective political parties. That's absolutely not the case today. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) clearly does not speak for the House GOP caucus. Indeed, Boehner has been slapped down by his caucus so often and so hard in recent days that it's more likely almost anything he would agree to will be rejected out of hand than it will be taken seriously. There's no one after Boehner."
As I have noted here before, one party with no leader is actually not a party anymore.  It's at least two parties.  You listen to the countless stories like this one and what's the common denominator?  Boehner and the GOP leadership in the House (increasingly) are viewed by the grassroots of their own party as the "enemy."  The Democrats have received remarkably little attention in what is shaping up as a major knife fight between mainline conservatives and the hard right -- and, as of now anyway, you'd have to give the "edge" to the hard right.  By almost any measure, Ted Cruz's profile has been enhanced among the grassroots while, here again by most measures, Boehner's has seen his decline even further.

No Following this Leader (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post 
"Boehner’s collapse as speaker has been sad to watch. Unable to control his own caucus, negotiate effectively with the president or pass legislation, he flounders in office — a likable man who is utterly ineffective. He is the prisoner of the extreme wing of his party, and of his supposed lieutenants, such as Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who spend their time pandering to the extremists rather than helping Boehner lead."

House Republicans Really Believe Democrats Will Cave On Obamacare To Avoid A Government Shutdown from the Huffington Post
"The GOP rank-and-file still believe that the Senate might accept and the White House might sign a one-year delay of Obamacare in exchange for two months of sequester-level spending to briefly stave off a government shutdown."

Ted Cruz Republicans Listen Only to Themselves (Ezra Klein) from Bloomberg News Service
"Washington Republicans, in other words, aren’t listening to the public and they’re not listening to their own leaders. So who are they listening to? One another, mostly...."

Here Comes the Shutdown: Three Reasons It Will Hurt the GOP (David Frum) from the Daily Beast
"Uh oh! A House plan to delay Obamacare has put the government on the brink of a shutdown—for real this time. David Frum on why the infighting is sure to backfire on the Republicans.  ...  the party is charging forward anyway. Why? The short answer is a breakdown in the party's ability to govern itself. It can't think strategically. Even when pressed to do something overwhelmingly likely to end in disaster, as this shutdown looks likely to do for Republicans, the party has no way to stop itself."

Will a Government Shutdown Chill Congressional Republicans Out? No (Molly Ball) from the Atlantic
"Optimistic commentators think closure could keep the country from breaching the debt ceiling. But there's no reason a few stubborn House members can't provoke both."

The House GOP’s ‘Touch-the-Stove’ Moment from Politico
"For the House GOP leadership, this has become known as the “touch-the-stove moment.” After nearly three years of narrowly avoiding government shutdowns, debt defaults and other fiscal follies, House Republicans appear poised to finally grasp the hot stove-top and allow federal government operations to begin shutting down early Tuesday morning."

5 Ways the 'Defund ObamaCare' Crusade Hurts Republicans (Matt K. Lewis) from The Week
"If anything good happens down the road, they will argue this laid the groundwork for that by "starting the conversation" with the American public about how bad ObamaCare is. I'm not buying it. Here are five reasons why conservatives are worse off for having fought this battle."

House Republican Hostage Takers Are Unfit to Govern (Jon Favreau) from the Daily Beast
"They’re threatening an economic shutdown that will cause financial hardship and even ruin for millions of Americans. So let’s call these House Republicans what they are, says Jon Favreau."

Absurdistan, D.C.: How Republicans are Threatening to Turn Washington into a Failed State from Foreign Policy Magazine
"As if the public was going to take more seriously a stage setting that looked like the warped mirrors in a sideshow fun house."

Republicans Aren’t Hostage-Takers, They’re Political Terrorists (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Today’s Republicans will never release the hostage—instead they’re intent on taking down Obama, and they don’t care if they go down with him, says Michael Tomasky as we head toward a shutdown."

Thomas Jefferson’s Quran: How Islam Shaped the Founders (R.B. Bernstein) from the Daily Beast
"What role did Islam have in shaping the Founders' views on religion? A new book argues that to understand the debate over church and state, we need to look to their views on Muslims, writes R.B. Bernstein."

Granddaughter of ‘Schindler’s List’ balcony sniper Amon Goeth publishes memoir from the Agence France-Presse
"Teege is the child of a Nigerian student and the German daughter of Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp outside Krakow in today’s Poland who featured in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List”."


Saturday, September 28, 2013

News Nuggets 1305

DAYLEE PICTURE: A copper plant in the Congo.  From National Geographic.

U.S. and Iran Agree to Speed Talks to Defuse Nuclear Issue from the New York Times
"The long-fractured relationship between the United States and Iran took a significant turn on Friday when President Obama and President Hassan Rouhani became the first leaders of their countries to speak since the Tehran hostage crisis more than three decades ago."

Suddenly, Great Expectations for Iran-U.S. Relations (Christopher Dickey) from the Daily Beast
"American diplomatic breakthroughs with Russia and Iran mark a turning point in the Middle East. By Christopher Dickey."

How to Stop Iran: Obama's War By Other Means (Christopher Dickey) from the Daily Beast
"The historic phone call with Iran’s president and the breakthrough deal on Syria show the threat of military action accomplishes a lot – as long as you don’t go through with it."

Some Tips for Unemployed Older Americans from the New York Times
"Did you lose your job in your 50s or 60s? If so, what did you do to make up for that lost income?"

Most ’Re-employed’ Workers Say They’re Overqualified for Their New Job: Back at Work, But… from the Pew Research Center
"Workers who suffered a spell of unemployment during Great Recession are, on average, less satisfied with their new jobs than workers who didn’t. They are more likely to consider themselves over-qualified for their current position. And six-in-ten say they changed careers or seriously thought about it while they were unemployed, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project."

End Days for the GOP (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
After years of sabotaging government and getting away with it, the GOP has finally gone too far. America knows it, and so does the party itself."

A Compromised Reputation Among the GOP (Michael Gerson) from the Washington Post
"the evidence of GOP compromise is not the acceptance of Obamacare. It is insufficient enthusiasm for an absurd procedural maneuver. But never mind. The real target is the idea of compromise itself, along with all who deal, settle or blink."

Unskewing Reality (Robert Schlesinger) from US News and World Report 
"... polls show that voters don't want a shutdown and do want Congress to try to make the law work. But DeMint, Cruz and their tea party pals don't need polls. Their certainty that they have a special knowledge of what America really wants is redolent of former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin's infamous remark about "the real America" and "pro-America areas of this great nation.""

Hispanics Grow Cool to G.O.P., Poll Finds from the New York Times
"A new survey shows that Hispanics have grown negative toward the Republican Party during the immigration fight and lean liberal on social issues like gay marriage."

GOP Descends Into Civil War As Shutdown Looms from Talking Points Memo 
"The Senate voted 54-44 on Wednesday to keep the government funded with Obamacare intact, sending the stopgap measure back to House Republicans, who are in the midst of a civil war as the clock ticks to a shutdown Monday night."

GOP Leaks its List of Demands for Not Killing the Economy (Jay Bookman) from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"It is the most stunning case of mass self-induced lunacy that I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. They are so caught up in their own self-righteousness that they have lost touch with reality."

Congress Cracks Up (Gail Collins) from the New York Times
"Ranting about Obamacare, which one New Hampshire politician recently compared to the Fugitive Slave Act, is an excellent way to give the impression that you’re fighting to reduce entitlements without having to do anything about the actual entitlements."

Obamacare Fight Reenergizes Tea Party Movement from the Washington Post 
"The clash in Congress over efforts to derail President Obama’s health-care law has lit up tea party groups across the country, reenergizing activists who had drifted away from the movement while intensifying the divisions tearing at the Republican Party."
The last part here is the most important.  The GOP is falling apart in slow motion.  By the day, it is becoming more and more likely that the Tea Party crowd (led by brilliant minds like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Mike Lee) will, sooner or later, break from the "establishment" Republican Party.  Already, the GOP leadership (to the extent that there is one) is quaking in its boots over the body slams the party will take FROM ITS OWN MEMBERS when (a) the gov't shutdown blackmail fails; and (2) the debt ceiling blackmail fails.  If anything, the Republican craziness has made Obama and the Dems MORE resolute in not giving in!  

More evidence of this: check this out:
John McCain: 'We Are Dividing The Republican Party Rather Than Attacking Democrats' from the Associated Press
"Staring at the specter of a partial government shutdown, Sen. John McCain says he's never seen anything like the harsh partisanship pervading much of Washington politics. The Arizona Republican, serving his fifth term, says "we are dividing the Republican Party rather than attacking
Prediction: something is coming which we have not seen in anyone's lifetime, not since the mid-nineteenth century: major party schism!

The House GOP Wants to Throw a Temper Tantrum, and Boehner Can't Stop Them (Noam Scheiber) from the New Republic
"The problem, apparently, is that conservatives are deeply skeptical of Boehner personally. ... so, by the perverse logic I described above, it also makes the world a far safer place, since the stalemate arises in a battle whose consequences (shutdown) are manageable, rather than a battle whose consequences (debt default) are disastrous."

Poll: Ted Cruz Is Now The Top Choice For GOP Primary Voters In 2016 from Talking Points Memo
"Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) hasn't even been in Washington for a full year, but Republicans already appear eager to tap him as the party's next presidential nominee. The latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released Friday found Cruz as the top choice for 2016 among Republicans nationwide. With 20 percent support, Cruz narrowly edged Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who claimed the support of 17 percent of GOP primary voters. "
This guy makes Barry Goldwater look like a flaming liberal!!

Will the Real Abraham Lincoln Please Stand Up? from Smithsonian Magazine 
"A former Disney animator makes a provocative discovery by studying photos taken during the Gettysburg Address."

Washington as Reader, Not Soldier from the New York Times 
"A new library and exhibition at Mount Vernon make abundantly clear that George Washington was not simply a man of action."

Where To See the Best Foliage in the US from the Daily Beast

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

News Nuggets 1304

DAYLEE PICTURE:  A feather in a lake in Russia.  From National Geographic.

Obama Just Gave His Most Significant Foreign Policy Speech (John Judis) from the New Republic
"President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday to the United Nations was his most significant foreign policy statement since becoming president. It showed he had clearly learned something from the recent “red line” fiasco in Syria. The speech also displayed what has always been the most attractive feature of Obama’s foreign policy, one that clearly sets him off from his predecessor—his willingness to court erstwhile enemies and adversaries, or to put it in negative terms, his not possessing what my former colleague Peter Scoblic called an “us versus them” view of the world."

Final Word On Obamacare Coverage: Cheaper Than Expected from Talking Points Memo
"Though there will be variations across the country, most Americans will be able to choose from multiple health insurance plans and pay lower-than-expected premiums for coverage on the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."

The Finger of Blame Points Only One Way (Paul Waldman) from the American Prospect
"Republicans are going to try to convince Americans that a government shutdown would be Barack Obama's fault. No one will believe them."

What Tea Party Voters Don't Understand (Mark Salter) from Real Clear Politics
"... when you see how the country reacts to your shutdown, you might have less of an appetite for holding the debt ceiling hostage as well. You might even get an inkling that governing requires, well, governing, as best you can in a politically divided government and country, seeking advantageous compromises, picking your battles carefully, measuring your strength accurately to advance your ideals a few accomplishments at a time."

How Bad Is the GOP Rift? Worse Than Democrats in the 1980s (Stuart Rothenberg) from Roll Call
"Now, libertarian and tea party elements of the GOP are in open warfare with pragmatists and institutionalists. Republicans in the House and Senate taunt each other on a daily basis in newspapers or on cable television, which is only too happy to provide a platform. The structure of today’s parties and the way we consume news make it more difficult for the GOP to resolve its differences successfully."

Hillary Clinton’s Dare to Republicans (David Freedlander) from the Daily Beast
"During a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday, Clinton took on the GOP over their Obamacare threats."

Why Obamacare Is a GOP Nightmare (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"To understand the crisis in Washington, tune out the histrionics and look at the big picture: Republicans are threatening to shut down the federal government -- and perhaps even refuse to let the Treasury pay its creditors -- in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to keep millions of Americans from getting health insurance.  Seriously. That's what all the yelling and screaming is about. As my grandmother used to say, it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry."

Shutdown Threat Reveals Split in Republican Party from the Los Angeles Times
"Tea party lawmakers get an earful from GOP colleagues over their strategy to strip funding from the new healthcare law."

The Double Absurdity of Ted Cruz's 'Filibuster' (Molly Ball) of the Atlantic
"Who says Republicans and Democrats can't agree on anything? These days, they are largely united in their loathing for Ted Cruz, the pugnacious Republican freshman senator from Texas. ...  Leaving aside the policy or even the political advisability of Cruz's undertaking, though, there are a couple of basic logical problems with what he's trying to do ..."

Harry Reid Accuses GOP Of 'Thelma And Louise' Fanaticism Over Shutdown Threat from the Huffington Post
"The Republicans bent on defunding Obamacare or shutting down the government are "fanatics" with a "Thelma and Louise"-like mission to drive the nation off a cliff, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday. The federal government will run out of money after Sept. 30 if Congress does not act by then to authorize more spending."

Steve Schmidt Rants Against GOP ‘Asininity’ from Politico
"John McCain’s former senior adviser Steve Schmidt says he has “deep regret” for helping to create a “freak show” wing of the Republican Party when he had a hand in bringing former McCain running mate Sarah Palin to the national stage. Schmidt said Monday on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that it’s time for the GOP to stand up to the “asininity” embodied by Palin and others."

Mitch McConnell Rejects Ted Cruz Push To Filibuster Bill Defunding Obamacare from the Huffington Post
"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't back the push by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to vote against bringing up a bill to defund Obamacare, a McConnell aide told The Huffington Post. "Senator McConnell supports the House Republicans' bill and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny," McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said."

Searching for Madame Nhu from the Daily Beast
"Lyndon Johnson flirted with her. JFK hated her. Historians blamed her for South Vietnam's downfall. And decades later, a writer found her hiding out in Paris. A new book uncovers the final days of Saigon’s infamous Dragon Lady."

Monday, September 23, 2013

News Nuggets 1303

DAYLEE PICTURE:  Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand.  From National Geographic.

Obama May Extend his Hand to Iran's Rouhani at U.N. from Reuters
"The White House said on Thursday a meeting was possible, the first between U.S. and Iranian presidents since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. "It's possible, but it has always been possible," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "The extended hand has been there from the moment the president was sworn in. It looks more likely to be a handshake and brief exchange of pleasantries - probably in the U.N. building - rather than a formal meeting where the leaders could talk at greater length ."

Iran Said to Seek a Nuclear Accord to End Sanctions from the New York Times
"Iran’s leaders, seizing on perceived flexibility in a private letter from President Obama, have decided to gamble on forging a swift agreement over their nuclear program with the goal of ending crippling sanctions, a prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership said Thursday."

Mother Nature and the Middle Class (Thomas L. Friedman) from the New York Times
"Here’s why the same old, same old is gone for good in Iran and Egypt."

The Crazy Party (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"In recent months, the G.O.P. seems to have transitioned from being the stupid party to being the crazy party.

The GOP's Self-Defeating 'Defunding' Strategy from the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal
It will only strengthen the president while alienating independents."

The GOP's Reckless Bet (Charlie Cook) from the National Journal
House Republicans playing games with the debt limit risk doing serious damage to their party—and the country."

The Republicans Who Fear a Shutdown (Alex Roarty) from the National Journal
"They aren't in Washington—and they're very worried about driving away independent voters."

If Congress Can't Avert a Shutdown, Which Party Will Voters Blame? (Michael Catalini, Alex Roarty and Peter Bell) from the National Journal 
"If Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution on time and the government shuts down, which party will voters blame?"

Ted Cruz Scrambles to Salvage Strategy from Politico
"After months of fiery rhetoric, Cruz and his allies are scrambling to salvage their strategy. For starters, Cruz wants Reid to make an exception to Senate rules that would make it easier for Republicans to block Obamacare funding. Cruz is asking Reid to subject the vote on removing the Obamacare provision to a 60-vote threshold instead of “abusing his power.” That sort of agreement would require the consent of all 100 senators, which isn’t going to happen."
You have to wonder what planet these hard-right law-making morons are on!!  I have heard any number of Republicans describe Cruz as "really smart," even "brilliant."  These encomiums must come from the same lame Texas media sources that thought Rick Perry was anything but a dolt.  Well, it may actually turn out that Rick Perry is a really smart cookie -- when compared to Ted Cruz!

In Washington, countdown to a shutdown.  A visit to the House these days feels like an excursion to an alternate universe. (Doyle McManus) from the Los Angeles Times
"Outside the conservative bubble of the House GOP conference, the politics of the budget standoff look different. Karl Rove, former political advisor to George W. Bush, has warned that the only winner in a government shutdown would be Obama."

Gaddafi's Perverted Power Plays (Katie Baker) from the Daily Beast 
"He abducted young women as sex slaves and forced them to take drugs and watch porn. He raped his male guards, soldiers, and ministers. Annick Cojean talks about her new book on Gaddafi's cold-blooded sexual

For Workers Leaving Their Jobs, Health Exchanges Offer Insurance Choices Beyond COBRA from Kaiser Health News
"Workers who lose their jobs and their employer-based health insurance will have new coverage options when the Affordable Care Act's state marketplaces open in October. But consumer advocates are concerned many may not realize this and lock themselves into pricier coverage than they need."

The Sinister Side of Homeschooling (Michelle Cottle) from the Daily Beast 
"Because the practice is almost entirely unregulated in much of the country, parents are able to hide their crimes—sometimes fatally. Michelle Goldberg investigates."

GOP fight spreads to the Senate (Alexander Bolton) from The Hill
"Infighting within the House GOP conference is threatening to spread to the Senate, where Republicans are now facing their own dilemma over a government shutdown. Republicans in the upper chamber must decide whether to bolster the House GOP’s standoff with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over a government funding measure."

Obama Administration Issues New Rules Capping Carbon Emissions From New Coal Plants (Josh Dzieza) from the Daily Beast
"The Environmental Protection Agency is putting forth tough new standards for newly built electricity plants. Is this the next battle in the war on coal?"

Hillary in Midair from New York Magazine
"She’s learned from her mistakes. Three years before November 8, 2016, she’s working hard to be relaxed, calm, easy. But, all the while, the old Clinton gears are whirring."

President Obama writes a note excusing an adorable 5-year-old girl of a wounded veteran from class on White House visit from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"The 5-year-old was the daughter of a wounded veteran.  Obama wrote a note excusing a fourth grader from class in 2009 and also wrote a note for a lucky fifth grader last June."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

News Nuggets 1302

DAYLEE PICTURE:  Bats in tamarind trees in Madagascar.  From the New York Times.

Ted Cruz Infuriates House Republicans By Conceding Defeat On Obamacare Repeal from the Huffington Post
"Cruz, a tea party favorite, is one of the most vocal proponents of defunding the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's health care reform law. He's spent months championing the cause. But on Wednesday, as House Republican leaders unveiled their latest plan for sinking Obamacare -- tying a measure to defund the law to a must-pass resolution that keeps the government running -- Cruz thanked House Republicans for their fight, and said they're on their own."
Ha, ha!  I was just kidding!  Oh, did you really believe me when I said all that crap!?  I never really meant for you, my fellow GOP lawmakers, to take what I said seriously.  That was all for my hillbilly rube constituents back home!  Given how you speak to your own voters, I just assumed you would have known that.  Humor aside, this is actually an important development.  One of the key unknowables to the budget standoff has been how long Tea Party wingnuts could actually sustain the illusion that their defunding strategy could actually work. This flip by Cruz, as Tea Party a wingnut as there is out there, is a good bellweather that some breaking point may be near.

Republican Civil War Over Obamacare Explodes on Twitter from the National Journal
"Tensions between House and Senate conservatives has been brewing for weeks over a scheme to try to force a government shutdown unless Obamacare gets defunded, but the friction spilled into the public and onto social media Wednesday night after Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz acknowledged that the plan is probably doomed in the upper chamber."

Ted Cruz Unmasks his Own Confidence Game (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"It’s unclear how exactly we’ll get to that inevitable point or how much blood will be left on the floor along the way or who will end up spilling most of it. But one thing that seems clear is that the scam perpetrated by Senate conservatives is running out, and Ted Cruz is the reason why."

New Test Could Expose GOP’s Pack of Charlatans (Brian Beutler) from Salon 
"Conservatives in the Senate have spent weeks and weeks hectoring House Republicans to stand true to GOP principles and make funding for the federal government contingent upon Democrats agreeing to defund Obamacare. It’s about to blow up in their faces, and probably turn several of their more moderate colleagues into collateral damage."

Senate GOP, Chamber of Commerce Call On House GOP To Give Up from Talking Points Memo
"Senate Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce are urging House Republicans to back off their threats of a government shutdown or debt default if President Barack Obama doesn’t agree to defund or delay Obamacare."

World War O (Gail Collins) from the New York Times
"... the message is clear. The new health care law is going to be terrible, wreaking havoc on American families, ruining their lives. And they are going to love it so much they will never have the self-control necessary to give it up."

The GOP Is Threatening Murder-Suicide With New Shutdown Warnings (Kristen Powers) from the Daily Beast
"The Republican Party is destroying America. Harsh words, yes. But inescapably true. It’s a bit of a murder-suicide. House Republicans’ willingness to lay waste to the country to satisfy their fringiest faction will ultimately guarantee the GOP irrelevancy as a national party, unless they change their ways.."

House GOP Plan To Defund Obamacare Still A 'Dumb Idea': Senate Republicans from the Huffington Post
"As House Republicans prepare to vote this week on a continuing resolution that would defund Obamacare, several Senate Republicans continue to think they're playing a losing hand. ...  "I said it was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard of," Burr said. "I still think it's a dumb idea, because you can't defund Obamacare.""

Democrats Giddy Over Boehner-Cruz Shutdown Threat as GOP Begins to Panic (Jed Lewison) from Daily Kos
"... check out the contrast between how Democratic operatives are
approaching the potential of a government shutdown... and how Republican operatives like Karl Rove are approaching it:..."

The Great GOP Leadership Turnaround (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"They’re “united,” all right — but only in the sense that the leaders, about to be trampled by their own lines, picked up batons and pretended they were leading a parade."
When the "leadership" is so conspicuously ignored, do you still have a party in any meaningful sense of the word?

GOP vs. GOP in Hill Obamacare Squabble from Politico
"Vitter’s crusade has effectively put his GOP colleagues in the unenviable position of hurting themselves and their staff financially or siding with another political attack on a law the party universally despises. The latest pushback is another sign of how the long-running GOP fight to repeal Obamacare has suddenly degenerated into an internal Republican battle, prompting widespread concerns among party elders."

Obama is Criticized for Right Result on Syria (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post
"What’s puzzling about this latest bout of Obama-phobia is that recent developments in Syria have generally been positive from the standpoint of U.S. interests. Obama has accomplished goals that most Americans endorse, given the unpalatable menu of choices."

Why Greece Is Not Weimar (Roger Cohen) from the New York Times
"I have little doubt that if Greece were not part of the European Union, with the protection and example afforded by this much maligned democratic club, it would have tumbled into catastrophe by now, much as a humiliated Germany did after 1918. Europe has been Greece’s protector even as the single euro currency has been its tormentor."

Death of an Adjunct (Daniel Kovalik) from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 
"Margaret Mary was an adjunct professor, meaning that, unlike a well-paid tenured professor, Margaret Mary worked on a contract basis from semester to semester, with no job security, no benefits and with a salary of between $3,000 and just over $3,500 per three-credit course. Adjuncts now make up well over 50 percent of the faculty at colleges and universities. ... Margaret Mary, a 25-year professor, was not making ends meet. Even during the best of times, when she was teaching three classes a semester and two during the summer, she was not even clearing $25,000 a year, and she received absolutely no health care benefits."

Online Courses are Failing as a Teaching Tool from Politico
An extended excerpt is warranted here!
"Massive open online courses were supposed to revolutionize — and democratize — higher education. But two years since their debut, the initial buzz seems like nothing but hype. Millions have signed up for online courses sponsored by elite colleges, yet they report high dropout rates and disappointing student performance among those who stick it out.  A quietly released report last week on a partnership between San José State University and major course provider Udacity found that at-risk kids performed particularly poorly and students found the courses confusing. Collective statistics aren’t available, but by one tracker’s account, most MOOCs have completion rates of less than 10 percent."
Almost anyone who has actually taught in front of a college classroom should have seen this coming.  Most online courses that I have seen are such passive learning environments I can't imagine them ever being very effective.  Dynamic interaction and rigor are what make college courses effective.  Unfortunately, now there is SO MUCH big money invested in this scam that I fear it will be with us for the foreseeable future.

Electrifying America's Greatest Wonder: Photographer Captures Incredible Moment Ferocious Lightning Bolt Hits the Grand Canyon from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Photographer Rolf Maeder captured the multiple strikes under the stormy skies as the sun set over Nevada.  The area experiences localised thundertsorms in the summer as high temperatures combine with moisture."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

News Nuggets 1301

DAYLEE PICTURE: A rare iridescent rainbow appearing over the skies of Nolda, India.  From National Geographic.

And what’s right with President Obama? from Politico
"There is a useful cautionary note for everyone who is prone to withering judgments about Obama’s stumbling performances in recent weeks: No institution in American life is more resilient than the modern presidency, and no politician talented enough to capture the office should ever be underestimated."
One other note I would throw in: it is a statement about how many of the BIG issues from Obama's first term are no longer big.  The Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, America's terrible relations with its European allies, and, to an extent, the economy.  Moreover, when you compare what's happening now with past administrations, Obama's time in office is actually seeing a real clearing out of big, immediate threats.  The fact that the most demanding foreign policy issue right now is "how should the US respond to Syria's use of chemical weapons on its citizens?" tells you as much.

Poll: Americans Reject Beltway Consensus On Syrian Diplomacy (Allison Brito) from the National Memo
"President Obama’s handling of the Syrian crisis was criticized on both sides of the aisle, while winning some praise from unlikely voices. Though critics are adamant that the inability to garner domestic and international support for a military strike in response to Syria’s crossing of the president’s “red line” of chemical weapons use was a failure of the administration, many Americans see things differently."

America's Lost Decade Turns 12: Even the Rich Are Worse Off Than Before (Jordan Weissmann) from the Atlantic
"A new Census report shows that income and poverty have barely improved since the end of the recession. But even the finances of the 1 percent are worse off than than during the dotcom boom."

The Repentant Radical (Michael Moynihan) from the Daily Beast
"After a Danish newspaper published cartoons satirizing the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, Ahmed Akkari spearheaded protests that ultimately cost the lives of 200 people. Now he says he’s sorry. Michael Moynihan on what changed Akkari’s mind."

The Obamacare Swindle (It’s Not What You Think) (Jamelle Bouie) from the Daily Beast
"Health-care reform isn’t going anywhere. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from using it to raise money from gullible Tea Partiers who want it defunded."

Chuck Todd: It's Not Media's Job To Correct GOP's Obamacare Falsehoods  from Talking Points Memo
"During a segment on "Morning Joe," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans "have successfully messaged against it" but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that's President Barack Obama's job."
This is SO breath-taking -- and it explains so much about why the mainstream media is so useless to average voters.  By Todd's calculation, it was never the media's job to determine whether Joe McCarthy actually DID have a list of 57 communists in the State Dept.  It never was the  media's responsibility to see if Iraq DID have WMDs (as Bush officials claimed) or to see if Obama really IS covertly supporting Islamic terrorism in the US (as many on the GOP are currently claiming).  If it is NOT the media's role to determine what is true and what is false in the public arena but only to dutifully report on the messaging (like Superbowl ad critics), I don't see how voters are actually served by a free media if this is the best they can do with that freedom.

Boehner Agonistes (Again) (Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake) from the Washington Post
"... that presupposes that the most conservative members of the House — call them the cast-iron conservatives — will go along. And that’s a big ask — probably too big an ask. Why? Three reasons."

Obama Goes to War: The President Finds an Enemy He's Willing to Bomb—Republicans from the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal 
"Mr. Obama all but wrapped up that ghastly business in Syria and turned his attention to the real enemy—Republicans."
There is actually a lot of substance to what this right-wing mouthpiece for Wall Street is saying.  Indeed, Obama is at war with Republicans -- but it is the radical wing of the party.  And we should get a good measure of how Obama is doing over the next month or so as budget and debt-ceiling issues come to a head.

Rip off the Band-Aid, John Boehner (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"John Boehner and GOP leaders and their aides took active steps to avoid taking a public position on the defund-Obamacare movement, apparently for fear of antagonizing the base. This, Strong reports, is turning out to have been a serious mistake, with potentially grave consequences:"

The Republican Party’s Problem, in Two Sentences (Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas) from the Washington Post
"Here's the Republican Party's problem, in two sentences: It would be a disaster for the party to shut down the government over Obamacare. But it's good for every individual Republican politician to support shutting down the government over Obamacare."

GOP Strategy on Shutdown Courts Doom (Julian Zelizer) from CNN
"As they have been doing since 2010, Republicans want to use these budget battles to depict themselves as the party of "fiscal responsibility" and to sway public opinion wars toward a national agenda that centers on reducing the size of domestic programs. Government shutdown threat looms Based on what we've seen thus far, the strategy will not work over the long term."

Would a Government Shutdown Really Be All That Bad for Republicans? Yes (Molly Ball) from the Atlantic
"Conservatives now argue that the political consequences of stopping funding have been overstated. Survivors of the last major closure beg to differ."

The National Book Awards Longlist for Nonfiction from the Daily Beast 
"Nine of the 10 nominated authors for nonfiction are receiving the recognition for the first time."

The World's Tallest Vertical Garden Is Like a Niagara Falls of Plants from the Atlantic
"It's a 545-foot-tall waterfall of flowering vegetation running down the facade of One Central Park, a major mixed-use development under construction in Sydney. The leaf-sprouting skyrise, scheduled to open next year, features hundreds of species of native and exotic plants overflowing from planters lodged between floors."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

News Nuggets 1300

DAYLEE PICTURE:  A baby Palm Squirrel in Sri Lanka.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

For Millions, Health Insurance Will Cost Less than $100/month from USA Today
"About 6.4 million Americans eligible to buy insurance through the new health exchanges will pay $100 or less a month in premiums because of tax subsidies, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report to be released Tuesday and obtained by USA TODAY."

Ted Cruz’s Nightmare: Obamacare Helps People! (Joan Walsh) from Salon 
"So despite Republican claims of soaring insurance costs and “sticker shock” once Americans see their bills under Obamacare, the truth is most of the uninsured will get affordable plans. Oh, and as to fear-mongering about people who already have insurance seeing their rates rise? The Rand Corp. studied that question and found premiums at small companies  – the most likely to be affected by Obamacare regulations – are coming down."

Obamacare, the Debt Ceiling and GOP Insanity (Jonathan Capehart) from the Washington Post
"That the electorate doesn’t understand the complexities of the debt ceiling isn’t surprising. What’s scary is that some members of Congress don’t either. ... Cantor and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) know full well they are playing a dangerous game. That they continue to play it is further proof they live in fear of those who neither understand nor care that they don’t understand the implications of what they are doing."

Diane Ravitch: School Privatization is a Hoax, “Reformers” Aim to Destroy Public Schools (Diane Ravitch) from Salon
"Our public schools aren't in decline. And "reformers" with wild promises don't care about education — just profits."

House GOP Could Splinter Again On Food Stamp Cuts from Talking Points Memo 
"Made to appease the right wing of the GOP conference, the proposal could lose the support of some moderate Republicans, maybe enough to kill the bill. That’d be a major embarrassment for GOP leadership, after they were forced to pull a version of the farm bill in June that included $20 billion in food stamp cuts because they couldn’t garner enough support from conservatives, who wanted deeper reductions."

Let’s Not Wait to Talk About Gun Control (David Frum) from the Daily Beast 
Good to see this sane conservative pundit back in the saddle after some time away.
"Gun enthusiasts say it is inappropriate to talk about gun violence at the time it occurs. Better to wait … and wait … and wait … until time has passed, and the weeping next of kin have vanished from TV, and it’s safe to return to business as usual. The idea of the gun enthusiasts is that the way to show respect for the victims of gun violence is to do everything possible to multiply their number."

Mapping the Republican Brain from Democracy Corps
" will understand the current war in the Republican Party better if you are able to see the the six underlying attitudinal dimensions that run through the consciousness of today's Republican Party supporters. It is these dimensions that create the passionate factions at war against 'Obamacare," gay marriage, and immigration."

Obama, Republicans, and the Crisis of Legitimacy (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"“Who has the stronger claim to speak on behalf of the people: the president or the legislative majority that opposes his policies?” No automatic mechanism exists within the system to resolve this, and so each side has an incentive to escalate its claim and attempt to seize more power. The incipient showdown in Washington is a form of this underlying tension — not a Latin American–style coup, but very much a crisis of legitimacy. "

The New Politics of Evasion (Galston & Kamarck) from Democracy Journal
"New thinking and favorable demography have largely addressed the Democrats’ old problems. Now it’s the Republicans who can’t face reality."

The Big Story this Fall will be the Divisions Within the GOP (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"GOP obstructionism of Obama’s agenda has in many ways been unprecedented, and the party’s conservative wing is both asymmetrically radical while wielding outsized control over the party, thanks in part to GOP lawmakers’ fear of primary challenges and other structural factors. The main
storyline this fall will turn on whether GOP leaders can figure out a way to overcome this, now that it has veered out of their control. Not much else matters."

The Power of 218: If House Republicans Can't Hold Together, They Have No Leverage at All from the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal
Indeed not -- as I'm certain Obama knows.  As I have noted here many times, I believe it has been Obama's central political strategy this year to marginalize the radical wing of the GOP.  We are now entering a critical month or two where we will see if this strategy is succeeding or not.
"Republicans are fracturing over tactics, and even over the nature of political reality, which may let Mr. Obama outwit them like a domestic Vladimir Putin. In our view the GOP would be less confused if more House Members appreciated the power of 218. That's the number of votes that makes a majority and it is the only true "leverage" Republicans have while Democrats hold the Senate and a Presidential veto."

The Movement Strikes Back (Robert Costa) from the National Review
Conservative activists won’t back down on defunding Obamacare. ... Both camps fear that a shutdown is increasingly likely — and they blame the conservative movement’s cottage industry of pressure groups. But these organizations, ensconced in Northern Virginia office parks and elsewhere, aren’t worried about the establishment’s ire. In fact, they welcome it."

House Republicans Divided on When to Battle ObamaCare (Russell Berman, Molly K. Hooper and Elise Viebeck) from The Hill
"Some House conservatives believe they would have a better shot at targeting President Obama’s healthcare law in fiscal fights after a crucial Oct. 1 deadline when, they argue, new insurance rates will reignite public opposition to the law. The argument highlights a deep strategic split within the House GOP about how best to extract concessions from Democrats on healthcare."

Powerful Senate Conservatives Fund Expands To Focus On House Races from Talking Points Memo
"The Senate Conservatives Fund, an organization that has emerged as a powerful challenger to incumbent Republicans who wade too far to the middle, is expanding its focus to the House of Representatives, creating a new force with deep coffers likely to divide an already ideologically split caucus of Republican lawmakers."
More evidence of unprecedented discord deep within the GOP power structure -- when you have major donors and fundraisers gearing up to spend millions -- to defeat fellow Republicans.

Need more evidence?  Check this:
David Brooks Warns About "The Rise Of Ted Cruz-ism" from the PBS News Hour 
"Ted Cruz, the senator from Canada through Texas, is basically not a legislator in the normal sense, doesn't have an idea that he's going to Congress to create coalitions, make alliances, and he is going to pass a lot of legislation. He's going in more as a media protest person. And a lot of the House Republicans are in the same mode.  They're not normal members of Congress. They're not legislators. They want to stop things. And so they're just being -- they just want to obstruct. And the second thing they're doing, which is alarming a lot of Republicans, is they're running against their own party."

Ted Cruz Is Making Life Miserable For House Republicans (Josh Barro) from the Business Insider
"The only way he can exercise power is as an interloper in House Republican business — and his presence there is not wholeheartedly welcomed."

Mystery of Foss Lake: Two Submerged Cars Containing Five Bodies are Found by Chance After FIFTY YEARS. But How Did They Die? from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
Freaky!!  Indeed what happened to these poor people?
"They had lain undiscovered under an Oklahoma lake for fifty years. And now the discovery of two rusting vintage cars containing five bodies has reignited the mystery of how three teenagers and one couple vanished more than five decades ago.  Highway patrol officers  testing their sonar equipment Foss Lake near Elk City, Oklahoma on Friday stumbled upon the rusting 1969 Camaro and a Chevrolet dating from the 1950s."

The Moment a 'Horizontal Tornado' Rolled in Over the Skies of Virginia from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"A cloud shaped like a giant rolling pin or sideways tornado had people craning their necks for a better look in Washington DC yesterday. The unusual weather phenomenon, known as a roll cloud, stretched in a long line low in the sky at about 7.30am."

The 'Oligarch's Ghost Town' from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Vozdvyzhenka was conceived of as a desirable luxury community for Kiev's high society.  But the 2008 financial crisis choked demand for upmarket housing in the Ukrainian capital"

Monday, September 16, 2013

News Nuggets 1299

DAYLEE PICTURE: Blue Ghost Fireflies in North Carolina.  From National Geographic.

Obama on the Path to Success in Syria (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"While Syria and Russia are doing so as a way to avert an attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin might also be happy to see Assad’s weapons locked up or destroyed. In fact, this gambit might be a way for Russia to achieve its real goals in Syria: no regime change and no chemical weapons."

U.S., Russia Reach Agreement on Seizure of Syrian Chemical Weapons Arsenal from the Washington Post
"The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on an outline for the identification and seizure of Syrian chemical weapons and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week. The agreement will be backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that could allow for sanctions or other consequences if Syria fails to comply, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said."

Hearing You Out (Nicholas Kristof) from the New York Times
"... since I’ve obviously offended many readers by supporting missile strikes on Syria if it doesn’t give up chemical weapons, let me try to confront directly your objections. ..."

The Right’s Sickening Syria Spin (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast 
"If Obama persuaded Assad to step down and move to Siberia, the critics would still find something to whine about. Michael Tomasky deflates the arguments against the new arms deal."

Can Obama Recover? (Michael Hirsh) from the National Journal
"At first, the president bungled badly. But now he's getting it right—along with America's role in the world."

Rich Man’s Recovery (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"While the great majority of Americans are still living in a depressed economy, the rich at the very top are doing just fine."

Oh Look, There Goes the Deficit (Daniel Gross) from the Daily Beast 
"A funny thing happened on the way to the debt-ceiling battle: a big chunk of our annual budget quietly melted away. Daniel Gross on the good news you didn’t see coming."

Back to Boehner (Gail Collins) from the New York Times
"Compared with Syria, it seems like a walk in the park. Good old fiscal cliffs. It’s possible you’ve lost track of this over the summer, so I have prepared a calendar of upcoming events. Feel free to put it on the refrigerator: ..."

“Brighter Future for Politics and Policy Requires a Different Republican Party” (Mann and Ornstein) from Salon
""The Republicans have become a party beholden to zealots -- with little respect for science, facts or compromise."

Conservatives Step Up Push To Undercut GOP On Obamacare from Talking Points Memo
"Obamacare is becoming a huge headache for the Republican Party. ... Conservative advocacy groups are rallying behind House legislation backed by 43 Republicans to threaten a government shutdown unless Obamacare is defunded, undercutting GOP leaders’ efforts to lock in low spending levels by goading the party into a self-defeating confrontation."

The House GOP Is About to Crack Up: Three Theories Why (Jonathan Cohn) from the New Republic 
"... it makes you wonder why the right wing is making Boehner's life so difficult. Their explicit goal, getting rid of Obamacare, would seem to be out of reach. The political cost of pursuing that goal would seem to be high. Why keep at it?  Three theories come quickly to mind:..."

GOP, Tea Party Face Growing Divide (Bill Barrow) from the Associated Press 
"Tea party activists, once unquestioned as a benefit to the Republican Party for supplying it with votes and energy, are now criticizing GOP leaders at seemingly every turn."

More Republican on Republican Violence (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos 
"... the real fun is in the comments. How much do the wingnuts hate their weepy House speaker? Head below the fold for the answer! (Hint: Lots.)"

Occupy Wall Street Legacy (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"... it was not clear if the greater narrative of income inequality had legs and if it would move forward as the economy turned up. I believe it has. There are signs that the narrative may have taken hold in some parts of the electorate beyond the protesters in the parks..."

Now the Crazies are Coming for Mister Rogers (Virginia Montanez) from Pittsburgh Magazine
"Fred Rogers spent decades making our children feel special. What a jerk."

Saving Cadence - an abused Pit Bull shows us the power of second chance from Hope-for-Paws 

Vietnam Legacy: Finding G.I. Fathers, and Children Left Behind (James Dao) from the New York Times
For veterans longing to salve the scars of an old war and their half-Vietnamese children wanting to know their roots, the need to find one another has become more urgent than ever."

The Los Angeles that could have been: Amazing pictures of structures designed for LA but never built from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
A new exhibition showcases groundbreaking designs that could have changed the face of Los Angeles - if they had ever been built. Never Built: Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Architecture and Design Museum looks back at design projects that never made it off the drawing board."

Friday, September 13, 2013

News Nuggets 1298

DAYLEE PICTURE:  Colors turning at the University of Cambridge in the UK.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

(1)  Obamacare: Affordable after all from the Editorial Board of the Boston Globe
"... this much is clear: Those premiums are not exorbitant. They give the lie to the idea that Obamacare will saddle millions of people with a insurance requirement that is simply unaffordable."

(2)  Stop playing politics with Texans’ health from the Editorial Board of the Longview News-Journal [of Texas]
"If you’re among the “I have mine, let them get their own” crowd on health coverage, another recent report might interest you. This one indicates your cost of insurance will increase because of the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Rates for individuals purchasing private coverage could jump between 8 percent and 10 percent in Texas and other states where political leaders have decided against expanding Medicaid for the poor."

(3)  South unites against its poor: Medicaid expansion is new Confederate battlefield from the Montgomery Advertiser [of Alabama]
"Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama have elected not to help their poor and low-to-moderate wage earners receive health care through expanded
Medicaid. [...] [T]he fact that the Deep South has united in opposing the health care plan when the region is inhabited by so many poor and unhealthy people is worthy of further examination. What — other than geographical proximity — unites us in this crusade to prolong the physical, mental and financial anguish of our people?"

Snowden Disclosures Finally Hit 12 on a Scale of 1 to 10 from Mother Jones Magazine
"A few days ago, NBC News quoted a former intelligence official about the fallout from Edward Snowden's NSA leaks. "The damage, on a scale of 1 to 10, is a 12," he said. At the time, I thought it was an odd thing to say.  ...  So what was this former intelligence official talking about? I suspect it was this: The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems ..."

Conspiracy Theories Haunt Benghazi Anniversary (Jamelle Bouie) from the Daily Beast
"On the anniversary of the Benghazi attacks, GOP congressmen call for a new investigation. Jamelle Bouie on why this controversy will not die any time soon."

Health Insurance Change Coming to State That Fought It from the New York Times
"Despite South Carolina’s refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility, a choice made by about half the states, enrollment is likely to grow under the new health law."

A.F.L.-C.I.O. Wants to Add Millions of Nonunion Members from the New York Times
"Pescaszie Mukauruziga works at Sea-Tac Airport, where groups seek a minimum wage of $15.  Richard Trumka, the labor federation’s president, says a broad coalition could help restore the struggling movement’s clout."

GOP's unhealthy obsession with Obamacare from the Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times
"The House GOP's obsession with Obamacare is really just a sideshow to the long-running fiscal dispute the two sides have been embroiled in since the GOP took control of the House. Ultimately, Republicans and Democrats will have to compromise on total spending levels, entitlement reforms and taxes. The longer it takes them to strike some kind of deal, the more of these exercises in brinkmanship we'll go through."

The Rise of the New New Left (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast
"Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking."

GOP fears fundraising disaster from Politico
"Senate Republicans have high hopes heading into the 2014 midterm elections, since President Barack Obama’s approval rating is down, his polarizing health care law is about to go into full effect and the economic recovery is dragging along. But Republicans have a problem: cash."

House GOP: United against Obama on Syria, divided on everything else (Byron York) from the Washington Examiner
"Here's what a leading House Republican said recently about the state of relations among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill: "I believe the White House wakes up every morning thinking how they can punch us in the nose. And we wake up every morning thinking how we can punch each other in the nose.""

Burn! Sen. Lindsey Graham, ‘Leader of the Surrender Caucus’ (David Catanese) from the Daily Beast
"The Republican senator took a drubbing in his own state from Democratic strategist Pat Caddell. And the worst part: the conservative audience cheered and laughed."

Opponents in Kentucky Make Mitch McConnell Useless in the Senate (Patricia Murphy) from the Daily Beast
"The Republican leader in the Senate is being held hostage in a reelection battle against a Democrat and a Tea Party challenger. Patricia Murphy reports on a leader who is running scared."

Rush Limbaugh Has No Business Teaching History to Our Kids (Michelle Cottle) from the Daily Beast
"Gather round while Rush Limbaugh retells American history for young readers. Or not. Michelle Cottle on why you should take your kids and run as fast as you can in the other direction."
What do we expect?!  If Americans are not willing to fund quality history education either in primary or secondary school, then it will be left to the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Becks of this world to do the job!

Inside the Nazi Mind at the Nuremberg Trials from the Daily Beast
"At Nuremberg, 24 of the highest-ranking Nazis were put on trial, but behind the scenes they were also being analyzed by leading American psychologists to figure out the root of their evil. Thomas Harding on what they discovered."

Trees Tip Off Researchers to Secrets of Genghis Khan from the WESA program, Allegheny Front
"Hessl went to study climate change and forest fires. While she was there, she and her team came upon trees growing on an 8,000-year-old lava field. It was there where she discovered what are essentially preserved natural records of times gone by."

Fall Movie Preview: 16 Oscar Contenders to Watch For from the Atlantic 
"That time of year when studios bring out their most award-worthy films."