Here and Now. Sat. Feb. 19, 2011.
U.S. recovery "really taking hold," says Philadelphia Fed. (Chris Wallace, Daily Finance)
Pelosi aide says government shutdown likely when cash runs out March 4. (Jonathan Allen, Politico)
New GOP governor wrong, unions not to blame for Wisconsin budget crisis. (Ezra Klein, WaPo)
Former U.S. senator Russ Feingold launches new progressive political movement. (Tom Diemer, Politics Daily)
Even Palin and Rove think "birthers" are wacko and a distraction. (Nerve). Good luck with that. Half of Republicans believe the rumors that Obama is foreign-born. The real problem for the GOP with birthers is that most American's don't give a rat's ass where Obama was born. At the time Obama was elected, two of America's largest states, California and Michigan, had foreign-born governors. That was also a year when, but for Obama, America would have had its first woman president, eight years after its first Jewish presidential running mate. And if he's part-Muslim, which Obama obviously is - he campaigned on having a father from Kenya and mother from Kansas - couldn't that only help in understanding a culture that since 9/11 is of consuming interest to Americans? Even "socialist" is too obviously facile an attack word, especially now there's an avowed Socialist representing Vermont in the U.S. Senate. No, Obama's weakness is the economy, which most Americans recognize their politicians have an only limited ability to deal with (as they themselves do in their personal lives), and to a lesser extent empathy, where he suffers in the inevitable comparisons with a Bill Clinton still very much with us. Obama knows and cares about your suffering, and he's workin' on it, but he doesn't feel your pain the way Americans sensed Clinton did. But that turned into a cliche long ago, as Americans gave the presidency to a more (not entirely, that would be Wilson) professorial candidate in a near-landslide. Lately Obama is co-opting the GOP on coziness with business, so that Obama's actually weaker on his left flank than right. Much as I admire this president for his values and accomplishments, I think he's as delusional in his own way as the more extreme Tea Partiers if he really imagines that the CEOs he's been summitting with have any cures for what ails an economy that they drove into a ditch. FDR and big business made quasi-war on each other, and that worked well for FDR's coalition through four elections.
Why Germany must quit Afghanistan, yet another war built on lies. (Jurgen Todenhofer, Der Spiegel)
Indonesia's democratic transition could be model for Egypt. (Sara Schonhardt, Christian Science Monitor)
Will Canada export death by re-opening Quebec asbestos mine? (Andrew Schneider, AOL News)
Why you haven't felt the global spike in food prices - yet. (Annie Lowrey, Slate)
A bankrupt Borders hurts everyone, especially authors. (Karen Dionne, Daily Finance)
Boeing's stalled 787 Dreamliner a case history in failed outsourcing. (Michael Hiltzik, LAT)
Apple investors should be told truth about ailing Jobs' health. (Robert Cyran, Reuters)
Sacrilege! "I hate my iPad." (John Swansburg, Slate)
No stunt: Phlly homeowner turns tables, forecloses on Wells Fargo branch. (Jeff Gelles, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Canada, Nashville gaining on NYC and LA in music-scene influence. (Richard Florida, Atlantic)