Here and Now. Wed., Feb. 23.
Moammar Gadhafi. (Reuters) At least, that's the Star spelling. There are many others.
There may be more at stake in Tripoli upheaval than those of Cairo and Tunis. (Michael J. Totten, New Republic)
Gadhafi's inevitable fall won't trigger oil crisis. (Peter Foster, National Post)
How Gadhafi lost Libya. (Andrew Solomon, New Yorker)
Lethargic European response to Mideast unrest arises from fears of higher oil prices and flood of refugees. (Robert Marquard, Christian Science Monitor) Believe it, too, since both David Cameron and Sarko have recently denounced multiculturalism as a failed notion. Egalite, liberte, fraternite? Don't mistake that as a universal hope. We're hogging it for ourselves. Rule #1 in geopolitics: All nations act in their own self-interest.
Libya's revolution, Europe's shame. (El Pais, Madrid) Europe preoccupied with tide of North African migrants than how to help spur liberation.
U.S. government shutdown
So, what happens if the government shuts down? (Annie Lowrey, Slate)
Who wins and loses if the plug is pulled on Uncle Sam? (David Corn, Politics Daily)
What's really at stake in the shutdown threat. (Robert Reich, RobertReich.com)
Poll shows majority oppose restricting collective-bargaining rights of public servants. (Christopher Weber, Politics Daily)
Billionaire Koch brothers' money is backing state's union-busting bid. (Eric Lipton, NYT) In case you missed it, here's Jane Mayer's brilliant 2010 profile of Koch brothers' secretive business empire and the lads' reactionary political machinations in the New Yorker.
Gov. Scott Walker also has Medicaid in his sights, along with public-employee unions. (Jonathan Cohn, New Republic)
GOP-appointed Indiana deputy AG tweets that "live ammunition" should be used against anti-austerity protesters in Wisconsin and elsewhere. (Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones) Elsewhere would include Indianapolis, also gearing up for harsh austerity measures under a GOP governor.
The dismal science
Government austerity measures rarely deliver the advertised benefits. (Felix Salmon, Reuters)
Tyler Cowen's much-discussed forecast of endless economic malaise is a dicey one. (Timothy Noah, Slate)
7 habits of highly frugal people.(Moneyning.com) Habit #1. Don't rise from bed. Habit #2. Repeat Habit 1 as necessary.
GOP-appointed Indiana deputy AG calls for "live ammo" to be used against anti-austerity protesters in Wisconsin and elsewhere. (Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones) Elsewhere would include Indianapolis, also gearing up for harsh austerity measures under a GOP governor.
Arizona to proceed with declaring an official state gun, weeks after Tucson tragedy. (Lesley Ciarula Taylor, Toronto Star) Proponents argue official state fossil, flower, motto, et al, should be accompanied by state gun. Appears that Arizona soon to have two state fossils, petrified wood and the legislature in Phoenix.
Where have all the good men gone? (Kay S. Hymowitz, WSJ) Latest update on a story commissioned by lifestyle editors every 4.7 years since Gutenberg ran a small item on it. The twist this time, in an excerpt from Hymowitz's Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys? Explains the author: "With women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing." Didn't Danielle Crittenden already write this (widely discredited) book already, about 15 years ago? It always comes down to the same thing: If only women would quit over-achieving, we could get back to women as second-class citizens and life would be peachy again. No question, though, that men aren't maturing soon enough - or at all.
Where do bad ideas come from, and why don't they go away? (Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy)
Cellphone use tied to brain changes. (Tara Parker-Pope, NYT)
Colin Firth, "thinking ladies' leading man." Photo gallery. (Time) I hope my newsroom colleagues would be politically correct enough not to let me get a headline like that past them.
Poll finds Americans pick Reagan as best-ever president. (Christopher Weber, Politics Daily) Also, they regard Ted Baxter as the most fully realized character on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." (Okay, I made that part up.)
Baghdad seeks $1 billion from U.S. for damage caused since 2003 U.S.-led invasion. (Aseel Kami, Reuters) Aggh, what's Shia for chutzpah? (Why don't you take it out of that skid of greenbacks that "disappeared" while Bremmer was consul?) Anyway, send it with the other bills to G.W. Bush, General Delivery, Crawford, Tex.
No girls allowed: Dr. Pepper (edit - who/what that?) launches a "manly" diet drink, Dr. Pepper 10, labeled "Not for women." (Time) A publicity stunt by the fading Dr. P, no less transparently so than Harlequin's bid to patent the kiss. (Full disclosure: The Star and Harlequin share a common parent in Torstar Corp.)
Gingrich is challenged by Dem at U of Penn appearance on how does Newt square his family-values blather with his 1990s extramarital affair. (Politics Daily, Politico, Daily Pennslyvanian) As I was just saying, we need more progressives like this brave Dem calling out these mountebanks in public. (Alas, the unscheduled speaker incorrectly gave the impression Newt's had just one affair.) Here, BTW, is John Richardson's Newt profile from August's Esquire, which as an aside is awkwardly revealing about the former speaker's serial philandering.