Russia And Syria Like John Kerry’s ‘Rhetorical’ Idea For Averting War

‘The diplomatic leaders of each country suggested on Monday that Bashar al Assad give up his chemical weapons stash to international observers. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking at the British Foreign Office, offered the idea in response to a journalist’s question about how strikes on Syria could be averted.’

Philip Bump, The Atlantic Wire, 9th September 2013.

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September 9, 2013 · 5:04 pm

The Hands-Tied Presidency

‘Divided government has been a staple of American politics for many years, and Mr. Obama, a former professor of constitutional law, needs no education in the system of checks and balances. But analysts usually emphasize other factors. In ideological terms there is a Tea Party-caffeinated insurgency within the House Republican caucus. In personal terms, there is Mr. Obama’s inability to charm adversaries as Ronald Reagan did.’

Sam Tanehaus, NYT, 7th September 2013

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September 9, 2013 · 1:34 am

Fight To the Death

‘Burger’s move was unprecedented. It created a monster: The opinions in Furman ran over 60,000 words. And with no one in charge, the five-justice majority unraveled. Brennan tried to write an opinion that would satisfy Stewart, but couldn’t. White remained silent throughout the spring. In the end, Mandery says, Stewart and White had a closed-door conversation in which they reached the following agreement: “Stewart would abandon his moral position against the death penalty and draft an opinion striking down the Georgia death penalty because of its sporadic use. White, in turn, would cast the deciding fifth vote against capital punishment, and write that the death penalty was not applied frequently enough to accomplish any social aim.”’

Emily Bazelon, Slate, 6th September 2013.

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September 9, 2013 · 12:13 am

Architect Of Syria War Plan Doubts Surgical Strikes Will Work.

‘Now, a former U.S. Navy planner responsible for outlining an influential and highly-detailed proposal for surgical strikes tells The Cable he has serious misgivings about the plan. He says too much faith is being put into the effectiveness of surgical strikes on Assad’s forces with little discussion of what wider goals such attacks are supposed to achieve.’

John Hudson, Foreign Policy, 25th August 2013.

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August 28, 2013 · 1:16 am

How Technology Wrecks The Middle Class.

‘Computerization has therefore fostered a polarization of employment, with job growth concentrated in both the highest- and lowest-paid occupations, while jobs in the middle have declined. Surprisingly, overall employment rates have largely been unaffected …’

David H. Autor and David Dorn, NYT, 24th August 2013.

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August 27, 2013 · 2:49 pm

Japan Nuclear Agency Upgrades Fukushima Alert Level

‘A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, Kyodo news agency said earlier this week.

Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tepco, told Reuters news agency: “One hundred millisieverts per hour is equivalent to the limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers; so it can be said that we found a radiation level strong enough to give someone a five-year dose of radiation within one hour.”‘

BBC, 21st August 2013

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August 22, 2013 · 12:59 am

Scores Killed IN Syria, With Signs Of Chemical War.

‘Images of death and chaos poured out of Syria after what may be the single deadliest attack in more than two years of civil war. Videos posted online showed dozens of lifeless bodies, men wrapped in burial shrouds and children, some still in diapers. There were hospital scenes of corpses and the stricken sprawled on gurneys and tile floors as medics struggled to resuscitate them.’

Ben Hubbard and Hwaida Saad, NYT, 20th August 2013.

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August 22, 2013 · 12:56 am