Politico - Opinion: When service members return home, they're vulnerable to abusive financial practices.
Politico - Opinion: It's a big mistake to allow the leading bipartisan proposal to fail.
Politico - Opinion: The last thing they need is to highlight disagreements for the world to see.
The Week - Rush Limbaugh apologizes, Russians vote, LiLo does SNL, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion1. RUSH LIMBAUGH APOLOGIZESAfter six advertisers bailed on his show, conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh apologized Saturday for branding 30-year-old Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute." Fluke had argued at a congressional hearing that employers should pay for workers' birth control. "My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir," Limbaugh said in a statement. "I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices." [Associated Press]
On March - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
The Week - Obama talks tough on Iran, Major League Baseball changes its rules, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion1. U.S. SOLDIERS MAY BE PUNISHED FOR KORAN BURNINGMilitary officials have concluded that five American soldiers were involved in the inadvertent "incineration of a pile of Korans" last week in Afghanistan — an incident that sparked violent protests in which dozens of people died. Officials say the soldiers will be reprimanded, perhaps with a loss of rank, but probably not named publicly. "What they did was careless, but there was no ill will," one official said. [Washington Post]
ContributorNetwork - COMMENTARY | Rush Limbaugh is receiving widespread criticism in regards to a comment he made on his radio show in which he called a Georgetown grad student a slut. Sandra Fluke shares the prevailing opinion that medical coverage should cover contraceptives no matter what religious institution backs it. (Apparently, in this 21st century, women still have to subject their bodies to the ideals of patriarchal religion.)
ContributorNetwork - COMMENTARY | OK, everyone, I'm going to tell you a secret. Lean in. Gather 'round, I'm going to whisper. President Barack Obama was born in â€¦ Hawaii.
The Week - Vladimir Putin's victory in Russia's Sunday election is considered a foregone conclusion. But can he survive what comes next?Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win his country's presidential election on Sunday, reclaiming the job he held for eight years before term limits forced him to step aside — at which point he became P.M. Despite massive anti-corruption protests, polls show that Putin still has the backing of 60 percent of his constituents, suggesting that he could win a majority in the first round and avoid a run-off. What can we expect from another Putin term? Here, four predictions:
The Week - One in seven U.S. citizens receives aid to buy food. Are we feeding the hungry, breeding dependency, or both?What are food stamps?They're a form of aid provided by the federal government to low-income households to help them buy food. The term "food stamps" comes from the coupon-like stamps used during the "War on Poverty" in the 1960s, although they were phased out in 2004 in favor of plastic debit cards, which are refilled electronically each month. In 2008, the government rechristened the program Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. But most people still call it food stamps, and the program has become a political flash point since GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said in January that "more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history."
Politico - Opinion: Unnecessary decline of U.S.-Egyptian relations could damage national interests the most.
AP - With no end in sight, the Republican presidential nomination fight may end up mirroring the epic 2008 battle between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton that stretched into June. But length may be the only true parallel.
The Week - The brash, conservative crusader passed away suddenly at 43, leaving activists, politicians, and commentators on the Right struggling to fathom their lossConservative internet publisher and activist Andrew Breitbart, who inspired the Right and infuriated the Left, collapsed and died early Thursday, at age 43. Breitbart, who reportedly had heart problems, started out as a behind-the-scenes deputy to web pioneer Matt Drudge. After leaving The Drudge Report in 2005, he rapidly built an internet publishing empire that began with Breitbart.com, and now includes such sites as Big Journalism, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism, and others. In the process, Breitbart became a brash defender of conservative causes, and the muckraking nemesis of liberal politicians and groups. His posts, including photos and videos, have been credited with — or blamed for, depending on your point of view — taking down foes from ACORN to former House Democrat Anthony Weiner. Here, a sampling of views, from those on both the Left and Right, on what Breitbart's loss means:
The Week - The Senate prepares to vote on a controversial contraception amendment, North Korea agrees to suspend its nuclear program, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion1. SENATE TO VOTE ON BLUNT'S CONTRACEPTION AMENDMENTAs the culture wars continue, the Senate is set to vote Thursday on a controversial amendment to President Obama's policy on birth-control coverage. The new measure, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), would allow employers and insurers to opt out of any mandated health-insurance coverage, including birth control, they object to for religious or moral reasons. On Wednesday, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney initially said he would oppose such legisltation, but then, hours later said he supported the Blunt amendment. [CNN]………………………………………………………………………………
On February - 29 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
AP - The surprising retirement of moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine moves congressional centrists a step closer to extinction and highlights the great paradox of American politics.
On February - 29 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
AP - Given to awkward utterances, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney sized up his Michigan primary victory with memorable precision.
Politico - Opinion: Most don't support a strike without U.S. backing, a new poll shows.
The Week - A new poll reveals that nearly three-fourths of Americans believe Obama's health-care reform law is unconstitutional — including 56 percent of DemocratsA new USA Today/Gallup poll offers some sobering numbers about President Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. The Affordable Care Act is broadly unpopular among registered voters, the poll finds, with half calling its passage a "bad thing" and 42 percent a "good thing." In 12 crucial swing states, the numbers are worse: 53 percent "bad" versus 38 percent "good." Also, 72 percent of all polled adults believe the ACA's individual mandate is unconstitutional, including 56 percent of Democrats. Furthermore, half of registered voters want the law repealed if a Republican beats Obama in the fall, versus 44 percent who don't. Why are Americans so down on health-care reform? Here, three theories:
The Week - The U.S. imposed financial sanctions on the Japanese mob, but will the Japanese government cooperate?Japan's yakuza gangsters are known for their iconic traditions, such as sporting elaborate full-body tattoos, and chopping off their own pinky fingers as a form of penance. But the yakuza are emerging as thoroughly modern criminal syndicates with global reach. That's why the U.S. Treasury is imposing sanctions on Japan's largest yakuza clan, the Yamaguchi-gumi. While the sanctions target gangsters, they could also have serious implications for the Yakuza's partners — which include Japanese businessmen and politicians. Here, a guide to the standoff:
Politico - Opinion: The Republican presidential candidates' hard right turn is only helping Democrats.
The Week - With gas prices climbing worryingly high, the president is under pressure from all sides to do something before rising costs derail the recoveryWith oil and gasoline prices rising dramatically, Republicans and Democrats alike are demanding action to keep energy costs from shattering the fragile economic recovery. The national average price for a gallon of gas hit $3.65 last week, inching perilously closer to the critical $4-a-gallon level. While GOP politicians are reviving their "drill, baby, drill" calls, saying increasing domestic oil supply is the key to energy independence, Democrats are urging President Obama to tap into the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down oil prices. Should Obama turn on the spigots?
The Week - Assad says he's delivering on promises of reform. But critics say it's a cruel joke to hold a vote on a new constitution while the military is shelling civiliansAs the Syrian military continued to blast civilian neighborhoods, the government of President Bashar al-Assad held a referendum on a new constitution Sunday. At least 59 civilians and soldiers were killed on the day of the vote, many of them in the besieged city of Homs. Assad said the referendum — which in theory would let him stay in power until 2028 — marked a step toward reform and the establishment of a multi-party system; according to state TV, it passed with 89 percent support. But the White House has called the idea of holding a vote on reform while the government is crushing the opposition "laughable." Here, four theories on what the vote really says about Syria:
Politico - Opinion: The energy strategy this president has adopted are jeopardizing progress.
On February - 24 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
The Week - Protests spread after U.S. soldiers set Muslim holy books on fire, potentially blowing NATO's last shot to win over the Afghan populaceViolent demonstrations over the unintentional burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers continued to spread across Afghanistan on Friday, despite a direct apology by President Obama to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Already this week, protesters have hurled rocks at U.S. military installations, an Afghan serviceman killed two American soldiers, and several Afghan politicians called for the withdrawal of foreign troops. Could the outrage over this incident definitively turn public opinion in Afghanistan against the U.S. and NATO?