Thursday, March 31, 2011

NYT Paywall News Roundup

The game from now on is to follow a link into the NYTimes website and grab as many links as possible without clicking on any content links yourself. Repost on your blog, and you give your readers unlimited access behind the NYTimes paywall.

The CIA is on the ground in Libya, repeating the tactics that brought a (relatively) swift rout against the Taliban in 2001, partnering with the Northern Alliance and directing American air strikes against government forces. The Libyan rebels, however, have much less combat experience than the Northern Alliance had, and it seems less likely that Qaddafhi's regime will be as comfortable melting away to form a long-running insurgency, settling for local protection rackets and drug money to finance personal fortunes. The oil wealth inherent in control of a united Libya is a much stronger reason to stay in power, and Qaddafhi's regime is more entrenched than the Taliban were in Afghanistan.

Government bailouts are paying off for the American taxpayer, bringing in additional revenue. The reality is that this off-sets some need to raise money from individual taxpayers, as a part of the revenue gap (i.e. deficit) is being paid for by profits going to the treasury. Meanwhile the former Inspector General overseeing TARP is opining that the program was less than ideal. Of course, that's what IG's do.

Radiation from the Fukushima Diachi plant has been found in dangerous concentrations 25 miles away from the site of the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

And perhaps too obvious to really spend time reporting on, so-called Tea Party organizations are undermining the interests of actual Tea Party members in favor of business lobbies. Tariff-free imports of Indonesian paper are all the rage at the Institute for Liberty, but probably not among the tea-party faithful, who would rather see government revenue coming from foreign companies than individuals' pockets. "Taxed Enough Already" certainly doesn't imply "Shift the tax burden from foreign corporations to American families." Perhaps the "mission-creep" story explains why 47 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party. Or possibly it's because Americans now know what the Tea Party and the extreme right wants.

Meanwhile, in economic news, The private sector added over 200,000 jobs in March, housing prices continued their slide in January as mortgage assistance is drying up, Ireland's banking crisis continues despite the EU bailout and the austerity budget policy that was a term of that loan, and the Federal Reserve is dithering about the economic recovery.

Also in opinion is a plea to take tobacco out of baseball. Dip has become an unfortunate part of the sport ritual. Chew tobacco incidence is rising out of control, and the social acceptance of 'smoke-less tobacco' is a major factor in the spread of the addiction. As smoking becomes less and less convenient, tobacco seekers replace the cigarette with forms of tobacco that can be used constantly throughout the day, creating a more difficult and insidious dependence.

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