Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Links

1. Honestly, I wouldn't have surprised if Obama backed off his desire to enact immigration reform. I'm not willing to give odds on what I think the chances are of some meaningful legislation actually getting passed.

2. Middle East: Roger Cohen says Netanyahu is "crying wolf" over claims that Iran will obtain and use a nuclear weapon against Israel, and the Obama administration announces in a dramatic shift that they will join nuclear talks with Iran. Israel's new Foreign Minister rejects the 2007 Annapolis agreement, but Obama signals that the U.S. expects Israel to comply with the agreement and, according to Haaretz, is preparing his administration for a confrontation with Israel over Palestine.

3. Eric Holder begins a "revamp" of the Public Integrity Unit at the DOJ.

4. An organization of Cuban exiles signals they are willing to accept broad changes in American's policies towards Cuba.

5. Nicholas Kristof says that we've reached a turning point when it comes to animal rights.

6. Thanks to the recession, more states are considering raising taxes. Naturally, they will do so quietly.

7. A Texas Republican says Asian-Americans should change to names that are "easier for Americans to deal with." Because of course that makes more sense than just not enacting ridiculous and unnecessary voter ID legislation.

8. Co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons Dave Arneson has died. As you may recall, Gary Gygax passed away this time last year. The world of role-playing owes both its existence and popularity mostly to these two men.

9. Idiots shoot and kill a dog belonging to a retired Navy SEAL living in the Houston area, who nearly kills them in return. Both his name and book sounded familiar so I looked him up. Sure enough, I remember him from this NPR story from 2007 recounting a battle in Afghanistan in which he was the only survivor. I can tell you that had he shot one or more of those guys, no jury in Texas would've convicted him.

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