1) Michigan and Arizona voters choose a new oligarchy over a new theocracy! – Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had 41 percent to Santorum’s 38 percent, with 99 percent of the vote counted, according to the Associated Press. Romney won Arizona with 47 percent to Santorum’s 27 percent, with 89 percent of the vote counted.
2) Too late Santorum: we already know you’re a religious nut || After big primary loss, Santorum retools message for must-win Ohio – In a speech on Tuesday after results were known, Santorum moved his message away from the social issues for which he is known and tightened his focus on themes dear to blue-collar voters who will have a big say when the race moves to Super Tuesday next week, which includes what is now the must-win state of Ohio. [...] Usually happy to speak for about 45 minutes about topics ranging from abortion to radical Islam, Santorum kept his speech brief after losing, making rising gas prices and revitalizing the manufacturing sector the core elements of his comments, saying “bureaucrats in Washington don’t care about flyover country.” “Are we a country that believes in big government, do we believe in the smart and elite in this country to manage us or do you believe in free people and a free economy and building a great America from the bottom up?” Santorum said.
3) Obama forcefully rebuts Mitt Romney in speech to auto workers union – “Because I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these politicians completely rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet. These are the folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” Now they’re saying they were right all along. Or worse, they’re saying that the problem is that you, the workers, made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really? Even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you-know-what. About 700,000 retirees saw a reduction in the health care benefits they had earned. Many of you saw hours reduced, or pay and wages scaled back. You gave up some of your rights as workers. Promises were made to you over the years that you gave up for the sake and survival of this industry, its workers, and their families. You want to talk about values? Hard work – that’s a value. Looking out for one another – that’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together – that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper – that is a value.” Watch:
4) Don’t worry fringe-right bigots who hate President Obama for apologizing for soldiers burning Korans in Afghanistan: your hero George W. Bush also hates America and freedom and liberty and the troops and Jesus — 05/21/2008: President Bush has apologized to Iraq’s prime minister for an American sniper’s shooting of a Quran, and the Iraqi government called on U.S. military commanders to educate their soldiers to respect local religious beliefs. Bush’s spokeswoman said Tuesday that the president apologized during a videoconference Monday with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who told the president that the shooting of Islam’s holy book had disappointed and angered both the Iraqi people and their leaders. “He apologized for that in the sense that he said that we take it very seriously,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “We are concerned about the reaction. We wanted them to know that the president knew that this was wrong.” Oh Dana, shitting on Muslims is never wrong.
5) Gingrich: Santorum ‘Strongly Overreacted’ To JFK’s Religion Speech - Newt Gingrich chided fellow GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum today for saying he wanted to “throw up” when he heard a speech by President John Kennedy about the need for a separation of church and state. Santorum has walked back the comments a bit, but Gingrich told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that Santorum “strongly overreacted” to JFK’s speech (he also misrepresented it, as Salon’s Joan Walsh pointed out). “At the time it was seen as a brilliant and effective speech, and I think it was,” Gingrich said, comparing Kennedy to GOP icon Ronald Reagan.
6) Union of Concerned Scientists: U.S. nuclear oversight too lax – A study of safety lapses at nuclear power facilities in the United States found that owners of atomic plants too often either close an eye to problems or fail to adequately address them, a watchdog group said Tuesday. The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in its study found 15 cases of safety equipment problems and security shortcomings at 13 nuclear plants last year, calling that number “high.” [...] The group said that lax NRC oversight has allowed some problems to fester for decades, and found that 47 nuclear reactors — nearly half of the 104 nuclear plants operating in the United States today — still do not comply with fire regulations established by the NRC in 1980 and amended in 2004. It also said that there are 27 reactors with inadequate protection against earthquakes.
7) Fukushima contamination ‘chronic and lasting’ – Radioactive contamination levels from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have fallen sharply since the accident but will be “chronic and lasting” for many years, a French watchdog said Tuesday. “The initial contamination linked to the accident has greatly declined,” Didier Champion, crisis manager at the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), told reporters almost a year after the disaster. “That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any more, far from it. Today, and for many years to come, we will have a situation of chronic and lasting contamination of the environment.”
8) Panetta: Iran Hasn’t ‘Made The Decision To Develop A Nuclear Weapon’ - LINDSEY GRAHAM: Do you believe the Iranians are trying to develop a nuclear weapon? LEON PANETTA: I think they’re developing a nuclear capability [but] our intelligence makes clear that they haven’t made the decision to develop a nuclear weapon. Graham moved on and chose not to publicly disagree with the Secretary of Defense but the message from Panetta was clear. U.S. intelligence, at this time, does not conclude that Iran is in the process of building a nuclear weapon. These views are echoed by the the IAEA — the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency — which, just last week, reiterated its “serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme,” but came short of concluding that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon.