Today's Word – Over the weekend, an American soldier in Kandahar province murdered up to 16 Afghan civilians (more details here). Two weeks ago, it was the burning of Korans on an American military base, now it's cold blooded murder. What's clear is the U.S. and NATO presence in the country has become toxic. In the 2012 election, Mitt Romney's presidential chances get weaker as the conversation shifts to Afghanistan. Romney's strength is his ability to manage the economy, so the more the economy improves and the debate moves to foriegn policy, the less appealing he becomes as a candidate. Rick Santorum senses this, and shifted over the weekend away from economic issues and toward foreign policy, health care, and social issues. Last week, Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie said Obama is vulnerable on foreign policy. Watch for Romney to take on a foreign policy stalwart as his vice presidential choice.
Expert of the day – Apple Gets a Texas Tax Incentive of $21M, Tax Payers Will Foot the Bill – Free marketer Christine Harbin says Texas's move to give $21 million to Apple to expand in Austin is a mistake. Using "lucrative incentive packages to lure businesses" harms taxpayers "doesn't create new economic activity, it just shifts it around."
Political Journalism Bootcamp – Are you interested in becoming the next top pundit and learning how to write persuasive political journalism? Apply for our bootcamp (Hint: there are awesome prizes for the winners!).
Top Stories – Kony 2012 is the Linsanity of Child Slavery Documentaries (Michael Luciano) – Produced by the NGO Invisible Children, Kony 2012 has garnered over 70 million views on YouTube and everyone is talking about it, making it the Linsanity of child slavery documentaries. If the documentary has taught us anything, it’s that many people have no idea what’s going on in the world.
Spanx Creator Sara Blakely Highlights the Positive Steps Women Are Making in Business (Gina Barbone) – Blakely is the youngest woman to make Forbes' billionaire list without a husband’s assistance or an inheritance, paving the way for women entrepreneurs to continue closing the gender gap in business.
DSK: The Best President France Will Never Have (Expert, William Bauer) – The current frontrunner in the French presidential election, François Hollande, far from winning based on popularity, vision or competence, is winning merely because he is not Nicolas Sarkozy. This is worrying, as France could soon be led by a man who has no real experience handling international financial policies or any financial or economic acumen.
What We’re Reading – Centrist women are disenchanted with Republicans (NY Times); The view from Tehran (The Economist); Friedman: Pass the books, hold the oil (NY Times); 10 Occupy candidates running for Congress (Mother Jones).
Photo Credit: The U.S. Army