Political Link List: September 25, 2012

I tweet a lot. Like, a lot. And recently, most of my tweets have been about the 2012 presidential election here in the United States. Ever since the Republican primary, I’ve read countless interesting news articles about the election, from the important players to the hot-button issues to the historical trends and political mechanics that affect the campaign.

Starting today, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite news links on this blog. I’ll try to post a few links every day. I’ll still be tweeting these articles, of course, but now you have another way of getting my political news recommendations. Here we go!

In Arab Spring, Obama Finds a Sharp Test (by Helene Cooper and Robert F. Worth)
Key passage: “In many ways, Mr. Obama’s remarks at the State Department two weeks ago — and the ones he will make before the General Assembly on Tuesday morning, when he addresses the anti-American protests — reflected hard lessons the president had learned over almost two years of political turmoil in the Arab world: bold words and support for democratic aspirations are not enough to engender good will in this region, especially not when hampered by America’s own national security interests.”

Obama’s policy on Iran bears some fruit, but nuclear program still advances (by Joby Warrick)
Key passage: “Although Iran has weathered sanctions in the past, independent analysts say the impact this time has been staggering. Oil exports have plummeted by a third, forcing Iran to shut down oil wells and close petrochemical plants, depriving the country’s economy of billions of dollars each month. Iran’s currency, meanwhile, is in free fall, driving up food prices and jobless rates throughout the country.”

The League of Dangerous Mapmakers (by Robert Draper)
Key passage: “Tanner says that redistricting’s impact has evolved over time, from simply creating safe seats for incumbents to creating rigid conservative and liberal districts, wherein the primary contests are a race to the extremes and the general elections are preordained. “When the [final] election [outcome] is [determined] in the party primary—which now it is, in all but less than 100 of the 435 seats—then a member comes [to Washington] politically crippled,” the retired congressman told me. “Look, everyone knows we have a structural deficit, and the only way out of it is to raise revenues and cut entitlements. No one who’s reasonable thinks otherwise. But what happens? The Democrats look over their left shoulder, and if someone suggests cutting a single clerk out of the Department of Agriculture, they go crazy. Republicans look over their right shoulder, and if someone proposes raising taxes on Donald Trump’s income by $10, they say it’ll be the end of the world. So these poor members come to Washington paralyzed, unable to do what they all know must be done to keep the country from going adrift, for fear that they’ll get primaried.”