AirTalk for March 8, 2011

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The possibility of bombing Libya’s military airfields was raised by Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee on Sunday even as the White House cautioned against being drawn into another costly campaign without end. As Libya inches closer to an all out civil war, the issue of whether the US should escalate its response using military measures, such as a no fly zone to keep Libyan warplanes grounded, is now front and center. Another strong argument is being made for humanitarian over military response but what exactly would this entail and how would it be perceived by the rest of the world? Yet how can Libya’s air force be disabled without incurring the expense and commitment that marked our previous efforts in Iraq and the Balkans? Is it realistic that the US just keep its efforts on the diplomatic level?
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NPR targeted in video sting

James O'Keefe, conservative master of the video sting, has a new target today - NPR. Posing as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood front group called the Muslim Education Action Center, O'Keefe captured what appears to be NPR senior executive Ron Schiller, criticizing conservatives and the Tea Party movement. “The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” Schiller said. O'Keefe and an associate offered $5 million to NPR in an attempt to offset what they perceived as substantial "Zionist coverage" on other news outlets. NPR has responded by saying they are "appalled" by Schiller's remarks and that their foundation never offered to accept the phony $5 million donation. The dust has barely settled from NPR's controversial firing of Juan Williams, what will the fallout be from this latest incident?
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As Florida’s “ballot malfunction” in the 2000 presidential election showed, the smallest actions can have profound consequences. In the new book Then Everything Changed—Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics, veteran politics and culture reporter Jeff Greenfield examines the tiny shifts in events that could have led to John F. Kennedy’s death even before his inauguration, to Robert Kennedy avoiding assassination, and to Gerald Ford defeating Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential election. From each of these imagined situations, he goes on to weave dramatic narratives that examine how these tiny shifts could have led to an enormously changed American history.
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