Around the Web: 4.11.07

*I have noted how weak the Democratic presidential candidates are on gay marriage a few times (here, here and here), and think Derrick Jackson is right to call them out in today's Globe.

[A]ll the leading Democratic candidates either say they oppose gay marriage or that they are wrestling with it (with no proof, of course, how gay marriage destroys straight marriage).

Underneath the paralysis of politicians, America continues to change with every family who becomes like the Cheney s or is close to a family like Cheney's. By more than a 2-to-1 margin in a Newsweek poll last month, Americans said they think homosexuals should be able to serve in the military. A majority of Americans still oppose gay marriage, but a majority oppose a US constitutional ban and 59 percent say in the Newsweek poll that a presidential candidate's support for gay marriage would alone not lose their vote.

*David Sirota asks a great question.

How many jobs need to be eliminated and how long to wages have to stagnate before Democrats stop promoting the orthodoxy that says Bob Rubin is the greatest economic guru in American history?

As I have noted before, the American Prospect has a good article on just how "Rubinized" the Democrats remain.

*Despite the absurd criticism of the Washington Post, Pelosi and Rep. Lantos are considering a trip to Iran. ""I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow," said Lantos in the SF Gate.

*Bryan Bender reports that "repeated tours in Iraq" are driving out some of the Army's "top young officers," including West Point alumni.

According to statistics compiled by West Point, of the 903 Army officers commissioned upon graduation in 2001, nearly 46 percent left the service last year -- 35 percent at the conclusion of their five years of required service, and another 11 percent over the next six months. And more than 54 percent of the 935 graduates in the class of 2000 had left active duty by this January, the statistics show.

The figures mark the lowest retention rate of graduates after the completion of their mandatory duty since at least 1977, with the exception of members of three classes in the late 1980s who were encouraged to leave as the military downsized following the end of the Cold War.

*From the History News Network, historian Lawrence Wittner takes a look at a dangerous regime and its desire for more nuclear weapons.

[F]rom the standpoint of the Bush administration, there are never enough nuclear weapons—at least in its arsenal.

And so, administration officials are now back with another U.S. nuclear weapons proposal: to build the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). "They've been running with RRW like you wouldn't believe," observed U.S. Representative David Hobson (Republican-Ohio). Hobson ought to know for, until this January, he chaired the House subcommittee on water and energy appropriations, which oversees spending on nuclear weapons.

*Everytime you read a Times piece about Iran, such as this or this -- just remember to go back and read this one from 2004. Regarding the case for war they wrote:

[W]e have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.

*Haaretz has the latest on the proposed prisoner swap in the Middle East, which appears to be crumbling.

* I have to say: I still can't believe that only 2 percent of Israeli's trust Olmert. It is troubling, however, to read clips from a few weeks ago which suggest that "Israeli's right wing would win election."

*The WSJ editorial board says this is "McCain's finest hour." And no it isn't satire. Leave it to the WSJ editorial page to try and spin McCain's latest display of idiocy into a positive.