For our weekend political readers:
BATTLEFIELD PHOTOS THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
Slate has a riveting photo essay of Civil War Antietam photos taken by 19th century photographer Alexander Gardner.
The photos were revolutionary and Slate offers the retrospective on the 150th anniversary of the first Civil War battle fought on Union soil.
When Alexander Gardner arrived on the bloody Antietam battlefield in 1862, with his cumbersome photography equipment, he set out to do something that no one had ever done. It was the first time a photographer attempted to document a battlefield before the dead had been cleared away. It was unclear exactly what would become of these incredibly detailed images soldiers burying the dead and bodies zig-zagging across dry fields. At that point in time, newspapers could not yet print photographs (only wood cuttings of images) and no such work had ever existed.
About one month later photographer Mathew Brady exhibited the work in his New York studio. Even all these years later the photos are still often referred to as the most powerful battlefield images of all time. It is hard to process what the experience of seeing them must been like for people who had rarely been exposed to any sorts of documentary-style photos, let alone images of war.
More than 23,000 casualties died at Antietam, one of the bloodiest single-day battles in American history. Check out the image gallery and accompanying backstory at this link.
THE PRESIDENTIAL WEEK
There’s no doubt that this week in the 2012 Presidential campaign was the most heated so far.
Romney’s May “47%” viral video followed up by the “Redistribution” counter-attack on Obama from 14 years ago was one storyline. Conservatives complained about an “imploding” Romney campaign, while Obama faced questions over his failures from a surprisingly tough Univision audience.
Where to go for a roundup? Try the landing page for Politico and pick your poison.
Here’s what really matters, however: swing state polling. The Presidential race will come down to five or fewer pivotal states. Earlier in the week, NBC/WSJ/Marist released polls showing Obama leading in key swing states.
Late in the week, another slew of polls showing Obama with leads in Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. What is moving the numbers in Obama’s favor?
“The secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney dissecting the American electorate at a high-priced fundraiser bolsters him among Republicans but makes almost a third of independents less likely to vote for him, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds,” USA Today writes.
Read more from NBC News First Read at this link.
REMAINS OF ARIZONA’S IMMIGRATION LAW TO GO IN TO EFFECT
What’s left of Arizona’s controversial immigration law after a Supreme Court ruling has been given the green light to go into effect by a U.S. District Judge, according to USA Today.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton formally lifted the injunction that she originally placed on the law in 2010, just a day before it was scheduled to go into effect. Now, all the state’s police officers can carry out the parts of the law that survived.
The most scrutinized will be a portion that requires police to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” that they’re in the country illegally.
But has all the legal wrangling over the new law ended and are Arizona’s police officers prepared to implement it? Also, find out how opponents are reacting to the ruling. Here’s a sample from the managing attorney for the National Immigration Law Center:
“Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed,” she said. “It’s a sad day for Arizona and the country.”
To learn more about the history of the law and the judge’s ruling, click on this link.
DEFENSE SECRETARY’S MEET-AND-GREET- IN CHINA, NOT SO WARM
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s trip to China this past week was important for relations with the growing super-power, but it wasn’t exactly a slap-on-the-back trip, according to the Washington Post.
The United States and China have alternately embraced and poked each other in the eye during a three-day visit by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that reflects the two superpowers’ growing, and sometimes conflicting, strategic ambitions.
Although Panetta and China’s Vice President Xi Jinping were all smiles on camera, a protest against the U.S Ambassador during the visit and a move by Panetta before he arrived in China apparently sullied the mood behind the scenes.
He ruffled feathers in Beijing when, a day before his arrival, he announced a deal with Tokyo to install a powerful radar tracking station in southern Japan. Panetta insisted the anti-missile radar was solely intended to monitor North Korea and its growing nuclear arsenal, but suspicions persist in China that it is also a target of the radar.
During his first visit to China since becoming Defense Secretary, Panetta spoke to cadets at the People’s Liberation Army engineering academy on the U.S.’s “rebalance” in the Asia-Pacific region. Go to this link to learn what prompted those remarks, what tough questions the cadets had, and conjecture on whether Panetta’s visit will actually “foster closer relationships” between the two super-powers.