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Today's Links: December 28, 2011

OPINION GLENN GREENWALD: "Snapshots of Washington's Essence" "I intended to post sporadically or not at all this week, and that’s still my plan, but there is a new Washington Post article which contains three short passages that I really want to highlight because they so vividly capture the essence of so much. The article, by Greg Miller, is being promoted by the Post this way: 'In 3 years, the Obama administration has built a vast drone/killing operation'; it describes the complete secrecy behind which this is all being carried out and notes: 'no president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation’s security goals.'" GENE HEALY: "The Five Worst Op-eds of 2011" "An emergency root canal on Christmas Eve eve left me half a tank low on holiday cheer. Luckily, "bah humbug" is the right attitude to bring to my final column for 2011, which, like 2010's, will be a suitably surly look at the Five Worst Op-eds of the Year." AMANDA FOREMAN: "Meryl Streep Film and EU Debates Bring Maggie Thatcher's Moment" "A British Prime Minister, splendidly isolated, faces down a phalanx of scowling European leaders, all harrumphing censure in accents that are German, French, Italian. We've witnessed the scene before. Decades ago Margaret Thatcher warred with her European counterparts just as David Cameron did this month in refusing to yield control of national budgets to Brussels. The difference is that the Iron Lady did not speak softly when she wielded a big stick. She lambasted ambitious bureaucrats; the artificial Utopian megastate you want to build, she told them, will be a 'tower of Babel' dominated by Germany and riven by economic crises."
NEWS TRANSPORTATION - Study Finds Unexplored Link Between Airlines Profitability and Their Accident Rates "Airlines' accident risk is highest when they are performing very close to their financial targets, according to a study by a professor in BYU’s Marriott School of Management." NANNY STATE - Adult Film Condom Proposal Qualifies for June Ballot "A proposal that would require adult film actors to use condoms has qualified for the June ballot after proponents gathered enough signatures to put the issue before Los Angeles voters." INTERNET - Facebook Poised to Lead Biggest U.S. Internet IPO Since '99 "Facebook Inc. and Yelp Inc. are set to lead the biggest year for U.S. initial public offerings by Internet companies since 1999, testing demand for IPOs after investors lost money on Zynga Inc. and Pandora Media Inc."