I have been out of the Continental U.S. and Internet range for a while, so I'm behind the news. I will ease my way back with a few reading-tip links.
1) Thanks to everyone who sent me links about Kim Jong-un's new honor as the "Sexiest Man Alive," Of course the charm in the story is that the honor was bestowed by The Onion, and the hyper-earnest Chinese state media appeared to take it at face value. Judge for yourself: initial report on Beijing Cream, survey on The Atlantic Wire, followup today in NYT.
1A) Just because I can't resist, here is a meant-in-entire-seriousness feature from People's Daily this week, under the headline "Cool Models, Hot Airplanes Are Always Good Partners." It's the start of a slideshow.
This is part of a long "reportorial" tradition in the Chinese media that I'll say more about when I have more time. Hey, does my book on China's aerial ambitions seem more interesting to you now?
2) The best political news of the post-election era has been the array of signs suggesting that the Obama Administration and the enlarged Democratic majority are preparing the ground for a campaign against filibuster-abuse.
Not against the filibuster itself, which though most of U.S. history has been a safety valve meant for extreme circumstances, when a committed minority was willing to go all out to block the majority rule by which the Senate is set up by the Constitution to operate.