DAYLEE PICTURE: Windswept Summit Lake in California. From National Geographic.
Postings will still not be daily again until the 1st at the earliest -- but this one will help the addicts!Next Year's Wars: Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2012 (Louise Arbour) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"What conflict situations are most at risk of deteriorating further in 2012? When Foreign Policy asked the International Crisis Group to evaluate which manmade disasters could explode in the coming year, we put our heads together and came up with 10 crisis areas that warrant particular concern."
Putin Ejects Kremlin 'Puppet Master' After Protests from the Guardian [of the UK]
"Vladislav Surkov, the architect of Russia's tightly controlled political system, has become one its most senior victims."
Under Obama, an Emerging Global Apparatus for Drone Killing from the Washington Post
"The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential. In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries."
Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic comments on this piece HERE.
America's Dirty Little Housing Secret Is Rocking The Suburbs from the Fiscal Times
"For years, the food pantry in Crystal Lake, Ill., a bedroom community 50 miles west of Chicago, has catered to the suburban area's poor, homeless and unemployed. But Cate Williams, the head of the pantry, has noticed a striking change in the makeup of the needy in the past year or two. Some families that once pulled down six-figure incomes and drove flashy cars are now turning to the pantry for help."
The 10 Worst Economic Ideas of 2011 (Jeff Madrick) from New Deal 2.0 of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute
"... it has been a year in which some of the worst economic ideas ever have gained support and are being applied around the world. So here’s my list of the 10 worst economic ideas of 2011:"
Why Are TVs So Cheap? (Derek Thompson) from the Atlantic
"Three reasons: (1) You know they'll keep getting cheaper; (2) Electronics manufacturers are getting more efficient ; (3) All TVs are (basically) alike."
Obama’s Surprisingly Good 2011 (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"Politically, this has been, in many ways, a bad year for the White House, as a quick look at the polls will show. Economically, it’s been rough, as a look at the jobs numbers will show. But as far as the administration’s bitter, high-stakes negotiations with the Republicans in Congress go, it’s really been a surprisingly good year for the White House."
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Again Top Most Admired List: Clinton Most Admired Woman a Record 16th Time from Gallup
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama continue to be named by Americans as the Most Admired Woman and Most Admired Man living today in any part of the world."
The GOP's Christmas Gift to the President (Clive Cook) from the Atlantic
"The president will have a more relaxed Christmas, I imagine, than the one he was expecting a month ago. "
For GOP Candidates, Worries About the Party’s Brand (Dan Balz) from the Washington Post
"For Republicans, the coming presidential election should be presented as mostly a referendum on the record and performance of President Obama. If it is, the president will be genuinely vulnerable, given the weak economy. Instead, Republicans have wound up making their party the focus of the campaign, to their detriment."
Boehner's Self-Destruction (Bill Press) from the National Memo
"OK, enough already. I don't want to hear any more whining from Democrats about how hard it's going to be for President Obama to win re-election in 2012. Because the political landscape has just shifted dramatically."
A slightly different take at TPM:
Boehner Takes Strong Hand With House GOP After Payroll Tax Meltdown from Talking Points Memo via the Reid Report
"That’s called “losing.” Or to use Washington’s favorite word:
capitulation… and for the president, it’s called winning:"
How Newt Gingrich Crashed and Burned When He Was House Speaker (Howard Kurtz and Lois Romano) from the Daily Beast
"Gingrich led a conservative revolution in the House—until his own congressional troops turned on him. Howard Kurtz and Lois Romano have the inside story on why he failed."
Why Mitt Romney’s Opportunity Tack Won’t Work (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Mitt’s new opportunity shtick is a familiar trick from the GOP’s well-thumbed playbook. Michael Tomasky on why it won’t work in 2012."
Seven Reasons Why Mitt Romney's Electability Is A Myth (John Hawkins) from Townhall.com
"Mitt Romney is supposed to be "the most electable" candidate. This is a baffling argument because many people just seem to assume it's true, despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary: 1) People just don't like Mitt ..."
HOBBIT MOVIE NUGGET!!
'The Hobbit' Production Diary (Kate Ward) from Entertainment Weekly
I really loved the Lord of the Rings movies and anxiously await the Hobbit two-fer that is scheduled for release in December 2012.
"When the DVDs were first released, I remember sitting in front of my television for hours, devouring the behind-the-scenes footage like it was a piece of lembas. (And it was just as satisfying, too!) So what a treat to be able to be able to go behind the scenes of The Hobbit before the film even hits the big screen."
HOLLYWOOD STAR NUGET!!
Cheetah Dead: Chimpanzee Sidekick From 1930s Tarzan Flicks Dies At 80 from the Tampa Tribune
There's something almost freakish about this news. I had no idea chimps could live this long!! Amazing!
"Cheetah acted in the 1932-34 Tarzan movies, Cobb said. Movies filmed during that timeframe starred Johnny Weissmuller and include "Tarzan and His Mate" and "Tarzan the Ape Man," ..."
OBAMA BOOK NUGGET!!
Description of The Obamas by Jodi Kantor from Amazon.com
"In the Obamas, Jodi Kantor takes us deep inside the White House as they try to grapple with their new roles, change the country, raise children, maintain friendships, and figure out what it means to be the first black President and First Lady. Filled with riveting detail and insight into their partnership, emotions and personalities, and written with a keen eye for the ironies of public life, The Obamas is an intimate portrait that will surprise even readers who thought they knew the President and First Lady."