Monday, November 26, 2012

News Nuggets 1114

DAYLEE PICTURE: A close-up of an orangutan's face.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Remote Control: How Obama Orchestrated Ceasefire from YNetNews [of Israel in English]
"Little was heard from US president during military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, but behind the scenes, while visiting Burma and Cambodia, he was working overtime to pressure Netanyahu into agreeing to truce."

What the U.S. Oil Revolution Means for Russia (Chris Weafer) from the Moscow Times [in English]
"So long as the government delays making the tough decisions necessary to push ahead with the agenda of business and economic reform, it is only a matter of time before the next crisis comes as a result of lower oil prices. The basis of the next crisis is already visible."

On the National Circus: Lessons for Obama’s New Cabinet (Frank Rich) from New York Magazine
"For the good of the country, it’s time to fetch a butterfly net for McCain. ... It’s a measure of the fallen state of the GOP that this bitter, ever-more-incoherent hothead is now the party’s only elected official with a voice on foreign affairs — unless you count his boot-licking Sancho Panza, Lindsey Graham."

What the ‘Takers’ Really Want (Harold Meyerson) from the Washington Post 
"A post-election American Values Survey, conducted for the Public Religion Research Institute, asked voters whether government should promote growth by spending more on education and infrastructure or should lower taxes on businesses and individuals. The groups that constitute the growing elements of the electorate all favored the spending option..."

State of War (John Heilemann) from New York Magazine
"The Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet over the possibility that Susan Rice will replace Hillary Clinton. But the winner is already clear."

Grand Old Planet (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"Reading Mr. Rubio’s interview is like driving through a deeply eroded canyon; all at once, you can clearly see what lies below the superficial landscape. Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party."

Why Democrats Should Give Thanks For Mitt Romney (Alec MacGillis) from the New Republic
"Once again, voters may not have been sure just who was who's side—at best, they'd throw up their hands and figure that both parties were for the big guy. But that didn't happen. Why? Because the Republicans nominated Willard Mitt Romney."

Tea Party Seeks to Regroup from the Wall Street Journal
"Movement Sets Sights on Ousting Republicans Seen as Not Conservative Enough."

When Conservatives Talk About Ideas, They Euphemistically Rely on Abstractions — Because it Covers Up the Creepy Reality (Kathleen Geier) from the Washington Monthly
"They tend to believe society and human happiness would be best served if everyone were straight, Christian, married, living in a patriarchal nuclear family, preferably living in a nonurban area, etc. Whereas American liberalism, rooted in the pragmatism of John Dewey and other philosophers, tends to have fewer stringent, a priori ideals and is more improvisational, practical, and interested in solving problems on a case-by-case basis."

Democrats See a Future of Electoral Dominance But History Says Otherwise (David Freelander) from the Daily Beast
"Obama’s victory convinced a lot of Democrats that they just took out a long-term lease on the White House. The lessons of history say otherwise, writes David Freedlander."
Freelander is a senior editor at Newsweek -- and his analysis here showcases perhaps one reason Newsweek tanked in recent years.  Where do his "lessons from history" begin?  Uh, the 1990s -- maybe 1968 at the absolute outside.  Well, one thing pundits should be clear about by now is that the Great Recession and the politics of the Obama administration makes recent history a poor indicator of where each of the parties is headed.  I have long argued that the 1930s and 1940s are far more relevant historical periods than the last 30+ years.  Moreover, when you look further back, it's clear that every 40 years or so, there are huge tectonic transformations that occur that DO lead to disproportionate one-party dominance.  I firmly believe we are in the midst of one of these tectonic shifts.  

GOP Faces Unexpected Challenges in South Amid Shrinking White Vote (Douglas A. Blackmon) from the Washington Post
"Due to strong black vote and lower white turnout, Obama fared better than any Democrat since Carter."

Rove’s Plan Won’t Work: Don’t Count on Latino ocial Conservatism (Irir Carmon) from Salon
"Republicans think it will be easy to come back -- just appeal to culturally conservative Latinos! It will fail."

GOP Warns of Shutdown Over Filibuster from Politico
"Democrats are threatening to change filibuster rules, in what will surely prompt a furious GOP revolt that could make those rare moments of bipartisan consensus even harder to come by during the next Congress."

Jeb Bush in 2016? Not Too Early for Chatter from the New York Times 
"After Mitt Romney's defeat by a Democratic coalition built around overwhelming support from Hispanics and other fast-growing demographic groups, many Republicans are looking for a candidate who can help make the party more inclusive without ceding conservative principles -- and no one is the subject of more speculation at this point than Mr. Bush."

Run, Jeb, Run! Another Bush, Another Target-Rich Presidential Campaign (Joe Conason) from National Memo
"Known today only as another Bush brother, Jeb must be introduced to American voters. And among the first things they are likely to learn about him is the string of borderline business deals that built his original fortune in Florida real estate, which began three decades ago. While some aspects of the Jeb story may sound uplifting, there are certainly other episodes that will make voters’ hair stand on end."

Democratic Would-be Challengers Begin to Sort Out Field for 2014 Election Against Gov. Corbett from the Associated Press via The Republic [of Columbus, IN]
"The Democratic sweep at the top of Pennsylvania's ballot has so energized the party that three prospective candidates are already sending out strong signals of interest in contesting Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's re-election bid two years from now. York businessman Tom Wolf,
Philadelphia millionaire Tom Knox and state government veteran John Hanger said in recent telephone interviews they are seriously considering seeking the 2014 Democratic nomination or have already decided to run."

Unverified Remains Dig Up the Twisted Legacy of England’s Richard III (Anthony Faiola) from the Washington Post
"Supporters and fierce critics await DNA tests of bones unearthed from a parking lot 90 miles from London. ... if the remains are indeed those of the long-lost sovereign — something archaeologists call extremely likely — it also raises a conundrum: Where to bury one of England’s most demonized characters?"

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