Wednesday, November 28, 2012

News Nuggets 1116

DAYLEE PICTURE:  Pink anemone fish with an anemone shrimp (see the little white dots).  From National Geographic.

Reasons to be Encouraged about Fiscal Cliff’s Endgame (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"Now this is encouraging. I’m told that representatives of major unions and progressive groups met privately this morning with senior Obama administration officials at the White House — and were pleased with what they heard."

Democrats Raise Their Asking Price for a Deficit Agreement (Alexander Bolton) from The Hill
"Party leaders grow bolder as the deadline for extending the Bush-era tax rates and stopping automatic spending cuts approaches.…"

How to Make a Better President (Steve Kornacki) from Salon
"Barack Obama made a giant mistake with the debt ceiling two years ago -- but he's clearly learned from it."

Republicans Face ‘New Reality’ in Washington as the Fiscal Cliff Approaches (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast
"As the fiscal cliff approaches, some GOP stalwarts are talking about raising taxes and soft-pedaling abortion. Howard Kurtz on the party’s rebranding effort."

The Myth of Second-Term Failure (David Greenberg) from the New Republic 
"It gets better."

The Millennial Generation: Our Liberal Future (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"How doomed are conservatives? Pretty doomed, if you look carefully at the Pew Research Survey’s close analysis of the youth vote in the 2012 elections."

Forget 2012: Long-Term Demographic Trends Favorable to Republicans (Michael Medved) from the Daily Beast
"Democrats may have won this time, but they shouldn’t celebrate for too long—America is growing older fast, and older folks reliably vote Republican. Michael Medved reports."
This conservative pundit repeats a common fallacy on partisan affiliation: that growing older makes one more conservative and thus more likely to vote Republican.  For the most part, this is not true.  The most reliably Republican voting block right now (baby-booming seniors) should be viewed as an aging cohort who embraced Republicanism at a MUCH earlier age.  These folks were the ones who cheered for Reagan in the 1980s, who put the GOP in charge of the House in 1994, and who thought W deserved to be reelected in 2004.  If you looked at the Depression-era generation (the parents of the baby-boomers) you would have seen a cohort that embraced FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society and were reliably Democratic voters as seniors (Florida Senator Claude Pepper built a LONG career on the predictability of these reliably Democratic, pro-gov't voters).  The conservatism of the baby-boom
generation has been accentuated over the decades by racial/ethnic polarization (which is decreasing among younger voters) and by rising religious fundamentalism (which is also decreasing among younger voters).  By universalizing based on one cohort's experience, Medved's comments showcase the problems with drawing macro-level lessons on voting from micro-level historical time frames.  He can have his age paradigm for predicting how people will vote in the future.  Like so much of GOP thinking these days, it's largely recent-past-based wishful thinking.

Harry Reid Puts his Finger on the ‘Nuclear Option’ Button (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post 
"So here's today's update in the slow, inexorable march towards filibuster reform: Democrats took yet another step in the direction of changing the rules by a simple majority vote — i.e., exercising the dreaded “nuclear option.”"

Poll: Public Would Blame GOP for Budget Impasse, Wants Tax Increases (John Aravosis) from Americablog
"A strong CNN/OCR poll for the President and Democrats in Congress on the “fiscal cliff,” in terms of what the public wants out of the talks, and who they’d blame if the talks go south. In a nutshell, the public wants tax increases as part of the bargain, by an overwhelming majority, and they would blame the Republicans more than the President should a deal not be struck."

Todd Akin and His Ilk Are Dooming GOP Rebranding (Charlie Cook) from the Atlantic
"As long as the party continues to nominate candidates like him, moderates like Scott Brown don't stand a chance."

How President Obama Won a Second Term (Tim Dickinson) from Rolling Stone Magazine
"Political strategist James Carville breaks down where the Republicans went wrong – and what it means for the future."

Iowa's Ad War: Romney Outspent, but Obama Out-Advertised from the Des Moines Register
"Although Romney and his allies spent more, the Obama coalition out-advertised them. About 13,000 more pro-Obama TV ads ran in Iowa than pro-Romney ads during the final weeks."

Yes, Romney Was the Problem (Steve Baldwin) from Real Clear Politics 
"The GOP establishment and some conservative pundits, such as Ann Coulter, are in full defense mode, claiming that Romney is not responsible for losing to an incumbent responsible for perhaps the most damaging fiscal crises in our nation’s history. Don’t believe it. Romney IS responsible for wasting a billion dollars to carry out an issue-free campaign full of simple-minded platitudes."

From Mitt To Moot: Romney’s Quick, Quiet Fade (Katie Baker) from Newsweek 
"Where have all the Romneys gone?"

The GOP War Against Grover Norquist (Elspeth Reeve) from the Atlantic 
"Have we reached Peak Grover? No Republican has voted for a tax increase since 1990, something Norquist, even while being relatively humble, has taken partial credit for."

Hillary Clinton's 2016 Run is Not Inevitable (Marc Ambinder) from The Week 
"No doubt about it... she's going to be our next president. Even many Republicans believe this. The CW rests on several assumptions that may well be true but are fairly useless so far as augury is concerned. Here are five truths to consider about Hillary Clinton."

Speaking as someone who very much supports a Hillary 2016 run, I will say that there are good reasons why Dems should be circumspect in their support for a Clinton restoration in the White House:
'I Want You to Leave Me Alone:' Gennifer Flowers Claims Bill Clinton Tried Contacting Her as Recently as 2005 from the New York Daily News
"The lounge singer also said she spoke with the then-Democratic presidential candidate in 1992 about how he wanted 'name recognition.' She said she helped him become a 'household name overnight.'"
In 2016, there will be sixteen years of new skeletons for the GOP hit squads to rifle through, most of them (I suspect) involving Bill.

Radio's Laura Ingraham Off the Air from the Associated Press
"Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham is off the air - at least temporarily. ... Ingraham said she is in discussions with other distributors about her show, which currently airs on 325 stations

'Star Trek Into Darkness' Plot Revealed from the Huffington Post 
""Star Trek Into Darkness," J.J. Abrams' much-anticipated sequel to "Star Trek," has been shrouded in such secrecy that only a few frames of film have been revealed thus far. In keeping with the hush-hush vibe, Paramount snuck a plot synopsis for the sequel onto its media site on Monday night, and the four paragraphs yield very few answers."

Pictured: The Colossal Cap Being Lowered Over Exploded Nuclear Reactor to Protect the World from Chernobyl's Crumbling Tomb from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Workers have raised the first section of a colossal arch-shaped structure that will cover the exploded nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power station. It is part of a £1.2bn project to clean up the damage caused by the world's worst nuclear accident in the then Soviet republic of Ukraine - which led to more than 6,000 cases of cancer, 115,000 forced evacuations and 28 deaths due to radiation sickness."

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