Friday, November 30, 2012

News Nuggets 1118

DAYLEE PICTURE: A one-year-old bear in a tree in Alaska.  From National Geographic.

Fox And Unfriends (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
Sullivan weighs in on his experience of being blackballed on Fox News. 
"... the strategy of simply ignoring dissent worked - and helped secure the GOP's current nadir. What happened in the Bush-Cheney years was a ruthless attempt to nullify as far as possible the reach of the
dissidents. We live with the consequences. ... Why not have the author on to defend his own work? Why not have at me and let me fight back? Because they were never interested in a real debate, just phony ones. ... Roger Ailes has helped kill conservatism in America, by never allowing it to criticize itself. When journalism puts power above truth it isn't, to coin a phrase, "actual journalism". It's propaganda."

Mr. China Comes to America (James Fallows) from the Atlantic
"For decades, every trend in manufacturing favored the developing world and worked against the United States. But new tools that greatly speed up development from idea to finished product encourage start-up companies to locate here, not in Asia. Could global trade winds finally be blowing toward America again?"

The Obama Doctrine from the Economist [of London]
"Senior officials say that Mr Obama aims to be “present but not deeply involved” around the globe. They call America an “indispensable catalyst” and the cornerstone of a rules-based international order centred on economic competitiveness (deals on free trade and climate change may get a look-in on those grounds). By winding down the Bush legacy of an all-consuming military response to the September 11th attacks, Mr Obama has freed up “national security bandwidth” to engage with the world in all its complexity. It is an experiment..."

Class Wars of 2012 (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"This was very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor. And the Obama campaign won largely by disregarding the warnings of squeamish “centrists” and embracing that reality, stressing the class-war aspect of the confrontation. ... The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth..."

Six Nominees to Succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"With opposition to Susan Rice mounting daily, Michael Tomasky proposes six alternative nominees for the top post at Foggy Bottom. Head of the list? The winner of the 2000 election."

Dems Laugh Off GOP Demand That They Make First Move On Medicare Benefit Cut from Talking Points Memo
"Faced with the reality that taxes are going up, either automatically or with their tacit assent, Republicans are hoping that they can bank an ideologically suitable down-payment on a broader deficit reduction package in the form of cuts to Medicare spending. The problem is, unlike the Democrats’ calls for higher taxes on rich Americans, the GOP’s preferred Medicare cuts are deeply unpopular."

Why Conservatives Must Surrender on 'Redistribution' (Josh Barro) from the Bloomberg News Service
"But the key problem in this debate isn't that liberals' ideas are bad, though many of them (especially on trade) are. It's that conservatives have no serious proposals of their own on rising inequality. ... "

Boehner's Inability to Bargain Helps Dems from the Democratic Strategist 
"Chait goes on to explain that some Republicans are still entertaining delusions of having big leverage in the negotiations, but the smarter ones are accepting the reality: "At least some Republicans understand that this isn't a gun aimed at Obama's head. It's a gun aimed at their own."

Politico: Fiscal Framework Emerging (Jed Lewison) from Daily Kos
"Assuming that's accurate, then (a) the Obama team is taking the right negotiating posture and (b) it seems like putting a number on Medicare cuts or describing the form in which those cuts would come is pure speculation (or, perhaps, wishful thinking, given the Beltway's preoccupation with cutting Medicare)."

How 'Trojan Horse' Strategy Strengthened Obama's Current Edge from the Democratic Strategist
"All of which puts the President in a stronger position to challenge the Bush tax cuts this time around."

Exclusive: The Internal Polls That Made Mitt Romney Think He'd Win (Noam Scheiber) from the New Republic
"Newhouse and some of his colleagues have said that the biggest flaw in their polling was the failure to predict the demographic composition of the electorate. Broadly speaking, the people who showed up to vote on November 6 were younger and less white than Team Romney anticipated, and far more Democratic as a result."
WHO CALLED IT!?  Scheiber frames this story as one that explains why the Romney folks were confident they were going to win on election day (which the author does well).  The flip side of this story shows why the Obama folks were so confident they would win ... and that they were confident all through the summer and fall.  As I had mentioned several times here during the campaign, most polling groups were using the demographic breakdown of the 2008 presidential election as their "filter" for weighing their polls.  Obama and his people knew those weights were incorrect and adjusted their own internal polling to reflect higher turnout of Democratic voters.  Their is a second shoe to this story.  Both the African American vote and the Latino vote went up in 2012 by about 1-2 percentage points compared to '08.  This may not seem like a huge increase -- and normally it might not be.  But the key for the Obama people was that they carried the AA vote north of 95 PERCENT and they carried the Latino vote by approximately 75 PERCENT!  As I noted in the last months of the campaign, Obama basically had a hidden 1-2 percent advantage in the state and national polls all along -- and he and his team knew it.  

Can This Party Be Saved? (Mike Murphy) from Time Magazine
"Identifying the problem is easy. The Republican challenge is not about better voter-turnout software; it is about policy. We repel Latinos, the fastest-growing voter group in the country, with our nativist opposition to immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship. We repel younger voters, who are much more secular than their parents, with our opposition to same-sex marriage and our scolding tone on social issues. And we have lost much of our once solid connection to the middle class on
kitchen-table economic issues."

Jon Huntsman Strategist On GOP: 'Alas, We Are Still In The Wilderness' (Sam Stein) from the Huffington Post
"Huntsman argued in his HuffPost interview that if the Republican Party is to be an effective force on the presidential level, it should start by expanding the universe with which it engages. He pointed to the lack of conservative roots on college campuses as an example. "Nobody is there making the sale," he said."

SEN-2014: 2014 Senate Preview: Can Republicans Finally Turn Potential Into Reality? (Larry Sabato andKyle Kondik) from the UVA Center for Politics
Despite a favorable Senate map in 2014 -- Republicans only have to defend 13 seat while Democrats have to defend 20 -- Sabato & Kondik conclude Republicans "will need a national wave, along the lines of what they had in November 2010... For a net six close races to tip to the GOP in two years, it will take more than good candidates and favorable geography; the atmospherics of 2014 will have to be clearly Republican."

PRES-2016: How does a Democratic presidential run in 2016 look for Andrew Cuomo? (Harry Enten) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"New York's governor is already touted as possible presidential material, but he has to do more to impress the Democratic base. ... If these numbers are to believed, the possible 2016 roster of candidates will position Cuomo and Warner as ideologically conservative Democrats, Biden and O'Malley as moderate Democrats, Clinton, Patrick, and Schweitzer as liberal Democrats, and Warren as a very liberal Democrat."

The 'Bling' Planets: Huge Seas of Liquid Diamond Discovered on Neptune and Uranus from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"The massive seas include huge solid diamond chunks similar to icebergs."

Incredible Photographs Show Artist's Amazing Geometric Sandcastles from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"As any parent will know, building the perfect sandcastle is no easy task. But as these incredible pictures show, sandcastle artist Calvin Seibert has managed it to perfection. He has created these astonishing geometric structures out of one of the world's most delicate mediums."

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