UP-FRONT PUNDIT NUGGET!!
When All Else Fails, GOP Could Try Democracy (Roger Simon) from Politico
"Destiny itself is against the Republicans. How could Romney defeat Obama’s black skin? How could he defeat Obama’s appeal to “victims” who believe government has a “responsibility” to keep them from starving in the street, living in gutters or dying of tuberculosis? It is not fair."
Young, Educated and Jobless in France from the New York Times
"Despite solid credentials, a “floating generation” of graduates cannot find permanent work."
Susan Rice’s Surrogate Role (Richard Cohen) from the Washington Post
"Rice has become the personification of unhappiness with the use of intelligence leaks to buff Obama’s foreign policy image and the conducting of an amorphous foreign policy. Like Churchill’s famous pudding, it lacks theme."
Obama Plans for Climate Deal as Fiscal Cliff Talks Rage from Businessweek
"As leaders in Washington obsess about the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama is putting in place the building blocks for a climate treaty requiring the first fossil- fuel emissions cuts from both the U.S. and China."
Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep U.S. Clueless on Wells (Ben Elgin, Benjamin Haas & Phil Kuntz) from the Bloomberg News Service
"A year-old Texas law that requires drillers to disclose chemicals they pump underground during hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” was powerless to compel transparency for EXP- F0173-11. The solvent and several other ingredients in the product are considered a trade secret by Superior Well Services, the Nabors subsidiary. That means they’re exempt from disclosure."
How Obama Can Win a Deal (Julian Zelizer) from CNN
"Obama is not the first president to confront the challenges of deficit reduction, one of the least pleasant tasks in politics because it forces elected officials to take things away from voters rather than do what they prefer: hand out benefits. In the next few days, the president would do well to look at how previous chief executives have handled this task."
Operation Rolling Tantrum (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"Republicans are signaling that they don’t intend to make any specific proposals, they’re just going to yell and stamp their feet until Obama soothes them somehow. So this is going to be nightmarish, unless Obama surrenders — which I don’t think he will (because he shouldn’t)."
GOP Wonks: Boehner’s Hands Are Tied on the Fiscal Cliff (Rich Galen) from the Daily Beast
"The House speaker has no arrows in his quiver in the fiscal-cliff talks—his caucus will revolt if he caves. That’s the consensus among Washington Republicans, says Rich Galen, who warns a cliff jump is likely."
Boehner Plays a Weak Hand (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"How dare he? President Obama, I mean: How dare he do what he promised during the campaign? How dare he insist on a “balanced approach” to fiscal policy that includes a teensy-weensy tax increase for the rich? Oh, the humanity. ... Refusing to budge has served House Republicans well in previous budget negotiations. But the no-taxes-ever bulwark has not served the country well, and if Obama sees a way to blast through it, he would be remiss not to try. Geithner seems confident."
Conservative Groups Rebel Against Boehner from Politico
"Several prominent conservative organizations lashed out against a pair of decisions by Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team as House Republicans saw their tightly held grip on the right loosen a bit on Monday."
The House Makes an ‘Offer’ from the Editorial Board of the New York Times
"Which programs would be cut? The letter doesn’t say, and Republicans don’t seem to care, as long as they blindly achieve their goal of cutting a big chunk out of government. The offer was a transparent attempt to appear responsive to Mr. Obama’s detailed proposal from last week, without doing any actual math or hard work."
The Senate's Democratic Coalition Is Growing More Unified (Ronald Brownstein) from the National Journal
"The party's major Senate candidates did a better job than their Republican rivals of bringing together their base."
GOP Steering Committee Shuffles Conservatives from The Hill
"Speaker John A. Boehner initiated today a small purge of rebellious Republicans — mostly conservatives — from prominent committees; it's the latest instance of the Ohio Republican's clamping down on his fractious conference."
Are Republicans Already Blowing the Next Election? (John B. Judis) from the New Republic
"Chocola’s statement was overshadowed by the debate over what to do about the “fiscal cliff.” But it probably says more about the future direction of the Republican Party than House Speaker John Boehner’s daily animadversions on taxes and spending; and what it says is not very good--at least for those Republicans to want to revive their party’s fortunes after this November’s election."
Ashley Judd Exploring Senate Run from Politico
"The Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on the powerful Republican leader, four people familiar with the matter tell POLITICO."
I will have to say, I have always been impressed with Judd as an actress and as a public person.
Mitt Romney Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades Laments Hard-Right Shift On Immigration (Jon Ward) from the Huffington Post
"Rhoades went on to describe how the Romney campaign may have regarded Perry as a mortal threat for too long, leading it to engage him beyond the point when it was necessary, and setting itself up for a hard-right turn on immigration."
In 2012, ‘Blame Bush’ Worked Again (David M. Drucker) from Roll Call
"Republicans insisted that President Barack Obama couldn’t win a second term by blaming George W. Bush for the lackluster economy. The 43rd president left office nearly four years ago, and blaming high unemployment and stagnant growth wouldn’t fly with voters in 2012, they argued. But according to at least one Republican pollster, this strategy worked exceedingly well..."
CHRISTMAS TECHNO-GIFT NUGGET!!
Gift Guide for the Techie from the Daily Beast
"What could possibly impress your tech-loving friends and relatives this holiday season? From smartphone-operated locks to the iPad Mini and an old-fashioned camera, our guide to the coolest gadgets."
OUTER SPACE NUGGET!!
NASA Voyager 1 Hits New Region At Solar System’s End from Talking Points Memo
"NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, today still traveling away from Earth at a rate of 35,700 miles-per-hour, has entered into a new region of space at the end of the solar system, NASA announced on Monday."
WALKABLE CITIES NUGGET!!
10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable from the Atlantic
"In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades."