Tuesday, December 18, 2012

News Nuggets 1132

DAYEE PICTURE: A purple nudibranch in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji.  From National Geographic.

A Desperate Need for Electricity in China and Other Developing Countries Is Fueling Global Coal Use (Robert Bryce) from the Daily Beast
"In the United States, natural gas and renewables are taking a bite out of coal’s market share. But outside America’s borders, massive electricity demand is fueling an insatiable demand for the stuff."

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs in Mexico from the New York Times
"An examination by The New York Times found Wal-Mart de Mexico to be an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited."

What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers from the New York Times
"For years, the conventional wisdom has been that suicide terrorists are rational political actors, while suicidal rampage shooters are mentally disturbed loners. But the two groups have far more in common than has been recognized."

Shooter's Difficulties Dominated Mother's Life from the Washington Post via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"By all accounts, Nancy Jean Champion -- or Beanie, as her high school yearbook calls her -- had a charmed upbringing. Her mom was a school nurse. Her brother became a town police officer. And after she married her sweetheart in 1981, becoming Mrs. Peter J. Lanza, the couple built a house next door to her childhood home. "They were very nice people," said the owner of the local pizza shop here. "They are from a lovely family.""

Let’s Get M.A.D.D. About Guns (Joe Nocera) from the New York Times 
"Other countries have tightened their gun laws to good effect. Why not us?"

Gun Rights Advocates: Arm Our Teachers to Help Stop School Shootings from Salon
"Calls to let school officials carry concealed weapons gain momentum among gun rights activists and state lawmakers."

N.R.A. Faces a Challenge to Its Political Power from the New York Times 
"The Newtown tragedy may provide the National Rifle Association with the first genuine test of its power in decades."

The NRA’s Comeuppance from the Editorial Board of the New York Daily News 
"The Newtown tragedy is changing minds in Washington on gun control. ... Change must echo through the halls of Congress. Not next week, not next month. Now. As Newtown’s families begin the nightmarish task of burying their sons and daughters, give credit to gun-rights stalwarts Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Warner of Virginia for finally entertaining the possibility of limiting virtually unfettered access to assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. And heap shame upon the dozens of others who remain under the spell of the firearms lobby, which time and again has shrugged off mass murder as someone else’s business."

The NRA Has a Head Start Against Newly Energized Gun Control Advocates (David Freedlander) from the Daily Beast
"Americans anxious to join the fight for stricter gun-control laws in the wake of the Newtown school shooting are finding there isn’t much of a fight to join—and the NRA is supremely organized. David Freedlander reports."

A ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal is Near: Here are the Details (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"On the spending side, the Democrats’ headline concession will be accepting chained-CPI, which is to say, accepting a cut to Social Security benefits."

Poll of Republicans in PA Hints Mood is for Compromise from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A month after their candidate fell short of the presidency, Pennsylvania Republicans are unable to name a person they see as their party leader, and they believe Congress should compromise with President Barack Obama to resolve the looming set of federal spending cuts and tax increases, according to a Mercyhurst University poll."

Tea Party at a Crossroads (Salena Zito) from Real Clear Politics
"“We originally made the decision to not form a third party and stick with the Republicans because we understood that would almost guarantee that (Democratic candidates) would win,” he said. “However, as the fiscal cliff negotiations continue and Washington Republicans are beginning to cave, that may become an option.”"

Looking Back on 2012 Cycle's Long and Winding Road (Stuart Rothenberg) from Roll Call
"...some events and outcomes certainly surprised me or proved me wrong."

Scorsese Making HBO Documentary About Bill Clinton from Rolling Stone Magazine
"Martin Scorsese is working on an HBO documentary on former president Bill Clinton that the director hopes will "provide greater insight" into the 42nd president. Scorsese is producing and directing the film with cooperation from Clinton."
Is there going to be any pretense to objectivity with this film?

"Lincoln" vs. Lincoln (Hendrick Hertzberg) from the New Yorker
"A week or so ago, in a packed auditorium at (where else?) the Lincoln Square multiplex, I saw “Lincoln” at last. Two days later, I saw it again. I was disappointed the first time, and I’ll try to explain why. Then I’ll try to explain why I went to see it again, and why I reacted somewhat differently the second time around."

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