"This was one of the most poignant moments of the President's first term. He was visiting wounded warriors in the intensive care unit ICU at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. He had just presented a Purple Heart to Sgt. Chase Haag, who had been injured by an IED just hours before. Sgt. Haag was covered with a blanket and it was difficult to see how badly he was injured. He was also seemingly unconscious so the President whispered in his ear so not to wake him. Just then, there was a rustling under the blanket and Sgt. Haag, eyes still closed, reached his hand out to shake hands with the President."
Tipping Point for Syria’s Assad (P.J. Crowley) from the Daily Beast
"Syria’s dictator is losing ground as the international community ramps up support for the opposition. P.J. Crowley on the looming political tipping point."
House Republicans Again Show Why We Need to Wait Until January for a Deal (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"Business types have therefore assumed a December deal would happen. If this was a business deal between two rational people, that's what would happen." But we are not dealing with rational people here. We are dealing with House Republicans. As Republican Tom Cole gently put it, by way of describing his colleagues' implacable hatred of taxes, 'It's who they are. It's the air they breathe. It's what the Republican electorate
How ‘Plan B’ Scrambled Fiscal Cliff Negotiations from Talking Points Memo
"... late Wednesday, faced with a daunting whip count, Republican leaders did two things. First, they began entertaining the notion of tacking spending cuts on to the bill — to entice skeptical House conservatives to provide badly needed votes. ... Second, and crucially, they scotched a tandem plan to vote down legislation, supported by most Democrats, extending the Bush tax cuts for income up to $250,000. That was the biggest tell of the day: Boehner can’t deep-six that bill, because he may need to pass it —with help from Democrats — if fiscal cliff negotiations with Obama fall apart completely."
Direct Negotiations with the Terrorists? (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo
"...the real issue here probably comes down to Boehner’s weakness, institutional and personal. It’s a question the White House has had from the beginning and suspects the worst on — that John Boehner can’t actually deliver any deal, almost no matter what’s included in it."
The Person You’re Most Likely To Kill With Your Gun Is You from National Memo
"In 1979, there were nearly two automobile fatalities for each gun death. According to a study by Bloomberg, by 2015 firearm fatalities will surpass motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death. ... Eighty-five Americans are shot dead every day. Of those 53 — or 62 percent — are suicides."
The Solution to Gun Violence is Clear (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"What we should be trying to understand is not one single event but why we have so many of them. The number of deaths by firearms in the United States was 32,000 last year. Around 11,000 were gun homicides. To understand how staggeringly high this number is, compare it to the rate in other rich countries."
In Newtown, Nancy Lanza a Subject of Sympathy for Some, Anger for Others from the Washington Post
"“I am feeling that there is more anger toward the mother than there is toward the son,” said Lisa Sheridan, a Newtown parent."
Before Newtown, NRA was Already Losing Support (Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger) from the Washington Post
"Months before the massacre, there was already a growing estrangement between the NRA and its Democratic allies."
It is VERY premature to be writing the obituary on this lobbying group!
New Orleans Schools Ban Creationism, 'Revisionist' History Course Promoted By Texas from the Huffington Post
"The Orleans Parish School Board, which controls the curriculum and policies for six schools in New Orleans, voted Tuesday to ban the teaching of creationism as science and a "revisionist" history course touted in Texas."
The Decline of the "Great Equalizer" (Rhode, Cooke, and Ojha) from the Atlantic
"Massachusetts, home to America's best schools and best-educated workforce, has seen income inequality soar. Why? The poor are losing an academic arms race with the rich."
Another Ted Kennedy in the Senate? from Politico
"Could Massachusetts get another Ted Kennedy in the Senate? Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy and brother of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, would instantly be the leading Democratic candidate in the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, assuming he’s nominated as secretary of state."
MOVIE REVIEW NUGGET!!
Why 'Zero Dark Thirty' Is the Best Film of the Year (Christopher Orr) from the Atlantic
This film has been getting some very positive buzz since opening this week.
"Director Kathryn Bigelow's latest is a cinematic tour de force, but one open to moral questioning."
ANOTHER MOVIE REVIEW NUGGET!!
Twenty Best Movies of 2012 from the Daily Beast
"...following an awards-season onslaught of impressive fare, 2012 has morphed into one of the best years at the movies in quite some time. From the magical realism of Beasts of the Southern Wild to Kathryn Bigelow’s film about the CIA’s exhaustive hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, here are The Daily Beast’s best movies of the year."
BOOK REVIEW NUGGET!!
FP's Favorite Reads of 2012 from Foreign Policy Magazine
"This year's great books about the world, selected by our editors, columnists, and bloggers."