DAYLEE PICTURE: Obama and his girls on election night. From the Huffington Post.
UP-FRONT OBAMA NUGGET!!
Perfecting Our Union (Barack Obama) from the Atlantic
"The president of the United States reflects on what Abraham Lincoln means to him, and to America."
UP-FRONT IRONIC GOP NUGGET!!
Blues Cruise (Joe Hagan) from New York Magazine
"Steaming past Guantánamo, en route to the Cayman Islands, a boatload of Republicans ponder the plight of a party at sea. ... Nostalgia and loss hung in the air, with much talk of endings, both personal and national. To sum up his feelings about the election, John Wohlstetter, a national-security author in his mid-sixties who had met Buckley several times (“utterly gracious, and he listened”), recalled the words of a long-forgotten liberal lamenting a loss: “The people have spoken, the bastards.”"
Encouraging Signs Toward Peace in Afghanistan (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post
"In this season of good will, there is a rare bit of good cheer about the prospects for peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The reason seems to be that some Taliban leaders are concluding that they couldn’t win the civil war that might follow U.S. withdrawal of combat troops."
Iran's Conservatives Push for a Deal (Ray Takeyh) from the National Interest
"As Washington contemplates another round of diplomacy with Iran, an intense debate is gripping the Islamic Republic’s corridors of power. An influential and growing segment of Iran’s body politic is calling for a negotiated settlement of the nuclear issue. "
William Spengler's Note Before Killing Webster Firefighters: 'Do What I Like Doing Best, Killing People' from the Huffington Post
Why has this story getting so little attention? I guess elementary schools are not enough. What will it take for the NRA and their ilk to wake up? Regular mass shootings in lobbying firms, congressional offices, churches, daycares, or Salvation Army stores?
"Police Chief Gerald Pickering said 62-year-old William Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, armed himself with a revolver, a shotgun and a military-style rifle before he set his house afire to lure first responders into a death trap before dawn on Christmas Eve. Two firefighters were shot dead and two others are hospitalized in stable condition. Spengler killed himself as seven houses burned around him Monday on a narrow spit of land along Lake Ontario."
When Prophecy Fails (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"Back in the 1950s three social psychologists joined a cult that was predicting the imminent end of the world. Their purpose was to observe the cultists’ response when the world did not, in fact, end on schedule. What they discovered, and described in their classic book, “When Prophecy Fails,” is that the irrefutable failure of a prophecy does not cause true believers — people who have committed themselves to a belief both emotionally and by their life choices — to reconsider. On the contrary, they become even more fervent, and proselytize even harder. This insight seems highly relevant as 2012 draws to a close."
It’s Our System On The Cliff (E. J. Dionne) from National Memo
"The only way we will avoid a Constitutional crackup is for a new, bipartisan majority to take effective control of the House and isolate those who would rather see the country fall into chaos than vote for anything that might offend their ideological sensibilities."
John Boehner Pressured By Some To Let Democrats Pass Fiscal Cliff Bill (Charles Babington) from the Associated Press via the Huffington Post
"House speakers traditionally advance major legislation only if most of their party's members support it. It's called the "majority of the majority" rule of thumb. But past speakers, including Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Republican Dennis Hastert, have ignored the rule at times. Some Democrats are now calling on Boehner to do the same to avert the "fiscal cliff" of big tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in the new year."
Obama to Boehner: “You Get Nothing. I Get That For Free” (David Daley) from Salon
"A report details the talks between the president and the speaker -- and finds Obama playing a stronger hand"
Why Boehner Needs House Democrats (Rebecca Kaplan and Michael Catalini) from National Journal
"With the spectacular and very public failure of a Thursday night vote to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for millionaires, House Speaker John Boehner now faces a certain truth: any fiscal cliff deal he cuts will rely on Democratic votes."
Could There Be a Coup Against Boehner? from National Journal
"With the fiscal cliff approaching, will House Republicans turn on their own?"
All I Want for Christmas Is a New GOP (Mark McKinnon) from the Daily Beast
"You call that governing? Amid dismal fiscal-cliff talks and an even worse reaction to the shooting in Newtown, Mark McKinnon throws cold water on his wayward party."
Clout Diminished, Tea Party Turns to Narrower Issues from the New York Times
"The Tea Party might not be over, but it is increasingly clear that the election last month significantly weakened the once-surging movement, which nearly captured control of the Republican Party through a potent combination of populism and fury."
The Scourge of Concealed Weapons from the Editorial Board of the New York TImes
"As the nation’s leaders devise new gun control strategies following the Connecticut shooting, they should look for ways to strengthen state laws that govern the possession and use of firearms. In too many states, these laws are weak and, in some cases, seem almost designed to encourage violence."
The Hack List (Alex Pareene) from Salon
I don't necessarily share many of Pareene's views of these sources. But it is interesting to hear how these various sites are viewed by a beltway type like Pareene.
"This year, my annual list of the worst of political media highlights not just individuals, but the institutions that enable those individuals. The 2012 Hack List will be counting down the 10 media outlets that are hurting America over the next two days — stay tuned!"
Mitt Romney was Hesitant to Reveal Himself (Michael Kranish) from the Boston Globe
"A Globe review finds many reasons for the presidential candidate’s failure, none greater than how slow he was to tell his own story."
12 for ’12: The Year in Politics (Steve Kornacki) from Salon
"12 people who defined the last 12 months of American politics."
How Close to Lincoln? (David Bromwich) from the New York Review of Books
"Though Spielberg deserves the praise he has been getting, this is in large measure a writer’s movie. The best scenes of Lincoln come from Tony Kushner’s lines, and the best of the lines are plain and clipped."
HI-SEN: Inouye Replacement to be Named Wednesday from CBS News
"Today is the deadline for Hawaii Democrats with an interest in the position to file a letter with the state party. So far, at least a dozen people have expressed an interest, including Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, former Rep. Ed Case, and a few state senators."
The Origin Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Jessica Hullinger) from The Week
"How, exactly, did the most famous reindeer of all get so famous?"
ANOTHER DOG RESCUE NUGGET!!
Some of you may have seen Eldad Hagar's rescue of Troy earlier this month. Here is an extended version of that rescue (30+minutes)