Thursday, December 27, 2012

News Nuggets 1138

DAYLEE PICTURE: Mother and baby echidnas at the Perth Zoo in Australia.  From ZooBorns.

Yesterday, I speculated (in a darkly ironic tone) that it might take a mass shooting in a lobbying firm to actually get the NRA and the pro-gun fetishists to wake up.  Well,  it turns out that this speculation was NOT so ridiculous!  And who would be the possible gun-toting mass killer?  None other than the former GOP minority leader, Dick Armey!  Read all about it.  You can't make this stuff up!
Money Trumps Guns in FreedomWorks Coup Attempt (Laura Clawson) from Daily Kos
"When former Rep. Dick Armey's departure from the tea party astroturf group FreedomWorks was announced in early December, Armey said he didn't want to get into the details. Happily for us, other people did want to do that. Immediately after Labor Day, Armey showed up at the FreedomWorks offices with his wife and an aide carrying a gun ..."

FreedomWorks Follies (Jonathan Bernstein) from the Washington Post 
"As far as anyone has reported, there were no doctrinal disputes between the Armey faction and their rivals. ... there did appear to be one issue of campaign tactics involved in the clash. The faction led by donor Richard Stevenson wanted to waste gobs of money on the futile attempt to reelect Tea Party favorite Rep. Joe Walsh, while Armey preferred wasting enormous sums and embarrassing conservatives and the Republican Party by backing doomed Senate candidate Todd Akin in Missouri."

Do Unmarried Poor Have Bad Values or Bad Jobs? (Andrew J. Cherlin) from the Bloomberg News Service
"A large U.S. government-funded experiment to encourage low-income parents to marry, a legacy of the George W. Bush administration’s Healthy Marriage Initiative, has just fallen flat. Even if you were a skeptic all along of the wisdom of the government promoting marriage, as I was, this isn’t good news."

Barack Obama's Dual Agenda from the Economist [of the UK]
"It's not simply that he may get a better deal on taxes and spending cuts, from a Democratic perspective, if he allows the fiscal cliff to kick in on January 1st. It's also that letting the fiscal cliff kick in may better serve his other main incentive: dividing and weakening the Republican Party."

Even Tea Partiers Are Tired of Fighting About the Fiscal Cliff (Margaret Hartmann) from New York Magazine
"... remarks from some tea party activists suggest that they're just tired of pressuring Republican lawmakers. “Why in the world would I want to get involved in the games they are playing?” said Joe Dugan, a South Carolina tea partier."

Republicans Rejecting their Own Ideas (E.J. Dionne) from the Washington Post
"It’s harder and harder for politicians on the right to think straight about health care. Conservatives once genuinely interested in finding market-based ways for the government to expand health insurance coverage have, since the rise of Obamacare, made choices that are dysfunctional, even from their own perspective."

Pollster: NRA Not Listening to Public from Politico
"Pollster Frank Luntz, who has studied attitudes about gun control, said on Wednesday that he doesn’t “think the NRA is listening” to the American public in the wake of the massacre of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. “The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools,” Luntz said on CBS’s “This Morning.”"

The Tea Party: ‘Deficits? Never Heard of Them’ (Jonathan Bernstein) from the Washington Post
"... Is deficit talk all just a cover for a traditional (over the last 30 years at least) Republican insistence on low tax rates for rich people, regardless of what actually happens to the deficit? Do they have no idea what they’re talking about at all, and are lost when it comes to actual policy choices instead of easy slogans? I’m guessing it’s the last one."

FreedomWorks Tea Party Group Nearly Falls Apart in Fight Between Old and New Guard from the Washington Post
"The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall."

Virginia Embodies GOP's Woes from Politico
"Look no further than Virginia to catch a glimpse of the GOP’s national dilemma. As the Old Dominion becomes a firmly centrist state, more closely resembling the rest of the country demographically and politically, Virginia Republicans are shifting rightward."

Republicans Turn to An Unlikely Name for Inspiration: George W. Bush (Beth Reinhard) from the National Journal
"Prominent Republicans eager to rebuild the party in the wake of the 2012 election are pointing to Bush’s successful campaigns for Hispanic votes, his efforts to pass immigration reform, and his mantra of “compassionate conservatism.”"
There is so much one COULD say about this story.  First, immigration reform was unsuccessful; second, "compassionate conservative" was simply a slogan.  Bush never governed as a compassionate anything.  Finally, what I see here is simply an effort to improve their "messaging", no reconsideration of their policies or positions.  In other words, what they're trying to do is do some subtle tweaks, nothing substantive.  

HI-SEN: Hawaii Governor Names Democrat, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, to Succeed Inouye in US Senate from the Associated Press
"Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz of Hawaii was appointed Wednesday to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the appointment after receiving a list of three candidates from the state Democratic Party earlier in the day."

The Monkeys, Frogs, Sharks, and Flowers Discovered in 2012 from Slate 
"Meet the gorgeous, creepy, goofy plants and animals discovered this year."

This kicker from the UK is astounding! See the video that accompanies this story!
Score! Norwegian Kicker Gets Tryout with New York Jets After Video of Spectacular Trick Shots Goes Viral from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"A Norwegian could be on the verge of an NFL contract as a kicker after a Youtube clip he made of spectacular trick shots has been watched almost a million times. The video caught the attention of professional teams in the United States and won its star, Havard Rugland, a tryout for the NFL's New York Jets this week."

Cracking Good Art: Chinese Man Creates Intricate Sculptures from EGG SHELLS from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Wen Fuliang uses the unorthodox material for his painstaking artistic creations. The artist was laid off from his a wood carver and turned to his hobby of 10 years to make ends meet."
Here the artist has used a small brown egg shell and located it inside a large white egg shell.

Fiona - ASPCA Dog of the Year 2012 (VIDEO) from YouTube
For those who saw Hope-for-Paws's extraordinary rescue of Fiona last year, here Fiona is winning the ASPCA Dog-of-the-Year award!!  Very inspiring! 

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