DAYEE PICTURE: An old communist-era housing block in Belgrade, Serbia. From the Daily Mail of the UK.
Why 2013 Should be a Good Year for the U.S. Economy (Neil Irwin) from the Washington Post
"This is the first of three posts looking at how the economy will do in 2013. Today, we consider why the fundamentals of the U.S. economy point toward a good year. On Thursday and Friday we’ll look at the biggest risks to that positive outlook, first that the federal government will mess it all up, and second that international troubles could reemerge and dampen Americans’ prospects."
Beyond the 'Fiscal Cliff': 6 Reasons to be Optimistic about America's Future from the Christian Science Monitor
"... here is much for which Americans should still be grateful heading into the new year. Here are six reasons to be optimistic about America's future."
Chrysler's Comeback: The Company's Rebound is Another Bailout Success from the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"U.S. car companies continue to post impressive results since General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. Their performance validates the federal bailout of both automakers."
Obama Should Sidestep Congress (Rena Steinzor) from the Baltimore Sun
"The president can't rely on GOP cooperation, so he must make use of executive orders to make progress on environment, health and safety."
Hang Tough, Mr. President (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"Boehner calls the House back on Sunday while McConnell rants and raves, but Obama still holds all the cards."
Dear Media: Please Don't Fall For John Boehner's Silly Process Games (Matthew Yglesias ) from Slate
"I see some disturbing signs on Twitter that people in the media are falling for John Boehner's gimmick of trying to kick action to the Senate. This is a transparent and silly negotiating ploy."
Right Wing Plotting Coup Against Boehner? (Henry Decker) from the National Memo
"...some on the right are mobilizing to replace Boehner with a House speaker who drops Boehner’s pretense of being willing to negotiate with the White House, and who sticks more purely to extreme conservative dogma."
Call it the Radical Party (Joy-Ann Reid) from the Miami Herald
"The Republicans used to be a grand, or at least a “governing” old party. Agree or disagree with their policies, you could at least take them seriously. Not anymore. Having fought off the radical John Birchers during the 1950s and survived Barry Goldwater’s disastrous presidential run in 1964, in which the far right candidate lost in an epic landslide to Lyndon Johnson, the GOP decided to let the radicals in the door after Barack Obama’s election in 2008. In fact, in the fever over health and financial reform, they let them take over the joint. As a result, the GOP is a shadow of its former self. In fact, the Republican Party is today, for all intents and purposes, the Radical Party."
Newtown Conspiracy Theories: Obama, Iran, and Other Culprits (Michael Moynihan) from the Daily Beast
"The government was behind the school massacre. Wait, it was Obama, in a ruse to take our guns away. No, it was Iran! Israel! Batman! Michael Moynihan on the paranoid wing’s ‘real truth’ about Sandy Hook."
Holiday Doldrums (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"A Gallup survey of our well-being released last week reported that “Republicans’ ratings of their lives worsened significantly in November, with their collective Life Evaluation Index score dropping to 40.3, from 47.0 in October.” Democrats’ life ratings, by contrast, have improved."
Changing Election History (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo
"Some fascinating findings from Pew’s on-going number crunching of the 2012 election. African-Americans, for the first time ever, may have voted at higher rates than American whites."
ENDANGERED ANIMAL NUGGET!!
European Bison Return to Wild in Germany from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"For the first time since the 18th century, the European bison is returning to Germany to live in the wild. The wisent, as it is also known, has been brought to the country by a famous prince. Although the
creatures' survival is uncertain, the project has already attracted considerable attention."
ANCIENT ROME NUGGET!!
Hadrian's Hall: Archaeologists Finish Excavation of Roman Arts Centre from the Guardian [of the UK]
"Archaeologists who have completed the excavation of a 900-seat arts centre under one of Rome's busiest roundabouts are calling it the most important Roman discovery in 80 years. The centre, built by the emperor Hadrian in AD123, offered three massive halls where Roman nobles flocked to hear poetry, speeches and philosophy tracts while reclining on terraced marble seating."
BOOK LIST NUGGET!!
Best Books 2012 (Joe Klein) from Time Magazine
"This is not a list of the best books published in 2012, just the best I’ve read in the past year: ..."