Saturday, December 29, 2012

News Nuggets 1140

DAYLEE PICTURE: A cold morning on Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth in the UK.  From the Daily Mail.

The Miracle of Wenchi: Ethiopian Kids Using Tablets to Teach Themselves (Fiona Ehlers) from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"A US aid organization has handed children in the remote Ethiopian village of Wenchi tablet computers in an experiment aimed at enabling them to teach themselves. They are now speaking their first words of English -- without ever having encountered a teacher.

In Comparison, U.S. Recovery Fares Well (Floyd Norris) from the New York Times
"Combining two factors as a gauge, the United States has performed better than most nations since 2007."

Obama Gives Republicans A Tough Ultimatum On Taxes from Talking Points Memo
"With the fiscal cliff rapidly approaching, President Obama was unflinching in his tax stance on Friday, threatening to use his leverage to force Republicans into an unenviable position if they fail to agree to a deal in time. After a White House meeting with congressional leaders, Obama held a news conference to issue a tough ultimatum to Congress: reach a deal now or block my middle class tax cut in the new year."

‘Come Together’ Breaks Washington Apart (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"The two parties are not equivalent right now. The two sides are not the same. If you want Washington to come together, you need to make it painful for those who are breaking it apart."

Obama to GOP: Last Chance (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"It’s possible, as many commentators are speculating, that today’s machinations mean Reid and McConnell really may reach a deal. But if not, by daring Republicans one last time to refuse to allow simple majority votes on extending the middle class tax cuts, Obama is signaling that if we do go over the cliff, he intends to extract maximum political pain for it."

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Showing 'Great Skill, Ruthless Skill' In Fiscal Cliff Talks (VIDEO) from the Huffington Post
""He's been using this -- and I must say with great skill, and ruthless skill, and success -- to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition," he said. "The only redoubt of the opposition is the House. And his objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war, and he's done that.""

The Republicans’ Moment of Truth (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast 
"We’re going to learn a lot about the post-election GOP this weekend, says Michael Tomasky."

Are These Guys Really In Charge Of The Republican Party? (John Stanton and Zeke Miller) from BuzzFeed
"From a DUI to fumbled fiscal cliff talks, there's no time for soul-searching in a leaderless party. “It's a shit show,” says one Republican. "

The Worst Year in Washington: The Tea Party (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"The movement’s journey from boom to bust is the story of American politics writ large. The tea party’s ups and downs (in 2012, mostly downs) highlight some of the key forces shaping today’s battles ..."

GOP Governors Deny The Poor Health Care In Opposing Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion from the Huffington Post
"... this year, the state determined that the $819 a month she draws in disability payments exceed the allowable limit. By the federal government's reckoning, her $9,800 annual income made her officially poor. But under the standards set by Louisiana, she was too well off to receive Medicaid."

Right-Wing Freaking Out About Dianne Feinstein's Gun Control Suggestions (Alan Colmes) from the Huffington Post
"Right-wing bloggers are apoplectic about proposals by California Senator Dianne Feinstein to control the use of deadly weapons. RedState uses her sensible ideas to claim "proof we are in a post constitutional republic." Alex Jones screeches that "the gun-grabbers are going for broke."
WorldNetDaily warns that you better sign a petition to "keep your gun rights." Another headline shouts, "Feinstein lunges for our guns.""

Leading Proponent of Filibuster Reform Claims He Has 51 Votes (Alexander Bolton) from The Hill
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a leading proponent of filibuster reform, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) has the 51 votes he needs to change Senate rules with the "nuclear option."
I am HIGHLY skeptical of this claim!

HI-SEN: Why Neil Abercrombie Bucked Daniel Inouye Pick from Politico 
"Abercrombie and Inouye were not allies. In fact, their two-decade relationship in Congress was marked by rifts -- most notably over Inouye's encouragement of a primary challenger to Abercrombie in the 2010 governor's race. Abercrombie and Schatz were running mates in that same election."

The Growing Electoral Clout of Blacks Is Driven by Turnout, Not Demographics (Paul Taylor) from Public Policy Polling
"Unlike other minority groups whose increasing electoral muscle has been driven mainly by population growth, blacks' rising share of the vote in the past four presidential elections has been the result of rising turnout rates."

The 8 Elections to Watch in 2013 from the Atlantic
"Just because it's an off year doesn't mean no one is running. Here are the top House, Senate and gubernatorial contests to pay attention to in the year ahead."

Hillary Clinton: Will She Run for President in 2016? (Suzanne Goldberg) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"The campaign T-shirts are already on sale, the Washington rumour mill is in overdrive. But even if Hillary Clinton does decide to run for the White House in 2016, can she win?"

The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See Made by One Guy in Oregon (Seth Stevenson)from Slate
"I’m here to tell you it can. This is a masterful map. And the secret is in its careful attention to design."

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