Putin Out of Tricks in Syria from the Editorial Board of the Daily Star [of Lebanon in English]
" This policy was an example of stalling tactics, pure and simple. After Russian officials spent their time closely following developments on the ground, it now appears they have concluded that nothing further can be gained by buying time for the Assad regime."
The Crisis of American Conservatism: Inherent Contradictions and the End of the Road (James Kurth) of the Foreign Policy Research Institute
"In this essay, we will examine how the paradoxes of American conservatism have unfolded and revealed themselves during the period of the last three or four decades. We begin our discussion by noting the three distinct dimensions that have always defined American conservatism."
Here Comes the Obama Tax Cut (David Frum) from the Daily Beast
"Sometime early that week, perhaps Monday itself, the president will appear on TV to offer the "Obama tax cut": the fourth biggest tax cut in American history after the Reagan, Kennedy, and George W. Bush tax cuts. ... How will the House Republicans react to that? That's the next question and it will arise fast."
When Getting Your Butt Kicked Is the Strategy (Josh Barro) from the Bloomberg News Service
"Buzzfeed has one of many pieces about anonymous Republicans bemoaning their party's strategic incompetence, this time about the debt ceiling deal. They report: ..."
House Speaker’s Easygoing Style Proves a Weakness During ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Crisis (David A. Fahrenthold and Felicia Sonmez) from the Washington Post
"It seems the very trait that brought John Boehner to power became a flaw once that power was his."
When all you care about is holding onto power, not whether you actually accomplish anything, then this approach is quite appropriate.
Lawmakers Fear Voter Backlash on Fiscal Cliff from Politico
"Senators from both parties are bracing for a furious voter backlash if American taxpayers begin to receive thinner paychecks in the new year, and that dynamic is what’s driving Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to make a last-ditch effort on the fiscal cliff. For McConnell, the concern is more urgent — both on the policy and political fronts."
How the Fiscal Cliff Fight Will End (Unhappily for Republicans) (Byron York) from the Washington Examiner
"Under the most likely scenario, Republicans will get nothing — nothing — in return for giving in on tax rates for the highest-income Americans. ... the bottom line is that the fiscal cliff fight will not end happily for Republicans. They will have given in on what was an article of faith — that taxes should not be raised on anybody, poor or rich — in return for essentially nothing."
Lindsey Graham On Fiscal Cliff: 'Hats Off To The President. He Won.' from the Huffington Post
"Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) used his "Fox News Sunday" appearance to congratulate President Barack Obama on his impending victory in the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, predicting that tax rates will go up on people making more than $400,000 or $500,000 as a result of the coming Senate deal."
David Brooks: Fiscal Cliff Blame Should Largely Go To Republicans from the Huffington Post
""Most of the blame still has to go to the Republicans," he continued. "They've had a brain freeze since the election. They have no strategy. They don't know what they want. They haven't decided what they want.""
Ousting the Speaker: House Republicans' Long History of Regicide (Joshua Spivak) from The Week
"The 20th century hasn't been good to GOP leaders in the House, so Speaker John Boehner might have some cause for concern."
The GOP’s Five Greatest Disappointments In 2012 from Talking Points Memo
"This was a bad year for the Republican Party. What started out as a year of hope that they would return to power ended in a series of profound disappointments that left party strategists debating whether the GOP would become a permanent minority unless they change course. Here are the party’s five most disappointing moments."
I'm With Tagg: Mitt Didn't Want to Be President (Leslie Savan) from the Nation
"...all along I was thinking like Tagg, only for different reasons. People do all sorts of things—start careers, get married, sign up for war or reality shows—with psychological ambivalence. In September, I wrote that for Mitt maybe winning the GOP nomination was enough—it avenged his father’s loss and legitimized his religion. Why bother with the governing part?:"
Philanthropy: You’re Doing it Wrong (Felix Salmon) from Reuters
"Remember, in philanthropy, you’re meant to be the humble one. The graveyards are full of people who dreamed of giving away hypothetical future riches. Much better to give away real present ones."
ENDANGERED WILDLIFE NUGGET!!
To Save Wildlife, Kenyans Take Up Arms from the New York Times
"In Kenya, people are so eager to protect their wildlife — and the tourism dollars that safaris bring — that civilians are risking their lives to confront poaching gangs."
ANOTHER DOG RESCUE NUGGET!!
Watson-The Three Legged Dog UPDATE Please Share from YouTube