Monday, December 31, 2012

News Nuggets 1142

DAYLEE PICTURE: A European Robin in Northumberland in the UK.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Biden Gives Republicans One Last Chance to Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff' (Jed Lewison) from Daily Kos
Kos seems to have the most up-to-date info as of noon today.
" seems as though with every day that Republicans refuse to take action, their options just keep on getting worse—and Democrats need to keep that in mind."

This Isn’t a Normal Negotiation (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post 
"The eventual GOP agreement to raise the debt ceiling will not constitute a concession on Republicans’ part. Republican leaders know they will have to raise the debt ceiling, because (as they also know) not doing so will lead to default and damage the economy. If and when they do agree to do so, that will simply constitute an agreement on their part not to hurt the country, yet they will ask that it be treated as a concession for which they should receive something in return."

Fiscal Cliff: GOP Gives In On Social Security Cuts In Stalled Talks (UPDATE) from the Huffington Post
"Senate Republicans realized in a caucus meeting Sunday afternoon that the idea was a loser for now, even if they might return to it in reaching a larger deal later on."

Fiscal Cliff Talks Resume After GOP Caves On Social Security Cut from Talking Points Memo
"If Senate leaders reach an agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, they won’t announce it today. On the Senate floor Sunday evening, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that, after a brief run off the rails, negotiations will continue in earnest through the night, with an ultimate resolution on New Year’s Eve."

Fiscal Cliff Fiasco Part CCXXVIII (Brian Beutler) from Talking Points Memo 
"What we’re witnessing in these waning hours, though, reveals a lot about the current balance of power in Washington, and the way the parties are responding to the outcome of the election."

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama Most Admired in 2012 from Gallup
"Clinton has been Most Admired more than any other woman in Gallup's history."

Republican Party is 'Devoid of a Soul', says Jon Huntsman from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK]
"The Republican Party is leaderless and "devoid of a soul" but can rebuild in the wake of its election defeat if it embraces its history of supporting limited government, Jon Huntsman has said."

Researcher: Long Lines at Polls Caused 49,000 Not to Vote from the Orlando Sentinel
"About 30,000 of those discouraged voters — most of them in Orange and Osceola counties — likely would have backed Democratic President Barack Obama, according to Theodore Allen, an associate professor of industrial engineering at OSU."

The 15 Most Important Pets Of 2012 (SLIDESHOW) from the Huffington Post 
"Which should be considered the top pet of the year? Scroll through the slideshow below -- where the animals are listed in no particular order -- and tell us what you think in the comments."
Hope-for-Paws's Fiona is at #14!!  Go to the site and vote for it as the #1 story of the year in the comments section!!  It will bring the organization and their mission the attention that will translate into more rescued dogs!

Death of the Desert Fox: Rommel's Son's Account of his Father's Last Moments After Hitler Ordered Him to Take a Cyanide Pill or be Arrested from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"German general Erwin Rommel told his teenage son he had been ordered to kill himself by Adolf Hitler.  In a newly discovered letter, Manfred Rommel describes watching his father being led into a car moments later. Rommel, known as Desert Fox, was accused of plotting to kill Hitler."

23 Tech Predictions for 2013 from the Daily Beast
"Mini iPhones. Robotic caretakers. Implantable pedometers?! The Daily Beast runs down the tech innovations you’re most likely to see (and might not) in 2013."

Gladwell, King, Sedaris, and More: Books to Look Forward to in 2013 from the Atlantic
"'s about to be a big year in books. Below, read more on what these and other notable authors are up to in 2013."

Hell: A Very Rough Guide from the Economist [of the UK]
"Hell is steadily losing adherents. The Infernal Tourist Board (chief field-researchers Dante Alighieri and John Milton) has therefore produced a promotional flyer."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

News Nuggets 1141

DAYLEE PICTURE: Red elephants in Kenya's Tsavo East National Park.  From National Geographic.

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."

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."

Watson-The Three Legged Dog UPDATE Please Share from YouTube

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."

Friday, December 28, 2012

News Nuggets 1139

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."

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."

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."

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: ..."

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! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

News Nuggets 1137

DAYLEE PICTURE: Obama and his girls on election night.  From the Huffington Post.

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."

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?"

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)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

News Nuggets 1136

DAYLEE PICTURE: The Ying-yang frog from the Mekong Delta and Vietnam.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! The nuggets will be sporadic between now and New Year's and then resume it's daylee-ness!

The Story Behind Mitt Romney’s Loss in the Presidential Campaign to President Obama from the Boston Globe
"... a reconstruction by the Globe of how the campaign unfolded shows that Romney’s problems went deeper than is widely understood. His campaign made a series of costly financial, strategic, and political mistakes that, in retrospect, all but assured the candidate’s defeat, given the
revolutionary turnout tactics and tactical smarts of President Obama’s operation."

Tomorrow's Weapons Today: Five Weapons to Watch in 2013 (John Reed) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Here's a list of five of the most interesting weapons that came to our attention in 2012. These systems either were invented in the last year or achieved a significant milestone on the road to becoming operational weapons. Look out, 2013."

Why Obama Isn't Caving (Glenn Thrush) from Politico
"President Barack Obama’s stiffening resolve during the fight over the fiscal cliff can be traced directly to the lessons he drew from his hard-won triumph of the 2012 campaign. He whipped Republicans a second time, parried the best attacks they could muster, and is now demanding that they respect the victory, if not the man who won it."

Speaker Boehner Loses It (John Nichols) from the Nation
"No one has worked harder in recent days to delegitimize John Boehner than John Boehner. Boehner’s boneheaded “Plan B” scheme, which crashed and burned Thursday night after his own House Republican Caucus refused to provide the needed votes, will rank as one of the greatest failures ever by a House Speaker."

Right Rages at Boehner Fiscal Cliff Debacle from Politico
"Liberal and conservative commentators alike took to Twitter and blogs to blast House Speaker John Boehner as a “failure” after his fiscal cliff legislation did not pass in his own party Thursday."

John Boehner Plan B Mess Leaves Few Fiscal Cliff Options from the Huffington Post
"Now that House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" for addressing the "fiscal cliff" has crashed and burned, the top U.S. Republican appears to have two remaining options - wash his hands of the entire matter or negotiate a compromise with Democrats that could abandon scores of his fellow

John Boehner’s Animal House (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post 
"Republicans in that chamber may wish to schedule a movie night of their own. Perhaps they should consider an earlier Spielberg film: “Jurassic Park.” In Boehner’s House, the animals are rampaging."

Send in the Clowns (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times
"Republican politicians today have a choice: either change your base by educating and leading G.O.P. voters back to the center-right from the far right, or start a new party that is more inclusive, focused on smaller but smarter government and market-based, fact-based solutions to our biggest problems."

Enough! (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
"...the current constitutional and economic vandalism removes any shred of doubt that this party and its lucrative media bubble is in any way conservative. They aren't. They're ideological zealots, indifferent to the consequences of their actions, contemptuous of the very to-and-fro essential for the American system to work..."

More Guns is Just Dumb (Alex Seitz-Wald) from Salon
"Science and history show that the NRA's plan to flood schools with arms is ineffective -- and could be disastrous."

Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: So Defensive it was Downright Offensive (Ana Marie Cox) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"The leading gun rights lobbyist gave a performance so tone-deaf that only he missed why 'put more guns in schools' sounds inept."

Backfire: The Disgusting NRA Press Conference (George Zornick) from the Nation
"I fully expected the National Rifle Association to hold a press conference this morning that would help blunt the momentum for gun control legislation now building in Washington ... Instead, NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre unloaded a thirty-round magazine of crazy.'

Bloomberg, LaPierre and the Void (Ross Douthat) from the New York Times 
"...instead of a kind of skepticism and sifting from conservatives, after a week of liberal self-righteousness the spotlight passed instead to ... Wayne LaPierre. And no Stephen Colbert parody of conservatism could match the National Rifle Association spokesman’s performance on Friday morning."

Tagg Romney: Mitt 'Wanted To Be President Less Than Anyone I've Met' from the Huffington Post
“He had no desire,” the eldest Romney son said. “If he could have found someone else to take his place ... he would have been ecstatic to step aside."

The latest from Eldad Hagar and his organization, Hope-for-Paws
Dog rescue from the Los Angeles River - Biggie from Hope for Paws

Friday, December 21, 2012

News Nuggets 1135

DAYLEE PICTURE: A blemish fish from southern Thailand.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Republicans Crush Boehner’s Plan B from Talking Points Memo
"Plan B was supposed to have been John Boehner’s masterstroke — and the only legislative tactic protecting him from an embarrassing defeat in fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama. But late Thursday, after a brief but contentious meeting with his conference, he announced he’d gambled and lost. ... So what happens now?"

Boehner Plan B: House Republicans Humiliate Their Leader (Jennifer Rubin) from the Washington Post
"In one vote (or nonvote), the all-or-nothing crowd handed the high ground back to the president, who can now rightly claim that House Republicans would rather raise everyone’s taxes than raise them on millionaires. ... This is a party acting like a minority party, or worse, like petulant teenagers. ... the fault lies with the spineless members who think they’ll escape blame if they don’t vote for any measure. That is folly, not to mention political cowardice. To govern is to choose, and they apparently can do neither."
This, from Rubin, a down-the-line, committed, transmit-the-GOP-talking-points columnist, says this (and more if you read the entire column), you know both Boehner and his party are in VERY DEEP sh@#!

Some further analysis: 
What's Next for Boehner? A Better Deal—or Civil War? (David Nir) from Daily Kos
"John Boehner, who custom-wrote this ridiculous Plan B, couldn't even get it past his own caucus. Republicans have given birth to a monster—and it's themselves."

As GOP Sinks Plan B, Obama Should Tune Out His Own Party’s Doubters (Robert Shrum) from the Daily Beast
"John Boehner had to scuttle his fiscal-cliff deal when he couldn’t win over the Republican hard-core. The speaker may bow to his own crazies, but the president shouldn’t."

Fiscal Cliff Vote Fails Due to Republican Theology on Taxes (Daniel Gross) from the Daily Beast
"There should be no surprise that Republicans are incapable of compromising on a fiscal cliff deal. When it comes to taxes, for the GOP it’s a matter of theology—not business."

Mr. Smith's Insane Cousins Go to Washington (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"As Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday, a word I re-used on television last night, they are vandals. They aren't legislators. They have nothing to contribute to the polity at all. ... Obama tried. The Republicans said clearly: sorry, we don't compromise. On anything."

Boehner Budget Failure Followed Pressure From Conservative Groups from the Huffington Post
"The failure leaves President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with little opposition in crafting a measure to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. When the House returns, its members will have few options -- either back the Senate bill or allow taxes to rise for the middle class."

A Role Reversal: Dems Grow More Unified While Cracks Form in the GOP (Ronald Brownstein) from the National Journal
"The endgame over the fiscal cliff, like the first stirrings of debate about gun control and immigration, all capture a subtle but potentially consequential shift in the Washington dynamic. On each front, Democrats are growing more unified while Republicans and conservatives are
displaying increasing cracks. That inverts the alignment through most of President Obama’s first term--and indeed most of the past quarter-century."

Behind the Scenes of a GOP Meltdown from Politico
"Things were so bad for Speaker John Boehner Thursday night, support for his Plan B tax bill so diminished, the limits of his power with his own party laid bare, that he stood in front of the House Republican Conference and recited the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Boehner nearly cried."

Obama Approval at 56%, Highest Since October 2009: Uptick coincides with aftermath of Newtown, Conn., school shootings from Gallup
"The timing of the increase in Obama's ratings could reflect a broad-based public reaction to the Newtown shootings, similar to the 'rally around the flag' effect often seen at the start of wars and other threats to national security, in which Americans rally behind their leader. It could also reflect the impact of the president's specific actions after the tragedy, including his attendance and speech at a Newtown prayer service Sunday night, and his appointment on Wednesday of a national task force to recommend steps that can be taken to reduce gun violence in the future."

Republican Party Too Extreme, Majority Of Americans Say: Poll from the Huffington Post
"For the first time, a majority of Americans now say the Republican Party is too extreme, according to a poll released Thursday by CNN/ORC.  Fifty-three percent of people, including 22 percent of Republicans, said the GOP's views and policies have pushed them beyond the mainstream."

Boehner Agonistes (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"If the vote on the so-called “Plan B”, which would extend the tax rates on everyone but those earning more than $1 million a year, fails — and even the most optimistic Republicans acknowledge that it’s going to be close — it will be a massive blow to Boehner’s strength as Speaker."

Will Boehner’s Speakership Survive Until Plan C? (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"Has there been a House speaker in modern American history with less control over his members than John Boehner? ... Tonight, Boehner lost that vote. In a dramatic turn of events on the House floor, he pulled the legislation."

Dan Burton On Tax Cuts: GOP Would Swallow Democratic Tax Plan After December (Ryan Grim) from the Huffington Post
"If a fiscal cliff deal isn't struck by the end of the year, President Barack Obama will be in such a strong bargaining position that Republicans will be forced to accept the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for income above $250,000, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), an arch conservative, predicted Thursday."

A Fight for Church of England’s Soul from the Washington Post
"The debate over female bishops forces the church to ask: Should religion enforce tradition in increasingly secular society or adapt?"

How Pete Souza Became President Obama’s Secret Weapon (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"You probably have never heard of Pete Souza. But, Souza, the White House official photographer, plays an absolutely critical — and often under-estimated — role in the shaping of “Barack Obama”, the image of the president presented to the public."

Nine generations of First Families open up about Christmas in the White House... and more than a few kids confess to nibbling the gingerbread display during their time from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"While the Obamas are firmly ensconced at the White House for another four years, many First Families have lived within the prestigious walls before them. For the first time, these former hostesses-in-chief and their children have come together to share their memories of Christmas at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in NBC's holiday special, 'A White House Christmas.'"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

News Nuggets 1134

DAYLEE PICTURE: Obama visiting a wounded soldier in Afghanistan.  Here's the caption from the White House photographer:
"This was one of the most poignant moments of the President's first term. He was visiting wounded warriors in the intensive care unit ICU at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. He had just presented a Purple Heart to Sgt. Chase Haag, who had been injured by an IED just hours before. Sgt. Haag was covered with a blanket and it was difficult to see how badly he was injured. He was also seemingly unconscious so the President whispered in his ear so not to wake him. Just then, there was a rustling under the blanket and Sgt. Haag, eyes still closed, reached his hand out to shake hands with the President."

Tipping Point for Syria’s Assad (P.J. Crowley) from the Daily Beast 
"Syria’s dictator is losing ground as the international community ramps up support for the opposition. P.J. Crowley on the looming political tipping point."

House Republicans Again Show Why We Need to Wait Until January for a Deal (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"Business types have therefore assumed a December deal would happen. If this was a business deal between two rational people, that's what would happen." But we are not dealing with rational people here. We are dealing with House Republicans. As Republican Tom Cole gently put it, by way of describing his colleagues' implacable hatred of taxes, 'It's who they are. It's the air they breathe. It's what the Republican electorate

How ‘Plan B’ Scrambled Fiscal Cliff Negotiations from Talking Points Memo 
"... late Wednesday, faced with a daunting whip count, Republican leaders did two things. First, they began entertaining the notion of tacking spending cuts on to the bill — to entice skeptical House conservatives to provide badly needed votes. ... Second, and crucially, they scotched a tandem plan to vote down legislation, supported by most Democrats, extending the Bush tax cuts for income up to $250,000. That was the biggest tell of the day: Boehner can’t deep-six that bill, because he may need to pass it —with help from Democrats — if fiscal cliff negotiations with Obama fall apart completely."

Direct Negotiations with the Terrorists? (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo
"...the real issue here probably comes down to Boehner’s weakness, institutional and personal. It’s a question the White House has had from the beginning and suspects the worst on — that John Boehner can’t actually deliver any deal, almost no matter what’s included in it."

The Person You’re Most Likely To Kill With Your Gun Is You from National Memo
"In 1979, there were nearly two automobile fatalities for each gun death. According to a study by Bloomberg, by 2015 firearm fatalities will surpass motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death. ... Eighty-five Americans are shot dead every day. Of those 53 — or 62 percent — are suicides."

The Solution to Gun Violence is Clear (Fareed Zakaria) from the Washington Post
"What we should be trying to understand is not one single event but why we have so many of them. The number of deaths by firearms in the United States was 32,000 last year. Around 11,000 were gun homicides. To understand how staggeringly high this number is, compare it to the rate in other rich countries."

In Newtown, Nancy Lanza a Subject of Sympathy for Some, Anger for Others from the Washington Post
"“I am feeling that there is more anger toward the mother than there is toward the son,” said Lisa Sheridan, a Newtown parent."

Before Newtown, NRA was Already Losing Support (Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger) from the Washington Post
"Months before the massacre, there was already a growing estrangement between the NRA and its Democratic allies."
It is VERY premature to be writing the obituary on this lobbying group!

New Orleans Schools Ban Creationism, 'Revisionist' History Course Promoted By Texas from the Huffington Post
"The Orleans Parish School Board, which controls the curriculum and policies for six schools in New Orleans, voted Tuesday to ban the teaching of creationism as science and a "revisionist" history course touted in Texas."

The Decline of the "Great Equalizer" (Rhode, Cooke, and Ojha) from the Atlantic
"Massachusetts, home to America's best schools and best-educated workforce, has seen income inequality soar. Why? The poor are losing an academic arms race with the rich."

Another Ted Kennedy in the Senate? from Politico
"Could Massachusetts get another Ted Kennedy in the Senate?  Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy and brother of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, would instantly be the leading Democratic candidate in the special election to replace Sen. John Kerry, assuming he’s nominated as secretary of state."

Why 'Zero Dark Thirty' Is the Best Film of the Year (Christopher Orr) from the Atlantic
This film has been getting some very positive buzz since opening this week.
"Director Kathryn Bigelow's latest is a cinematic tour de force, but one open to moral questioning."

Twenty Best Movies of 2012 from the Daily Beast
"...following an awards-season onslaught of impressive fare, 2012 has morphed into one of the best years at the movies in quite some time. From the magical realism of Beasts of the Southern Wild to Kathryn Bigelow’s film about the CIA’s exhaustive hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, here are The Daily Beast’s best movies of the year."

FP's Favorite Reads of 2012 from Foreign Policy Magazine
"This year's great books about the world, selected by our editors, columnists, and bloggers."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

News Nuggets 1133

DAYLEE PICTURE:  The warbler frog of Vietnam.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama, the President (Michael Scherer) from Time Magazine
GREAT choice!!
"Obama’s secret weapon: the people who don’t much care for politics. A sizable chunk of the President’s most ardent backers don’t admire either party yet think Obama is somehow above it all, immune to all the horse trading and favor mongering that politics entails. These voters aren’t political in the cable-TV sense of the word."

Christmas 'To Don't' List: What Not To Stress About This Year from the Huffington Post
"Some simple tactics can help reduce the holiday stress and allow you to enjoy the season more, like letting go of past family arguments and making time for yourself, whether it be to get some extra sleep or go to yoga. Just in case that's a little easier said than done for you this year, here is your official permission to stop stressing about these 25 things this Christmas."

State Benghazi Report Is Harshly Critical Of Department, Busts Many Right-Wing Myths from the Huffington Post
"...while the unclassified version of the report, which was released Tuesday night, is undeniably harsh in its analysis of the State Department's management ahead of the attack, it also appears to undermine a number of the more outlandish charges made during the heat of the uproar this fall."

Obama's Push on Gun Violence Begins to Take Shape (Michael O’Brien) from NBC News
"The contours of Obama’s plan to address mounting gun violence began to take shape in the nation’s capital as the White House started to outline some of the specific measures the administration would favor as part of its new initiative."

Democrats Getting More Concrete on Proposed Gun Law Changes (Laura Clawson) from Daily Kos
"President Barack Obama and members of Congress are moving from the immediate but vague "we've got to change something" response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School toward some more concrete policy proposals. While the proposals start with bringing back the assault weapons ban, they don't stop there:"

Obama To Tap Biden To Lead Gun Control Efforts from Talking Points Memo 
"President Obama on Wednesday will name Vice President Biden to lead gun-control efforts in the wake of last week's Newtown, Conn. shooting, the Wall Street Journal reported:"

Beating Guns the Bloomberg Way (Jacob Weisberg) from Slate
"The New York mayor, not Obama, knows how to defeat the NRA."

Guns, Risks and Safety (Alan Jacobs) from the American Conservative 
"Our social order is flawed, but by no means bankrupt. Most of us live in peace and safety without the use of guns. It makes more sense to try to make that social order safer and safer, more and more genuinely peaceful, rather than descend voluntarily into a world governed by paranoia, in which one can only feel safe — or, really, “safe” — with cold steel strapped to one’s ribcage."

The Republican Solution To Preventing School Shootings? Armed Teachers from the National Memo
"...after the horrendous massacre of  20 student and six adults at Sandy Brook School in Newton, CT, Republicans have a new use in mind for teachers. Republicans in Tennessee have introduced legislation that would have one armed faculty member in each school."

How Obama Knew How You'd Vote, Even Before You Did (Dan Rowinski) from Readwrite
"What the Obama team did was little short of amazing. It essentially created a cohort-analysis system of data to judge every single voter it wanted to get to the polls. Obama's team took the usual system of
analytics and reduced it to the most granular level: the individual voter."

A More Perfect Union: How President Obama’s Campaign Used Big Data to Rally Individual Voters, Part 1 ( Sasha Issenberg) from MIT Technology Review
"But underneath all that were scores describing particular voters: a new political currency that predicted the behavior of individual humans. The campaign didn't just know who you were; it knew exactly how it could turn you into the type of person it wanted you to be."

Team of Mentors: Obama's Senate Mafia (Michael Hirsh) from the National Journal
"Emerging national-security team will likely be a longtime cabal that includes his powerful VP."

MI-GOV: Snyder's Popularity Plummets from Public Policy Polling
"Just last month when we took a first look at the 2014 landscape we talked about how much Rick Snyder had improved his popularity during his second year in office and how he led a generic Democrat for reelection by 6 points, even as Barack Obama won the state comfortably. Last week he threw all that out the window."

Mel Brooks on How to Play Hitler, and How He Almost Died Making Spaceballs (Steve Heisler) from AV CLub
"Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about."

My body IS the art: The human canvas who has spent 800 hours staying still as friend transforms him into incredible paintings from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Chadwick Gray stands as motionless canvas for up to 15 hours at a time. Friend and fellow artist Laura Spector used water-based theatre make-up."

‘A Bombshell on the American Public’ (James M. McPherson) from the New York Review of Books
"All four of these books provide detailed and careful renderings of these events and of Lincoln’s intellectual journey."

Making David and Goliath from Octavio Aburto at Vimeo