DAYLEE PICTURE: Burnt trees in Yellowstone. From National Geographic.
Up To Speed: 4 Things To Know About The Russia Bombings from the Daily Beast
"Four things you need to know about the twin suicide bombings that hit Volgograd ahead of the Sochi Olympics."
Everyone Assumed the Banks would beat Financial Reform. They Didn't (Mike Konczal) from the New Republic
"If you aren’t terrified of jinxing even the smallest good news, you might even say it was pretty good. The multi-year implementation of 2010’s Dodd-Frank bill made several final advancements this year, and compared to where people thought we’d be a year ago, we are in a pretty solid place."
How The GOP Became A Party Of Benghazi ‘Truthers’ (Jason Sattler) from the National Memo
"After a year of demanding answers about the terrorist attack that took place in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, the right wing got them in the form of a well-reported exposé by The New York Times‘ David Kirkpatrick. And they don’t like these answers at all."
Why We’ll Never Stop Arguing About Benghazi (Blake Hounshell) from Politico Magazine
"Reason #4: The journalism’s been all over the map. The volume of reporting on Benghazi is enormous—and that means alternate explanations are available to those seeking one. And not just on Fox News..."
The “Middle Class” Myth: Here’s Why Wages are Really so Low Today (Edward McClelland) from Salon
"Want to understand the failures of the "free market" and the key to getting a decent wage? Here's the real story."
Out of Jobs, Out of Benefits, Out of Luck (David Frum) from CNN
"Mass and long-term joblessness characterize the U.S. economy of 2014 as surely as plentiful low-wage jobs characterized the U.S. economy of 15 years ago. Look at the output statistics, and the United States has recovered from the crisis of 2008. Look at the job numbers, and it seems the United States never will. What are Americans to think of and do about their new economic dispensation?"
We Don't Know if Obamacare Is Working Well. But We Know It's Working from the New Republic
"Obamacare got off to a lousy start. But things are looking a lot better now."
2013: The Year in Whiteness (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"From Phil Robertson to Megyn Kelly, peddling white grievance became a bigger, crazier, more lucrative racket."
Official Who Oversaw Building of Obamacare Website Retires from Reuters
"U.S. health official Michelle Snyder, who oversaw the building of the troubled Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, is retiring from her job as chief operating officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)."
Yes -- you go and "retire." Another head rolls. Who's next?
Poll: Republican Belief In Evolution Has Plummeted In Recent Years from the Talking Points Memo
"Belief in evolution among Republicans has dropped more than 10 percentage points since 2009, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center."
D.C. Has More People Than Wyoming and Vermont, Still Not a State from the National Journal
"Washington's population grew to 646,449 in 2013, according to census data."
So many pompous year-end retrospective columns about the year's news and not one of them admitting the four most obvious facts of all (James Vega) from the Democratic Strategist
"That every one of the major, hysterically hyped conservative "Scandals" of last year - the Benghazi "cover-up," The IRS "targeting" of only Tea Party groups, the "hopelessly broken beyond repair" Federal Health Care website -- scandals that dominated the headlines for weeks and supposedly exposed the essential evil at the core of the Obama administration - have turned out to be fundamentally bogus."
How has Your Generation Voted? (David Nir) from Daily Kos
"The Pew Research center has updated their terrific graphic showing how each generation of Americans have voted, relative to the rest of the country, over the last two decades: ... Most cohorts have remained fairly consistent in their choices over time, though that 1960s contingent—perhaps surprisingly, or perhaps not—seems to have grown more conservative in recent years."
For any of our regular readers, this should come as no surprise. As I have long observed, the baby boom generation is at the core of America's turn to the right and of the Tea Party. While this generation is routinely linked to the civil rights movement, Viet Nam protests, and Watergate, it's my sense that the generation that came of age during those events were defined more by their reactions AGAINST these events rather than their support for them. Polling at the time suggested as much. As this generation ages and (eventually) passes from the political scene, America's politics will change as well.
Six Questions for 2014 (Julian Zelizer) from CNN
"Both parties leave Washington with many big issues unresolved and many battles ahead. It's time to consider what some of the big stories of 2014 may be."
Trailblazing First Lady is 'American Superwoman,' Championing Causes, Raising a Family from the Chicago Tribune
"Unorthodox, yes, and to some critics, undignified. But her appearance, aimed at promoting her "Let's Move" campaign to end childhood obesity, has racked up more than 16.6 million views on YouTube in less than a year. The spoof was classic Michelle Obama, a traditionalist who takes her role seriously, but still has some fun."
COMIC BOOK NUGGET!!
Iron Man Saved My Life from the Atlantic
"The comic books were my childhood refuge from an alcoholic father, but they helped me overcome my own battle with the bottle, too."