Wednesday, January 2, 2013

News Nuggets 1143

DAYLEE PICTURE: The scales that cover the wings of a prola beauty butterfly.  From National Geographic.

North Korea Picks Stronger Economy, South Ties as Top 2013 Tasks (Sangwon Yoon) from the Bloomberg News Service
"North Korea’s Kim Jong Un named improving the economy and better relations with South Korea as top policy goals for his second year as leader, signaling he may ease his country’s confrontational approach toward Seoul."

Ten Ways for Obama to Remake the World from the editors of the Bloomberg News Service
"Bloomberg View has put together a list of foreign policy challenges that merit the spending of political capital in 2013. Instead of focusing on worthy perennials -- ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty, or rediscovering Latin America (as presidential candidate Mitt Romney astutely suggested) -- we’ve tried to find areas where a sharp course correction is essential and might pay big dividends."

Fiscal Cliff Deal Passed By Congress After Republicans Cave from the Huffington Post
"The Senate passed a compromise at 2 a.m. Tuesday. The House threatened to blow up the deal, but reluctantly followed suit 20 hours later, ultimately passing a permanent extension of many Bush-era tax cuts by an overwhelming vote of 257 to 167. The weeks-long debacle of tax negotiations brought into stark relief how focused the nation's Capitol remained on the deficit and debt, while focus on the jobs crisis nearly vanished, along with talk of economic devastation from climate change."

The Long Game, Revisited (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
" I can see Obama's logic here. What he's getting - which is a gradual shift toward more fiscal responsibility, with key protections for the working poor and the unemployed in place - is all he really wants right now. ... Obama has to face a rabid Republican House probably for his next four years. They self-destructed on Plan B. They will almost certainly have to swallow hard and vote for big tax increases in the next day or so [and, in fact, now have]."

As part of this long game:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp: Fiscal Cliff Vote Demonstrated 'Significant Divisions' Among Boehner, Cantor from the Huffington Post
"Despite attempts by Cantor's office to downplay rumors of infighting, some House Republicans said the disagreement was there for all to see. "I think there's some significant divisions within leadership as demonstrated on this vote," Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told The Huffington Post after the vote."

The Fiscal Cliff Sparks Anger Among Conservatives (SLIDESHOW) from the Huffington Post
"As the House prepared to vote Tuesday evening on a Senate-passed bill to avert the fiscal cliff, prominent conservatives -- both on and off Capitol Hill -- lashed out. They considered the bill to be lousy and called each other sellouts and bad negotiators. Here are 12 prominent conservatives reacting to the fiscal cliff deal:"

Tea Party Backers Swallow a Bitter Pill in ‘Cliff’ Bill from the Washington Post
"To a tea-party-influenced crop of House Republicans, the bill to resolve the “fiscal cliff” crisis was everything they had wanted to change about the way Washington worked. Too rushed. Too bloated. Too secretive. Too expensive."

The Fiscal Cliff Deal that Almost Wasn't from Politico
"Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.” The harsh exchange just a few steps from the Oval Office — which Boehner later bragged about to fellow Republicans — was only one episode in nearly two months of high-stakes negotiations laced with distrust, miscommunication, false starts and yelling matches as Washington struggled to ward off $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts."

The Lessons of the Fiscal Cliff (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post 
"In the end, if the White House holds its ground, Republicans will likely compromise — though only after the White House has done quite a bit of compromising, too.  The final moments of the fiscal cliff offered evidence that both sides see how this is going to go."

Here’s What Republicans Really Hated about Obama’s News Conference (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"The GOP’s congressional leaders want to tell their members that if they just vote for this modest tax increase now, then they can move onto the debt ceiling, where their enhanced leverage will let them force a deal that’s all spending cuts. Obama, in effect, said that’s not true. He said if Republicans raise taxes now, he’s going to pocket that tax increase and demand tax increases in the next deal, too."

Joe Biden: Actually a Pretty Good Dealmaker (Michelle Cottle) from the Daily Beast
"He played a key role in negotiating the fiscal-cliff deal—and he did the same thing with Afghanistan, gay marriage and more. Michelle Cottle on how Joe Biden should get some respect."

Joe Biden: The Most Influential Vice President in History? (Michael Hirsh) from the Atlantic
"The previous two vice presidents, Cheney and his predecessor, Al Gore, significantly changed that power dynamic. But on Biden's watch the "OVP" -- Office of the Vice President -- has become something even more: almost a conjoined twin to the presidency, organically linked and indivisible from the Oval Office."

Republicans Adrift (Richard Cohen) from the Washington Post
"... what is clear is that to the cruising Republicans, there is something weirdly topsy-turvy about minorities gaining the political clout once held in perpetual trust for the majority. Suddenly, the GOP must entice them to vote Republican — not through fierce empathy but by what amounts to a salesman’s unctuous patter...."

The Strangest Conservative Priority: Prepping a '2nd Amendment Solution' (Conor Friedersdorf) from the Atlantic
"If a "2nd Amendment solution" is ever warranted, it'll mean our system already failed in numerous ways; that "solution" is also easily the most costly and dangerous of the safeguards we have. It would probably mean another Civil War.  Yet the conservative movement is only reliable when it defends the 2nd Amendment. Otherwise, it is an inconsistent advocate for safeguarding liberty."

America’s Retreat From the Death Penalty from the editorial board of the New York Times
"More lawmakers and voters are facing up to the costs and mistakes of capital cases."

The Story Behind the 47 Percent Video (David Corn) from Mother Jones Magazine
"It took months to get the scoop that rocked the 2012 election."

Hillary Clinton Haters Hammered for Mocking Her Illness (Lauren Ashburn) from the Daily Beast
"Fox News and conservatives scoffed at Hillary Clinton’s illness as ‘Benghazi flu.’ Then her blood clot was diagnosed. Lauren Ashburn on the backlash—and the backtracking."

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