Thursday, January 3, 2013

News Nuggets 1144

DAYLEE PICTURE: A drop on a brick wall in Moscow.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Pitfalls of an Aging China (John Lee) from National Interest
"It is well-known that China’s population is aging. Less well-known and rarely examined is what this demographic shift might mean for the future of Asia’s largest and most rapidly rising power."

Does the GOP Need a New Foreign Policy? from Foreign Policy Magazine 
"Can the Republican Party survive without coming to terms with the Bush-Cheney years? FP's Shadow Government team weighs in."

The GOP's Failed 'Plan O': Inside the Fiscal-Cliff Saga from the National Journal
"This is the story of Plan O – the congressional Republicans’ failed attempt to meet the challenge of Obama’s victory. It begins in September and ends in the fiasco of the Christmas season, when the speaker was repudiated by his own troops and had to pull his last, desperate solution from the House floor, leaving Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to cut the best deal he could with dramatically diminished leverage. In the end, despite all the planning and forethought, Boehner would stand almost helplessly by as the nation plunged off the fiscal cliff and a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and centrist Republicans voted to give Obama the big tax hikes he demanded on the wealthy."

Obama’s Deal Is Possibly Not a Terrible Deal (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"My initial reaction to the emerging budget deal was, well, not entirely positive. As more details of the emerging deal leak out, it seems less bad, depending entirely on how the next steps play out."

Winners and Losers from a Fiscal-Cliff Deal (Sophie Quinton) from the National Journal
"Middle and lower-income taxpayers are the main beneficiaries of the fiscal-cliff deal, but there are other winners—and losers—of the last-minute scramble to avert scheduled tax increases and spending cuts."

Biggest Fiscal Cliff Lessons (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"As someone who believed, and still believes, that it was best for the country if Democrats stood up to Republican hostage takers and went over the cliff, I have to admit President Obama and his chief negotiator Vice President Joe Biden got some good things with this deal. ... Here, though, are four things the fiscal-cliff mess taught us with certainty. (1) Democrat Nancy Pelosi is still House speaker. ..."

The Cliff Deal is Better Than it Looks (E.J. Dionne Jr.) from the Washington Post
"To be deemed a serious analyst at the moment seems to require a lot of hand-wringing and sneering over how awful Congress looked the past few days as it rushed a “fiscal cliff” deal into law. So permit me to burn my membership card in the League of Commentators and Pundits."

GOP Anti-tax Policy Goes Over the Cliff from Politico
"... members of the GOP have violated the party’s no-new-taxes orthodoxy for the first time in two decades. It’s a significant concession in the aftermath of Mitt Romney’s November defeat and a potentially existential moment for a party that has prided itself on a defiant and dogmatic dislike of tax increases."

Cliff After Cliff (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"Not only is the era of grand bargains over, but the era of basic governance is screeching to a halt. ... We are stuck with this reckless, whining and ultimately dangerous gaggle of wounded spirits. As many people can attest, an animal is often at its most dangerous when it’s sick, wounded or afraid. Brace yourselves."

A Bitter End for House Republican Freshmen (Ben Terris) from the National Journal
"Here was one of the largest GOP classes in memory, steadfast in its determination to shake up the nation's capital. Two years later, its members watched as Congress ratified a deal backed by President Obama that allowed taxes to increase for affluent Americans--the first significant income-tax hike in two decades."

Fiscal Deal Passes As House GOP Clown Car Crashes, Again (Joe Conason) from the National Memo
"Observing the Congressional Republicans repeatedly stumble in and out of their caucus clown car, blowing loud kazoos and muttering angry threats, should be painful, embarrassing, and highly instructive to any American voter with the patience to watch.  When their latest performance concluded late Tuesday night with a 257 to 187 vote passing the stopgap fiscal deal negotiated by the Senate and the White House, an unavoidable question lingered: What is wrong with those people?"

Christie: Boehner, House GOP To Blame For ‘Continued Suffering’ After Sandy from Talking Points Memo
"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Wednesday said superstorm Sandy relief legislation, already passed by the Senate, “just could not overcome the toxic internal politics of the House majority.”"

Republicans Blame Boehner For Failure On Sandy Relief from Talking Points Memo
"Wednesday morning on the House floor, New York Republican Reps. Peter King and Michael Grimm blamed Boehner for what they described as a betrayal."

John Boehner Yelled At Frank LoBiondo Over Sandy Aid from the Huffington Post
"House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) yelled at a member of his own caucus on Tuesday night, after lawmakers from New Jersey and New York repeatedly pressed him to bring the Superstorm Sandy relief bill to the floor for a vote."

Rep. Peter King (R) Shocked—Shocked!—that Being a Heartless Bastard is a Republican Value Actually (Kaili Joy Gray) from Daily Kos
"King: "I'm saying right now: anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their mind because what they did last night to put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans was an absolute disgrace.""

Flame-Throwing Rep. King Seems to Have Gotten his Party's Attention: House Republicans Cave to Sandy Aid Pressure (John Avlon) from the Daily Beast 
"After broadsides by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Congressman Peter King, Speaker Boehner and GOP House leadership announced Wednesday afternoon that an initial vote on $9 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief would be conducted Friday, with a vote on the remaining $51 billion in requested funds on January 15th."

Boehner’s Sandy Stumble (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"The end-of-term reviews of John Boehner’s House speakership are in, and they aren’t pretty. “The conduct of the Republican leadership was disgraceful, it was indefensible and it was immoral.”"

Al Jazeera, Buying Current TV, Plans New Channel from the Bloomberg News Service
"Al Gore’s low-rated cable channel will give the pan-Arab news giant a path into American living rooms."

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