Tuesday, January 8, 2013

News Nuggets 1149

DAYEE PICTURE: The color-enhanced spores of a common US east coast fern.  From National Geographic.

Obama May Turn Medicare Reform into Wider Health Debate (David Morgan) from Reuters via Yahoo News
"President Barack Obama could seek common ground with Republicans in the looming battle over Medicare spending by broadening the debate over entitlement reform to encompass the spiraling healthcare costs that confront a wide range of Americans."

Why Hagel Matters (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
Sullivan hits on some really interesting aspects of the up-coming confirmation battle.
"Unlike so many of the lemmings and partisans of Washington DC, Hagel actually called out the catastrophe of the Iraq War as it happened. The neocons cannot forgive him for exposing what they wrought on the nation and the world. ... Which is to say, as Chuck Todd said this morning, this nomination is about accountability for the Iraq War."

Chuck Hagel Defense: The Combustible Politics Of Obama's Clearest Break From Bush (Stein & Hersh) from the Huffington Post
"President Barack Obama's nomination Monday of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as secretary of defense reignites an uncomfortable, and potentially combustible, debate over the foreign policy of the George W. Bush presidency."

Hagel: A New Era In Foreign Policy? (Peter Beinart) from the Daily Beast 
"Barack Obama will soon nominate Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense. If so, it may prove the most consequential foreign-policy appointment of his presidency. Because the struggle over Hagel is a struggle over whether Obama can change the terms of foreign-policy debate."

Israel’s True Friends (Roger Cohen) from the New York Times
"The Hagel nomination will spur a much-needed debate in America on what constitutes friendship toward Israel."

6 Reasons Obama Is Nominating Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense (Jill Lawrence) from the Atlantic
"Why did the president blink on the Susan Rice nomination but not on Hagel? History, personal friendship, bipartisanship, and trust are major factors."

Battle-Tested for a Fight (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"For the president, who has too often shied from forceful leadership, the Hagel nomination was a welcome sign that he is willing to pick a fight in his second term. And Hagel is worth fighting for."

Pro-Israel Lobby AIPAC Sitting Out Hagel Fight (Eli Lake) from the Daily Beast
"As Chuck Hagel’s critics line up, accusing him of being anti-Israel, the country’s biggest Israel lobby appears to be standing down. Eli Lake on a surprising move."

The Hagel Nomination (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Let's cut to the darkest-scenario chase: Suppose they filibuster him. That is extremely hard to envision--senators filibustering a former senator for a cabinet position. But with these people, you just never know. My guess at this point would be that even if they have more than 40 votes against him, they would permit an up-or-down vote to proceed, and Hagel would pass."

The GOP Division Over the Fiscal Cliff Is Not Going Away (Nate Cohn) from the New Republic
"... a deeper analysis of the vote reveals that the partisanship of districts is only part of the story: The party's north-south split appears to be a matter of ideology, too. That bodes poorly for the GOP's ability to adjust after November's elections, and promises yet another messy, protracted primary in 2016."

Cracks Emerge In GOP Debt Limit Offensive from Talking Points Memo 
"If cracks are forming in the GOP’s offensive, Democrats don’t have to resort to unconventional means of circumventing the debt limit so quickly — and may not have to at all, unless Republican divisions are so severe that they simply can’t manage to increase it in a clean way."

Bill Kristol’s Big Plans Start with Chuck Hagel Nomination from Politico 
This is a very interesting item.  PART of what he's up to would actually represent progress for the GOP.
"In the weeks since Election Day — as Mitt Romney faded into obscurity, John Boehner lost control of the House GOP and tea partiers turned on one another — Bill Kristol has been busy charting the future of the Republican Party."

Rebooting Republican Foreign Policy: Needed: Less Fox, More Foxes (Daniel W. Drezner) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"So how did the party of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan get itself into this mess? Simply put, GOP leaders stopped being smart foxes and devolved into stupid hedgehogs. During the Cold War, the party of Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Reagan was strongly anticommunist, but these presidents took foreign policy seriously and executed their grand strategies with a healthy degree of tactical flexibility."

Tea Party Hits Record Level Of Unpopularity In Public Opinion Poll from the Huffington Post 
"The Tea Party is more unpopular than ever before, according to a Rasmussen poll released Monday, with just three in 10 voters holding favorable views of the movement. Half of respondents said they view the party unfavorably. Those numbers represent a considerable dive in support since the Tea Party's heyday in 2009, when a majority of voters rated it favorably."

Fiscal Cliff Pew Poll Shows Political Win For Obama, Little Approval For GOP from the Huffington Post 
"While views are split on the fiscal cliff agreement, President Barack Obama is generally seen as having won the debate, with Republicans' dislike of the deal leading to "absymal marks for GOPers," a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found."

Tea Party Absolutism: The High Cost Of Hating Government (Nicholas Wapshott) from the National Memo
"While the difference between the sides is ostensibly over taxes and public spending and borrowing, the more profound division is over where government should begin and end. For many of the Republican Party’s Tea Party insurgents, the choice is even more fundamental: whether there should be a government at all. Their unbending position, demanding an ever-diminishing role for the federal government, has levied an enormous unnecessary cost on everyone else."

5 Reasons The Tea Party Is Never Coming Back from National Memo
"Some form of the Tea Party as code for the far right will persist for decades, but Grover Norquist’s dream of a second coming that’s comparable to the first wave in 2009 is a complete fantasy. Here are 5 reasons the Tea Party is basically over."

Here's the latest Hope-for-Paws dog rescue video!! 
 Elded saves a mother with five pups!!

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