Thursday, January 17, 2013

News Nuggets 1156

DAYLEE PICTURE: A rooster in Brazil.  From National Geographic.

Obama Has The GOP Right Where He Wants Them (Gene Lyons) from the National Memo
"... if President Obama keeps playing his cards right amid Republican bluffing and liberal panic, the outcome of the upcoming debt-ceiling showdown could end up restoring that respect, if only in the sense of reminding everybody of something he said in 2009: elections do, indeed, have consequences. But hold that thought."

Expect Obama to Be More Aggressive in His Second Term (Ronald Brownstein) from National Journal
"Obama in effect is answering a question that liberal political thinkers have asked since the 1970s: how would the Democratic Party behave if it could diminish its dependence on conservative white voters? His forceful moves on all these controversial fronts represent a calculated gamble that the evolution of the US electorate has reached a critical tipping point."

Chuck Hagel Would Show Neocons the Door (Jo-Ann Reid) from the Miami Herald
"I believe Hagel is a fitting leader for a Pentagon still shaking off the vestiges of magical thinking that propelled this country into an unprovoked war much like Vietnam — back when Cheney and many of his fellow war hawks had “better things to do” when their country came calling via the draft. Hagel, like Obama, embodies our collective rejection of the ideas that brought us into Iraq."

Political Activists, Lawmakers Push for D.C. Problem-Solving from the Associated Press via the Charleston Gazette [of West Virginia]
"Fiscal cliffs and debt ceiling fights are out. Problem-solving is in. Members of Congress, governors and mayors from across the political spectrum joined more than 1,000 political activists Monday under the No Labels banner, calling for a series of reforms in Congress to address fed up voters and dysfunctional politics. "

Republicans Split on Debt-Ceiling Approach from the Wall Street Journal [Subscription wall]
"GOP leaders "are anxious about a growing clamor among conservatives to use the need to raise the government's $16.4 trillion debt limit as the vehicle to force spending cuts.""

At Retreat, House Republicans Hope to 'Turn Things Around' (Billy House) from National Journal
"...Republicans will also seek to emerge with more unified strategies and a public messaging campaign in the upcoming debt-ceiling, tax, and spending battles.  And they will do so as some polls show the public holds them in low esteem, and even Republican pollsters say the party has an image problem."

Did Democrats Finally Find a Way to Bypass House Republicans? (Taegon Goddard) from The Week
"It’s not going to work with every bill considered in Congress, but for those that are overwhelming supported by the American public -- such as hurricane relief and cutting taxes --Democrats may have finally found a way around their biggest obstacle to passing legislation."

Obama Invokes Constitution in Arguing for Gun Control (Scott Wilson) from the Washington Post
"In making his case Wednesday for tighter controls on gun ownership, President Obama used the document most often cited by firearm advocates to show that such restrictions violate the founding spirit of the nation — the Constitution. By doing so, Obama sought to turn a perceived political weaknesses — his image as an aloof intellectual — into a strength, and, at the same time, to turn a perceived strength of gun advocates — the constitutional right to bear arms — into a potential weakness."
The political jujitsu MASTER at work!!  

Gun Control Advocates Overjoyed At Obama’s Plan from Talking Points Memo 
"...just look to the response from a gun control community that has spent years on the political sidelines to Obama’s emotional speech Wednesday at the White House. “We are extremely happy both with his report and with the remarks he gave at the White House press conference that just concluded,” Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told TPM minutes after Obama finished outlining his plans."
HERE'S a great graphic laying out the range of reforms Obama is proposing. 

The GOP Will Lose on Guns (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Once upon a time, in Ronald Reagan’s day, in the age of liberal excess, conservatives tapped into and expressed Americans’ anger at liberalism. I suppose that’s what they still think they’re doing. But Americans are now angry at them. Americans are sick of them."

Mississippi Wants To Secede From Obama’s Gun Plans from Talking Points Memo
"Leading the charge to ignore new federal regulations is Mississippi, where the state’s Republican governor and state House speaker took to the mics right after Obama finished announcing his plans and pledged to ensure the ones they don’t like don’t take effect in the state. The Constitution is clear that such an effort would be illegal"
What they are talking about of course is what was called nullification and interposition -- and this is all settled law dating back to the Civil War.  I'll be curious to see how far these wing-nuts will go for the sake of high-capacity magazine clips and semi-automatic bushmaster rifles.  More importantly, I'll be curious to see if average Mississippians become genuinely worked up about this.  Stay tuned.

The End of Labor: How to Protect Workers From the Rise of Robots from the Atlantic
"Technology used to make us better at our jobs. Now it's making many of us obsolete, as the share of income going to workers is crashing, all over the world. What do we do now?"

Michele Bachmann Still Won't Pay Staff, So Staff Rats Her Out to the Feds (Kaili Joy Gray) from Daily Kos
Taking it fast or taking it slow, it looks like Michele Bachmann is going down.  Guilty of everything alleged or not, she is quickly becoming an extraordinary embrassment to House Republicans, this at a time when they are trying to shore up their image and regroup.  Look for the leaders of her own party to begin pressuring her to resign.
"Bachmann is refusing to pay five staffers unless they sign a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits them them from talking to any reporters or police about any "unethical, immoral, or criminal activity" they may have witnessed during the campaign. And it seems they did witness some, um, questionable activities—including stealing an email list from a home-schooling group."

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