Tuesday, January 29, 2013

News Nuggets 1167

DAYEE PICTURE: A rare baby okapi (a deep forest relative of the giraffe) at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida.  From ZooBorns.

Senate Immigration Reform Proposal Surprisingly Good (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos
"...if the fate of those in-limbo immigrants really depends on those border-state governors, then look out. Because our challenge in the South has been motivating Latino voters into turnout out. If Texas Latinos voted at the same rates as California Latinos, the Lone Star State would already be a swing state. And nothing will motivate them more than giving them the opportunity to decide the fate of their mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, cousins and aunts and extended family."

Why Obama Picked Hagel (Bob Woodward) from the Washington Post
"In the first months of the Obama presidency in 2009, Chuck Hagel, who had just finished two terms as a U.S. senator, went to the White House to visit with the friend he had made during the four years they overlapped in the Senate. So, President Obama asked, what do you think about foreign policy and defense issues? According to an account that Hagel later gave, and is reported here for the first time, he told Obama: “We are at a time where there is a new world order. We don’t control it. You must question everything, every assumption, everything they” — the military and diplomats — “tell you.""
If Hagel said this, he sounds like he could make a great Secretary of Defense!

Is America in Decline? (Robert J. Samuelson) from the Washington Post 
"In a report to clients, analysts at Goldman Sachs argue that the United States still has the world’s strongest economy — and will have for years. There is a growing “awareness of the key economic, institutional, human capital and geopolitical advantages the U.S. enjoys over other economies,” contend Goldman’s analysts."
I rarely post anything by this unrelenting Eyeore of an economics pundit.  Even here, the sourness of this sour grape comes through!

Obama's Eyes Are on 2014 -- and Then His Legacy (Richard Benedetto) from Real Clear Politics
"What upset Boehner and many of his Republican colleagues is that they have finally recognized what Obama’s second inaugural address really was: the first speech of the 2014 congressional campaign. That has them in a panic. ... His apparent two-year strategy is to work hard to help Democrats win back control of the House of Representatives and use his final two years to build the liberal legacy he outlined in his address -- a legacy that will be near-impossible to achieve as long as the GOP controls the House."
I'm actually somewhat skeptical of this perspective -- simply because the odds of the Dems taking back the House in 2014 seem pretty long to me given the GOP's redistricting advantage.  BUT maybe Obama knows something I don't -- especially if his election machine from 2012 has some more juice in it!

Obama's Parting Gift to Hillary Clinton (Joshua Green) from Businessweek 
"... a team of top Obama donors decided to surprise Clinton, and thank her for her loyal service, by raising enough money to pay off her bills. As secretary of state, she was forbidden from political fundraising."

Why Obama Thanked Hillary (Michael Hirsh) from National Journal
"The president's former political rival journeyed a long, hard road to loyalty. ... Obama has, in truth, good reason to feel grateful to his former political rival--far more than the public generally knows. In an impressive display of discipline and devotion after one of the fiercest primary fights in American political history, Clinton managed to submerge her political ego almost totally during her four years in office..."

'We're All Living Longer'? No, We're Not (Joan McCarter) from Daily Kos 
"They are completely blind to the fact that there's a big segment of the population that is in fact dying earlier than they did just two decades ago. That's reality."

The GOP’s Big Sequester Bluff from Talking Points Memo
"The contradictory postures suggest that GOP leaders are fronting for conference conservatives who are restive about their leaders’ failure to force Democrats to accept more cuts to federal spending. It’s also a thinly veiled bluff."

Romney Adviser: “The Culture Wars are Kind of Over and Republicans Largely Lost” (John Aravosis) from Americablog
"Romney 2012 Iowa adviser Dave Kochel told host Dave Price that, “frankly, the culture wars are kind of over and Republicans largely lost.”  (Video below.) Kochel uses the explanation a number of commentators are now relying on, the “demographic shift.”"

3 Tensions that are Breaking Apart the Republican Party from The Week 
"As Robert Reich forcefully argues, "The GOP crackup was probably inevitable. Inconsistencies and tensions within the GOP have been growing for years — ever since Ronald Reagan put together the coalition that became the modern Republican Party." ... Here are where the fault lines are forming:..."

A Giant Floating Airship Could Be Future of Flight (VIDEO) from Bloomberg News Service
"Bloomberg Television looks at the history and future of airships."

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