Monday, January 14, 2013

News Nuggets 1153

DAYLEE PICTURE: Stilt-fishers in Sri-Lanka.  From National Geographic.

China Export Surge Spurs Data Skepticism at Goldman, UBS from the Bloomberg News Service
"China’s unexpected surge in exports last month renewed concern from analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) that statistics from the nation can be unreliable."

We’re Not In Decline Or Retreat (E. J. Dionne) from the National Memo 
"We are about to have a major foreign policy debate in the guise of a confirmation battle over Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense and the related argument over how long American troops should stay in Afghanistan. ... Underlying this clash will be another over whether the United States is in long-term decline. We are not, and the decline discussion should not scare us. We seem to have it every few decades."

Platinum Coin Dismissed: White House Ratchets Up Pressure On GOP To Deal With Debt Ceiling (Sam Stein) from the Huffington Post
"The politics of the debt ceiling standoff are now a bit simpler.  it won't negotiate over raising the debt ceiling. On the other hand congressional Republicans have threatened to default unless they receive a significant amount of spending cuts or entitlement reforms first. There are no outs for either side. And while that makes the showdown far riskier, the administration also thinks it helps its hand in

Obama Puts Republicans In A Bind On Entitlements from Talking Points Memo  
"In ruling out all executive options, such as minting a high-value platinum coin, the White House put the onus on congressional Republicans to agree to raise the nation’s borrowing limit — without spending cuts or strings attached — or permit the first ever credit default."

No Longer the 'Party of Eisenhower and Reagan' (James Joyner) from the Atlantic
"Republican opposition to defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel reveals just how far the party's thinking has drifted on foreign policy."

Hawks on Iraq Prepare for War Again, Against Hagel (Jim Reutenberg) from the New York Times
"To Mr. Hagel’s allies, his presence at the Pentagon would be a very personal repudiation of the interventionist approach to foreign policy championed by the so-called Vulcans in the administration of President George W. Bush, who believed in pre-emptive strikes against potential threats and the promotion of democracy, by military means if necessary."

The Logic of Hagel (Daniel Klaidman) from the Daily Beast
"Why Obama wanted an improbable fellow traveler at the pentagon. ... As people on the trip remember it, the future president was struck by Hagel’s rapport with the enlisted men and women they met throughout the trip. ... Obama, said Reed and others, noticed something else about Hagel, too: for all of his empathy toward the grunts, he could be a hard-ass with their commanders."

Congressional Republicans Are Striking Out (Charlie Cook) from the National Journal
"John Boehner and Co. have to recognize that their style of play isn’t going to win them many games."

Racism and Obama: The Dog that Didn't Bark (Twice) (Ian Reifowitz) from the New York Daily News
"A look at the numbers shows the President's skin color was not a serious hindrance on Election Day."

Why Republicans Should Watch their Language (Frank Luntz) from the Washington Post
"Congressional Republicans are currently defined as nothing more than opponents of the president and friends of the powerful. This isn’t my opinion — it’s America’s opinion."

Republican Establishment Declares War on GOP Voters (Scott Rasmussen) from Rasmussen Reports
"Just a few days after reaching that agreement, an inside-the-Beltway publication reported another area of bipartisan agreement. Politico explained that while Washington Democrats have always viewed GOP voters as a problem, Washington Republicans "in many a post-election soul-searching session" have come to agree."

Gun Control Proposals Hardly Draconian (Kathleen Parker) from the Washington Post
"The degree of one’s allegiance to principle apparently depends mainly on who is holding the gun. While black activists were adamant about their right to protect themselves, the National Rifle Association wasn’t much interested in the constitutional question until the mid-’70s, when an organizational split produced a new leader, Harlon Carter, who was dedicated to advocacy and determined to dig a deep line in the Beltway sand."

Some perspectives from Planet Right Wing:
Dobson on Obama's Reelection: 'Nearly Everything I Have Stood for these Past 35 Years Went Down to Defeat' (James Dobson) from Focus on the Family Talk
"I'm sure many of you are discouraged in the aftermath of the National Elections, especially in view of the moral and spiritual issues that took such a beating on November 6th. Nearly everything I have stood for these past 35 years went down to defeat."

Swanson: Obama's Reelection 'Solidified our Doom' and Empowered 'Softy-Wofty, Weeny Socialists' (Brian Tashman) from Right Wing Watch 
"On the latest episode of Generations Radio, Pastor Kevin Swanson recounted the Religious Right’s political drubbings last year, especially the failure to defeat President Obama. He claimed Obama’s re-election “solidified our doom” and will encourage the election of “a bunch of softy-wofty, weeny socialists for the years to come.”"

MA-SEN: Scott Brown Senate Run? Landscape Shifts As Republican Eyes Another Possible Bid from the Huffington Post
"Scott Brown was a little-known Republican state senator who shocked Massachusetts Democrats three years ago by winning a U.S. Senate seat in a special election that became a national rallying cry for the nascent tea party movement. Much has changed since then for Brown."

The Hitler Gun Control Lie (Alex Seitz-Wald) from Salon
"Gun rights activists who cite the dictator as a reason against gun control have their history dangerously wrong."

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