Friday, February 1, 2013

News Nuggets 1170

DAYLEE PICTURE: A bear in the woods in Finland.  From National Geographic.

A Pep Talk from Kid President to You from Soul Pancake

We've been talking here for some time about the possibility of Texas becoming a swing state in presidential elections rather than being a solidly red state.  Much of this talk has been based on future projections of where the Texas electorate will be in 2020 or 2030 with its growing latino population.  Well, guess what?  Here is the first HARD evidence I've seen that we may not have to wait until the 2020s!
Poll: Hillary Could Carry Texas In 2016 from Talking Points Memo
"Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could carry Texas in 2016 if she decides to run, according to a new poll."
Now let me say I still think any Democrat actually taking Texas in 2016 is a REAL long shot.  But if I were in the GOP and reading this poll, I'd be freaking out right now!

Looking for Mister Goodpain (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times 
"Where are the austerity successes? Britain? Ireland? Keep looking. "

Hillary Clinton Exits Politics: Her Enduring Legacy (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"First lady, senator, secretary of state. How she became the most important woman in U.S. political history."

The New Hillary Clinton (Glenn Thrush) from Politico
"...the team approach has worked brilliantly for Clinton since 2008. Few modern American politicians have enjoyed quite as dramatic a political rebirth as Clinton has experienced in her four years at the State Department, which has all but erased the taint of a humbling primary loss to Barack Obama, despite a tenure at State more workmanlike than transcendent."

Hagel’s Confirmation Hearings Contentious and Partisan (John Avlon) from the Daily Beast
"The Senate’s disrespectful treatment of a man wholly qualified to be secretary of defense is another sign that partisanship trumps patriotism. ... The core offense appeared to be Hagel’s contention that the invasion of Iraq was the worst foreign policy “disaster” since Vietnam—a parallel that infuriates McCain."

Blumenthal: Hagel Hasn’t Lost Support After Hearing from Talking Points Memo
"Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Friday said Chuck Hagel hasn’t lost any support after his grueling hearing."

For Hagel, Count to 60 (Jonathan Bernstein) from the Washington Post 
"The early reviews for Chuck Hagel’s performance in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee may not be quite “Gigli”-level, but the consensus seems to be forming that he’s not doing well. Even Democrat Claire McCaskill was willing to go on TV and allow herself to be “candid” that Hagel did a poor job responding to senators’ questions. Fortunately for Hagel, it almost certainly doesn’t matter. Spending a few hours on the defensive isn’t likely to sink his nomination — unless it was already doomed."

The Regressive, Vacuous Ideology of Neocons (Damon Linker) from The Week  
"Neoconservatism 2.0 is the apotheosis of hawkishness. A latter-day neocon isn't just convinced that force is often necessary in specific cases, which is what hawks have always maintained. Rather, he's convinced that force is invariably good any time and any place it is used by the United States. ... Obama has managed to lead the U.S. through a period of considerable global volatility with only minor missteps — and he's been able to do so because his approach to foreign policymaking is shaped by a clear-eyed assessment of the emerging post-Cold War world order. "

The GOP Tips Its Hand (Yochi Dreazen) from Talking Points Memo
"...his opening remarks were interesting because they outlined the talking points other GOP senators will use when they go after Hagel. The main ones: Hagel has been out of step with both parties when it comes to Iran and Israel, he’s tried to hide his true views for political expediency, and he’s simply too dovish to lead the Pentagon."

Why Republicans Should Ignore Obama (Ramesh Ponnuru) from the Bloomberg News Service
"What they shouldn’t do is conceive of their near-term political task as winning a series of confrontations with the president. Because they’re unlikely to win very often. ... The Republicans are better off sidelining Obama to the extent they can and fighting congressional Democrats -- or, better yet, getting congressional Democrats to fight one another."
While there will be times when the Dems will fall for this, the GOP is so primed to spend the next two years fighting with themselves, and the Dems (and Obama especially) have placed themselves in strong positions to creatively mess with Republicans and their internal deliberations.

Right Flight (Timothy Egan) from the New York Times
"The commentators of the extreme right wing are still talking, but, increasingly, it's to themselves."

Obama Realigns, the GOP Declines: The New Political Paradigm (Robert Shrum) from the Daily Beast
"Karl Rove's prediction of a grand political realignment has finally come true—for Obama. Robert Shrum on the four tricks the GOP might use to wrest back control."

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