DAYLEE PICTURE: Farmers harvesting salt in Indonesia. From Smithsonian Magazine.
UP-FRONT PUNDIT NUGGET!!
Karl Rove Is Done (Howard Fineman) from the Huffington Post
"Deep-dyed conservatives have a right to ask the Roves of the world what the establishment GOPers have done to erase the debt, limit the reach of the federal government or enhance a libertarian view of the world. The answer, to the Rand Pauls of the world, is simple: nothing. The party of Paul, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and many others is a throwback to the nativism and principled know-nothing-ism of conservatives whom the likes of William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan purged from the party long ago, making it safe for the Roves of the world to advance."
Why the GOP's Resistance to Medicaid Expansion Is Eroding (Ronald Brownstein) from National Journal
"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants her state to join the expansion, key to Obama's health care reform. Will other Republican governors follow suit?"
Obamacare Medicare Changes Saved Almost $6 Billion On Drugs: Report from the Huffington Post
"...one part of Obamacare appears to be working as intended: Older Americans and people with disabilities are paying less for their prescription drugs under Medicare. According to a report issued Thursday by the Obama administration, health care reform has saved 6.1 million people more than $5.7 billion."
GOP Resolve on Sequester Begins to Crack (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"Politico reports that GOP resolve is cracking, with GOPers privately conceding that they’d prefer to reach a deal, because the politics of allowing deep spending cuts, a gutting of defense, and a major hit to the economy are too dangerous."
Armed Service Republicans Reveal Unsustainable GOP Position On Sequestration from Talking Points Memo
"... the assembled members unintentionally revealed a tension just beneath the surface of GOP unity that might ultimately crack the party’s anti-tax absolutism once again. Several of the members — all party principles on defense issues — described the consequences of sequestration in
A New GOP? Not Yet (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Why it’s going to take four more years before Republicans truly hit rock bottom—and begin moving back to the center."
Obama Must Fight One More Campaign: To Keep Senate & Win House in 2014 (Robert Shrum) from the Daily Beast
"To secure landmark objectives and assure his final two years aren’t a token, the president must in effect run all-out for a third term in 2014, using the bully pulpit and the firepower of his political organization, and keeping the heat—and blame—on obstructionist Republicans."
Obama Plans Fund-Raising Trips to Aid Senate and House Candidates (Jeff Zeleny) from the New York Times
"He has agreed to hold at least 14 separate fund-raising events this year, a Democratic official familiar with the plans told The New York Times, characterizing it as an “aggressive schedule.”"
Obama Predicts Pelosi Will be Speaker Again Soon from the Washington Post
“It won’t be smooth, it won’t be simple, there will be frustrations, there will be times when you guys will be mad at me, and I’ll occasionally read about it.” he said. But if they keep focused, he said, ”I would expect that Nancy Pelosi is going to be speaker again pretty soon.”
GOP Swears It’s Not Stupid (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast
"Republicans are on a PR campaign to repair their image and convince voters they love women, immigrants and the poor. But can they walk the walk? Howard Kurtz doubts it."
When a MSM, straight-vanilla, temperate columnist like Kurtz says this, GOP beltway types (like Rove above) should be concerned.
Eight Reasons Why Marco Rubio Is Not ‘The Republican Savior’ (Igor Volsky ) from Think Progress
"... dig beyond Rubio’s newfound embrace of immigration reform, and you’ll find that the GOP’s future appears stuck in the past, as the great hope of the party still espouses many of the extreme policies voters rejected in November:"
Jeb Bush Tries to Buy a Baseball Team from Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
Sounds like Jeb is tipping his hand a little bit on his interest in the 2016 presidential race. Personally I view Jeb as one of the few GOP potentials out there who can pose any kind of a serious threat to
whichever Democrat ends up getting nominated.
"Just asking... but doesn't the fact... send a signal he's not all that interested in running for president? Trying to buy a baseball team doesn't exactly say your focus is prepping for a presidential run."
Audacious Hack Exposes Bush Family Pix, E-Mail: Hacker Breached AOL Account of Ex-president's Sister, Other Victims from the Smoking Gun
"The apparent hack of several e-mail accounts has exposed personal photos and sensitive correspondence from members of the Bush family, including both former U.S. presidents, The Smoking Gun has learned. The photos and e-mails were uploaded yesterday to an online account that appears to have been hacked for the purpose of hosting the material."
This story has been getting a lot of attention this morning with the Feds getting involved and outrage being expressed from many quarters. Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else see a certain degree of (indirect) poetic justice to this story? What is it, does the right to privacy only exist for ex-presidents and their families? Of course, I say this because Bush 43 (at least in my view) had no respect for anyone;'s right to privacy. Operating inside Chainey's One Percent Doctrine and facilitated by the Patriot Act, even the most innocuous individuals and groups found themselves under investigation, their phones tapped, their mail and email covertly examined, their reading habits investigated, and their names put on no-fly lists. Don't get me wrong: I DO think people like the Bushes (and of course in the future, the Obamas) deserve to be protected from cyberspace pranksters and people with far more evil intentions. But, I notice that it is far more the personal stuff that has come out that the Bushes are most upset about; the idea of large numbers of strangers looking over their shoulders into their most personal spaces that has them most upset. Yeah. Well, some of us have had these concerns for quite a while.
ANOTHER RICHARD III NUGGET!!
The Return of Ruthless Richard III (Simon Schama) from Newsweek
"A brutal king comes back to life in a frenzy of forensic romance. Simon Schama looks back at the means Richard III used to create his rock-solid center of power and loyalty—that undid him in the end."
Writing a Column for the New York Times Is Harder Than It Looks (Ta-Nehisi Coates) from the Atlantic
"...I endure none of the pressures that a Gail Collins or David Brooks must cope with. Here is an exercise: Spend a week counting all the original ideas you have. Then try to write each one down, in all its nuance, in 800 words."