Wednesday, April 17, 2013

News Nuggets 1220

DAYEE PICTURE: Ice "hummocks" that have formed on Lake Baikal in Siberia.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

President Obama Seizes the Spotlight After the Boston Marathon Bombings (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast
"The president is taking command by using television and heading to Boston. Howard Kurtz on how he’s learned from his past missteps."

Messing With the Wrong City (Dennis Lehane) from the New York Times 
"Trust me, we won’t be giving up any civil liberties to keep ourselves safe because of this. We won’t cancel next year’s marathon. We won’t drive to New Hampshire and stockpile weapons. When the authorities find the weak and terminally maladjusted culprit or culprits, we’ll roll our eyes at whatever backward ideology they embrace and move on with our lives."

The Limits of Intelligence Collection (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post
"Officials can only speculate at this point about perpetrators. But the early evidence looks more like the work of a lone individual or a small group than that of a larger terror network. ... A decade has taught the United States that the most destabilizing consequence of 9/11 wasn’t the terrorist act itself but the way the country responded."

Taking the ‘Service’ Out of the Service Sector (Harold Meyerson) from the Washington Post
"Penney employed at least 150,000 people for almost a decade, but within a year of Johnson’s arrival it had cut its labor force to 116,000. The retailer administered layoffs in wholesale fashion: At the company’s headquarters, employees were summoned to meetings in groups, some of more than 100 workers , where they were all summarily dismissed. The Johnson plan didn’t work out so well."

Why Republicans Suddenly Became Afraid Of Their Own Budget Shadow from Talking Points Memo
"... now that they’ve gotten their way, and the Senate has passed a budget, suddenly they’re the ones squeamish about “regular order.” Instead of promptly appointing negotiators to convene a so-called conference committee and iron out the differences between the wildly different House and Senate budgets, House Republicans are eager to either return to the smoke-filled back rooms of legend, or kill the budget process altogether. ... Democrats are privately pleased to find Republicans back in a box. But in public they’re pressing and taunting Republicans to back up words with action."
I'm not sure if it is a legacy of the Clinton years or what, but I have observed for some time that Republican lawmakers are obsessed with winning 24 to 48 hour news cycles ... and not thinking any further ahead than that.  You can see it with the current budget negotiations, the response to the Boston Marathon bombing, and any number of other stories.

GOP Fights to Rebrand the Party of No (Zeke Miller) from Time Magazine 
"While GOP officials at the party’s spring meeting in Hollywood had plenty of ideas for changing their public rhetoric, however, positive new policy ideas were in shorter supply."

How Out of Touch is Today’s GOP? (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post 
"It finds that only 23 percent of Americans — that would be fewer than one in four — believe the Republican Party is “in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today,” while 70 percent believe that it is “out of touch.” Among independents, those numbers are 23-70. Among moderates they’re 20-75. By contrast, Americans say by 51-46 that Obama is in touch. Among moderates that’s 56-42."

PRES-2016: Rand Paul: 2016 Presidential Run Under Consideration, But No Decision Yet from the Huffington Post
"Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, popular with conservatives and libertarians in the GOP, said Wednesday he is considering a presidential campaign in 2016 but will not make a decision before next year."

SC-GOV: Ex-wife Says Former SC Gov. Sanford Trespassed from the Associated Press
"Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford must appear in court two days after running for a vacant congressional seat to answer a complaint that he trespassed at his ex-wife's home, according to court documents acquired by The Associated Press on Tuesday."
This comes TWO days after Sanford secured the GOP nomination to run against the Democrat for a House seat.  

MN-House: Michele Bachmann Book Tour Faces New Questions from the Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Congressional ethics investigators are examining whether top staffers in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign played an improper role in the 2011 tour to promote her personal memoir, two former Bachmann aides have told the Star Tribune."

Bean Leaves Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite by Using Tiny, Impaling Spikes from the Smithsonian Magazine
"For years, people in Eastern Europe’s Balkan region have known that kidney bean leaves trap bedbugs, sort of like a natural fly paper. In the past, those suffering from infestations would scatter the leaves on the floor surrounding their bed, then collect the bedbug-laden greenery in the morning and destroy it. In 1943, a group of researchers studied this phenomenon and attributed it to microscopic plant hairs called trichomes that grow on the leaves’ surface to entangling bed bug legs."

Spectacular Frozen Waterfall Created by Resident who Left Hot Tap on ALL Winter from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"It came out of seventh-floor resident Wen Hsu's flat after he left the tap on.  58-year-old was last remaining resident in soon-to-be-demolished building."

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