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Friday, December 26, 2014

News Nuggets 1501


DAYLEE PICTURE: The Rock Hermitage in northern Spain.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Putin, Neocons and the Great Illusion

Conquest Is for Losers (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"The point is that what works for a fourth-world warlord is just self-destructive for a nation at America’s level — or even Russia’s. Look at what passes for a Putin success, the seizure of Crimea: Russia may have annexed the peninsula with almost no opposition, but what it got from its triumph was an imploding economy that is in no position to pay tribute, and in fact requires costly aid. Meanwhile, foreign investment in and lending to Russia proper more or less collapsed even before the oil price plunge turned the situation into a full-blown financial crisis. Which brings us to two big questions. First, why did Mr. Putin do something so stupid? Second, why were so many influential people in the United States impressed by and envious of his stupidity?"

Obama -- Striving for "Post-political" Aspirations

In his Final Two Years, Obama Breaks Out his Changeup (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post
"Obama may yet win his argument that the United States needs to break with the unilateral, interventionist policies of the previous decade that have lost support at home and abroad. His theme of change is clearest in his strategies for engaging adversaries, such as Iran and Cuba, and keeping the door open for cooperation with rivals such as Russia and China. You wouldn’t know it in the echo chamber of Washington, but I found broad support for the idea of engagement in recent trips to China, Europe and the Middle East. ... Obama now seems closer to the “post-political” aspirations he discussed during his first presidential campaign."

Optimism in the White House!

Despite a Tough Year, an Optimistic Mood in the White House (Ruth Marcus) from the Washington Post
"Under these circumstances, much of the administration’s strategy involves doing whatever possible to ensure facts on the ground, to cement changes already secured or secure changes as yet unachieved. This thread runs through administration discussions of three unrelated issues: dealing with a pending Supreme Court case that could effectively demolish the federal exchanges for health-care insurance; implementing the immigration order; and making good on the promise to close Guantanamo."

Link

The Small-mindedness of "Little Havana" Thinking

The Cuba Opening: A Welcome Blow Against the Posturing School of Foreign Policy (Paul R. Pillar) from the National Interest
"... now we would have a policy from the White House that has received universal praise from abroad for a long-overdue step, but which might get stymied by the U.S. Congress. Foreigners will be left to wonder what it is about the United States that lets some Little Havana small-mindedness take over U.S. foreign policy to the extent of persisting in a half-century of failure."

The Difference Between Being a Superpower ... and a Strongman

Putin's Bubble Bursts (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"It’s quite a comedown for Mr. Putin. And his swaggering strongman act helped set the stage for the disaster. ... Macho posturing, it turns out, makes for bad economies."

The Source of Putin's Popularity at Home

Vladimir Putin Embodies the Russian Mindset (Alex Berezow) from Real Clear World
"Putin's popularity, therefore, is likely to due something else: Russians don't think highly of Western-style democracy. The Moscow Times, reporting the results of a different Levada Center poll, wrote that 45 percent of Russians believed a Western-style democracy would be destructive to the country. Along similar lines, an op-ed in USA Today explained that "in Russia's political tradition, where the leader stands above the law, Putin is popular because he is powerful.""

Ukraine, Joining NATO?

Ukraine takes historic step toward NATO from Agence France Presse
"Ukraine took a historic step toward NATO on Tuesday in a parliamentary vote that stoked Russia's anger ahead of talks on ending the ex-Soviet state's separatist war."

Putin - Building His Great Anti-western Alliance!

Vladimir Putin invites Kim Jong-un to Moscow from the Guardian [of the UK] 
"North Korea’s leader may travel to Russia to mark the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany on 9 May as mark of closer relations."
Ah, Putin!  Broadening your list of useful global allies?  North Korea can join with Belorussia, Georgia, South Osetia, Chechenya, and similar "boat anchor" regimes that require massive Russian subsidies just to have them say nice things about Putin and his cronies.  For those of us who grew up with "THE SOVIET UNION," it is both pathetic and disturbing watching Putin's antics at play-acting at being a super power.  As I have said here before, there is only one country in the super power "club house" right now -- and Russia surrendered that role (to their credit) decades ago.

Oil's Big Decline Yields Big Dividends for the US

Oil's Swift Fall Raises Fortunes of US Abroad from the New York Times
""A plunge in oil prices has sent tremors through the global political and economic order, setting off an abrupt shift in fortunes that has bolstered the interests of the United States and pushed several big oil-exporting nations — particularly those hostile to the West, like Russia, Iran and Venezuela — to the brink of financial crisis.""

A New Papal Foreign Policy Emerges

Bolder Diplomacy Re-emerges Under Francis from the New York Times
"Pope Francis, who helped broker the United States-Cuba agreement, received new ambassadors to the Holy See on Thursday. ... The agreement between Cuba and the U.S. shows Pope Francis’s willingness to insert the Vatican into diplomatic disputes."

Important Talks ... Happening Very, Very Quietly

The Art of Saying Nothing on Talks (Mark Landler) from the New York Times  
"U.S. talks with China, Iran and Cuba all had in common a small team of negotiators, discipline and tight control."

Russia's Neighbors Preparing for Trouble

Lithuania Assembles a Force as It Readies for Whatever Russia May Bring from the New York Times
"Major Pakutka leads the two main units in Lithuania’s brand-new rapid-reaction force. It is the first of its kind along NATO’s eastern flank, intended to address exactly the kind of hybrid, insurgent warfare that has characterized the conflict in eastern Ukraine."

Closing Gauntanamo Gets Closer to Reality

U.S. Prepares to Accelerate Detainee Transfers from Guantanamo Bay Prison from the Huffington Post
"The Obama administration is accelerating its efforts to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center, preparing to move dozens of inmates out of the prison in coming months in a step forward for President Obama’s redoubled attempt to achieve a core national security objective before he leaves office."

Obama's Payback? Doing What He wanted to Do All Along

Operation Revenge (Glenn Thrush) from Politico
"President Obama is back in his campaign comfort zone: Smiting his political enemies."

What a Liberated Obama Looks Like!

Obama: A Good Closer? (Andrew Sullivan) from The Dish
"Obama likes the final stretch. It’s liberating for him, quite clearly. And clarifying for the rest of us. My point is a simple one: the long game has always mattered to this presidency, and we are now very much in the fourth quarter. That’s when Obama has always been strongest. And the story of this presidency isn’t close to being told yet."

Should Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & CIA Officials Be Tried for Torture?

War Crimes Case Filed in Germany from Democracy Now
"Cheney’s claim that he would approve torture again highlights a key question: Are top officials above the law, and will the impunity of today lead to more abuses in the future?"

What to Do With the Authors of American Torture

Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses from the Editorial Board of the New York Times
"These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture. So it is no wonder that today’s blinkered apologists are desperate to call these acts anything but torture, which they clearly were. As the report reveals, these claims fail for a simple reason: C.I.A. officials admitted at the time that what they intended to do was illegal."

ANIMAL RIGHTS NUGGET!!

Court Rules Orangutan Held In Argentina Zoo Is 'Non-Human Person' And Can Be Freed from the Huffington Post
"In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object."

X-MAS NUGGET [of a sort]

"I've had no luck getting my half-Jewish son to care about Hanukkah. Meanwhile, he can't stop singing about Jesus."
I have long argued that Christians have long had it down over other world faiths in the music department!  For most of the last 600 years or so, Christian music just rocks!  Nuggetsman

LIBRARY NUGGET!!

The Obama Library Might Look Like Something Out Of A Sci-Fi Fever Dream from the Huffington Post
"If Hawaii gets its way, the future Barack Obama Presidential Library will resemble a futuristic oceanside retreat more than a traditional government archive."

MUST-READ FAST FOOD NUGGET!!

How Colonel Sanders Became Father Christmas in Japan from Talking Points Memo
" In what appears to be one of the most successful fast food marketing campaigns of all time, KFC has for more than thirty years maintained a uniquely on-brand alternate history in Japan, one that makes fried chicken ubiquitous on the day of Jesus’ birth."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

News Nuggets 1500


Red-eyed tree frogs.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Erasing the Last Traces of Cold War Hostility

U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba from the New York Times
"The historic deal broke an enduring stalemate between two countries divided by just 90 miles of water but oceans of mistrust and hostility dating from the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill and the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis."

Hopes Rise in Havana

As Havana Celebrates Historic Shift, Economic and Political Hopes Rise from the New York Times
"They crowded around old, battered televisions in Havana and erupted in tears and applause at a spectacle they could scarcely imagine, let alone believe: President Raúl Castro, followed by President Obama, heralding a new era of relations between Cuba and the United States."

A New Look at "Realism" in Foreign Policy

The Virtue of Amoral Foreign Policy (Robert Kaplan) from Real Clear World 
"... when we think seriously about foreign policy, we think amorally. And if we do that right, we should certainly have power to spare for various types of humanitarian interventions."

The Case for Prosecuting Torturers

Dick Cheney Makes a Great Case for Prosecuting Torturers (Julliet Lapidos) from the New York Times
"Did any of the details from the report “plant any seed of doubt?” asked Mr. Todd. “Absolutely not,” Mr. Cheney answered. What about the fact that “25 percent of the detainees” turned out to be innocent? “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective” answered Mr. Cheney, meaning “to get the guys who did 9/11.”"

Bank of Russia Hikes Rate To Aid Sinking Currency

Bank of Russia Hikes Rate To Aid Sinking Currency from the Associated Press
"The action announced Tuesday in Moscow comes after the ruble's value has sunk roughly 50 percent since January, battered by Western sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine and plunging worldwide oil prices. The falling ruble threatens to escalate Russia's inflation to dangerous levels and paralyze the economy."

Russia's Ruble Slides To Historic Lows

Russia's Ruble Slides To Historic Lows from the Associated Press
"Russian officials were clearly rattled even though state television urged citizens not to panic. "The situation is critical," Deputy Central Bank chairman Sergei Shvetsov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. "We could not have imagined what is happening in our worst dreams.""

Obama Greases Russia's Slide

With Russia’s Ruble in Free-Fall, U.S. Plans New Sanctions from Foreign Policy Magazine
"As the Russian ruble continues its tumble against the dollar, President Barack Obama plans to sign a bill imposing new sanctions against Moscow, adding more pressure to a Russian economy already headed toward recession."

Putin's Few Options

Russia Is So Screwed (Jordan Weissmann) from Slate
"I asked Aslund what Russia do at this point to save itself. “The only thing Russia can do is to have the sanctions ended,” which would restore some normalcy to the financial system, he said. “I don’t see any other options.”"

A Geopolitical Nightmare Shaping Up in Russia?

No Happy Endings If Russia Melts Down from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Russia’s meltdown cannot and will not have a happy ending. Today’s Russia is not the Soviet behemoth, comparatively disconnected from the world economy. Nor is it the struggling reform economy of the 1990s. It is the world’s eighth largest economy, well integrated into the global
marketplace. If Russia goes into a prolonged recession, it is not just Russia itself that bears the consequences—it will be the rest of the world as well."

Putin and the Limits of Bluster and Rhetoric

Putin Can’t Bully or Bomb a Recession (Daniel Gross) from the Daily Beast 
"Sanctions and rising oil prices have collapsed Russia’s currency, and there’s not a damn thing he can do about it. In fact, it’s going to get worse."

Lower Oil Prices and the Landscape of Distress They Have Created

How Countries Around The World Are Coping With Falling Oil Prices from the Hufffington Post
"The price of oil has been plummeting for months, leaving oil-producing nations around the world aghast at their sinking revenues. Poor global economic growth has cut demand, while the U.S. is producing oil faster than ever recorded."

The Cheney Defense Campaign

Fox Catches Dick Cheney Lying About Torture (Conor Friedersdorf) from the Atlantic
"The former vice president's defense of brutal CIA interrogations is falling apart under scrutiny."

Torture and Accountability: What About the Doctors?

‘Do No Harm’: When Doctors Torture (Julie Beck) from the Atlantic
"Medical officers used their knowledge to aid and abet the CIA's interrogation tactics."

Subdued Hong Kong

The Protest Retreats, with Losses on Both Sides from the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"The demonstrations in Hong Kong against Beijing rule that played out for some 75 days have been brought to an end by Chinese authorities. For the most fervent of the demonstrators it was a defeat."

Obama's BIG Judicial Legacy!!

'Nuclear Option' Helps Obama Reshape The Courts For A Generation from Talking Points Memo
"President Barack Obama can thank outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for triggering the "nuclear option" in November 2013 and securing him one of the most robust judicial legacies of any modern president. In six years, he has appointed a whopping 307 judges, who will shape the law for decades after he leaves office."

The Rise of the Partisan Presidency

Our Unrealistic Hopes for Presidents (Brendan Nyhan) from the New York Times
"As we approach the next presidential campaign, we need to stop asking who can achieve the unity that has eluded Mr. Obama. For better or worse, the partisan presidency is here to stay."

Hillary: Learning the Lessons from 2008?

As 2016 Nears, Hillary Clinton Keeps in Mind Mistakes of 2008 Campaign from the New York Times
"Little by little, Mrs. Clinton is taking steps that suggest she has learned from the mistakes, both tactical and personal, of her failed candidacy. After more than six years of pundits dissecting what went wrong in 2008, her circle of advisers is beginning to draft a blueprint for a different kind of campaign. And although Mrs. Clinton has since bolstered her public image while serving as secretary of state, her next campaign will in part be assessed by her ability to avoid the errors of the last one."
So far, I have seen little that is fundamentally different than the way she ran in 2008.

Long-expected Bad News for the Clintons

Jeb Bush's Presidential Hopes: Bad News for Hillary (David Frum) from the Atlantic
"The former Florida governor may or may not be a strong candidate, but his presence brings out the Democratic frontrunner's biggest weaknesses."
Interesting.  Frum (a fairly sane conservative whose views a usually take seriously) argues a general point that I agree with (Bush will pose serious problems for Hillary) but mostly for reasons that I find either sexist, ageist, or just off target.

BUSH-CLINTON 2016 NUGGET!!

Ready For Hillary And Jeb To Declare Their Independence (Jill Lawrence) from the National Memo
"Clinton and Bush need to find ways to convince the nation that they are turning the page — that they are the future, not the past. Bush furthermore needs to differentiate himself from his father and brother. And Clinton needs to make clear she is not the same candidate she was in 2008. In short, these overly familiar figures need to surprise us."
Lawrence (in contrast with the numbwit below) is SPOT-ON as she looks at the hurdles both Jeb and Hillary face looking towards 2016.  A MUST-READ! -- Nuggetsman

IDIOTIC LIBERAL OPINION NUGGET!!

Run, Jeb, run! (Laurence Lewis) from Daily Kos
"While the Republican brand continues to alienate all other demographics, it needs to dominate among white voters just to have a chance in national elections. But against Hillary, it has no chance. Even the latest supposed Republican savior, Jeb Bush, consistently polls as unable to beat Clinton even in his home state of Florida. And gets crushed by her nationwide."
Now, let's be clear (for newbies to this site): I very much lean to the liberal side of the political spectrum and I read Daily Kos regularly.  But Lewis's posting here is SO stupidly misleading that it demands a couple of penalty flags! Polling like this is absolutely useless!  After a year and a half of relentless attacks and resurrecting old Clinton scandals from the 1990s, conservative voters will rally to Bush and his numbers will improve--  IF (and this may be the biggest question looking ahead) Bush can get the GOP nomination.  Ignore this kind of "blather from the liberal bubble".  I hope I'm wrong -- but if Bush runs AND gets the nomination, it will be a very close election. -- Nuggetsman

WORLD WAR II ANNIVERSARY NUGGET!!

Belgian royals mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"The Battle of the Bulge was one of the bloodiest of the Second World War Saw thousands of Nazi troops descend on Ardennes without notice.  U.S. Army soldiers defended heavily forested region in Belgium."

REVOLUTIONARY WAR NUGGET!!

Crews Unearth 1795 Time Capsule Buried By Paul Revere, Samuel Adams from Talking Points Memo
" Crews removed a time capsule dating back to 1795 on Thursday from the granite cornerstone of the Massachusetts Statehouse, where historians believe it was originally placed by Revolutionary War luminaries Samuel Adams and Paul Revere among others."

CYBORG NUGGET!!

Watch the incredible moment double amputee uses TWO mind-controlled arms for the first time from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Patient has surgery to 'reassign' nerves that once controlled his arms to device. Patients was then able to operate the system by thinking about moving.  Was able to control both arm and hand - even lifting up cups."

HOPE-FOR-PAWS VIDEO NUGGET!!

Derby the dog: Running on 3D Printed Prosthetics from 3D Systems

Friday, December 12, 2014

News Nuggets 1499


DAYLEE PICTURE: Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Prosecutions Over US Torture - May Not Be Up To US Authorities

UN Expert Calls For Prosecution Over U.S. Torture from the Huffington Post 
""In all countries, if someone commits murder, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they commit rape or armed robbery, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they order, enable or commit torture — recognized as a serious international crime — they cannot simply be granted impunity because of political expediency," he said."

Putin blames the West for sabotaging Russia’s economy

Putin blames the West for sabotaging Russia’s economy from Salon
"The Russian president used his annual state of the union to defend his hawkish foreign policy."

Ricks: Reflections on Iraq

In and Out of Time in Iraq (Tom Ricks) from the New Yorker
"In the back of my brain, an unconscious thought was growing, whispering, insisting on being heard: something is very wrong here. It hit me hard; it was a personal feeling. This wasn’t a matter of policy, this was a matter of my life: This war is going to be very different from the other conflicts you have covered..."

Turning Loose More Detainees ... Finally

Obama Effort Leads To Surge In Guantanamo Releases from the Huffington Post
"With the sudden surge in transfers, Guantanamo is now at a turning point. The prisoner population is at 136 — down from a high of near 700 and its lowest point since shortly after it opened in January 2002 — with 68 of the prisoners cleared for transfer. Officials have said at least five more will be moved by Dec. 31."

Frank Serpico's Comments on Eric Garner's Death

Serpico: Incidents like Eric Garner's death drive wedge between police and society (Frank Serpico) from the New York Daily News
"Cowardly cops living by the 'shoot first, ask questions later' mantra put the good guys in a bad light and threaten the public's right to justice."

The Party of Poseurs Strikes Again

Conservatives are right. GOP is caving in face of Obama ‘tyranny.’" (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"If you take at face value House GOP leaders’ own lurid depictions of Obama’s action as a dire Constitutional threat, they are basically rolling over in the face of it. Indeed, if they don’t exercise maximum resistance now, barring a lucky break in the courts later, there may be little they can do to stop it. The Hill reports this morning that even if Republicans were to refuse to fund DHS, it would be unlikely to stop Obama’s executive action."

Predicting the Fallout from King v. Burwell

Predicting the Fallout from King v. Burwell — Exchanges and the ACA (Nicholas Bagley et al.,) from the New England Journal of Medicine 
"ACA supporters thus have good reason to worry. For at least several years, and perhaps for much longer, the outcome in King could determine whether millions of people continue to have access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance."

Looking Back on Hillary's History

Hillary Clinton’s History as First Lady: Powerful, but Not Always Deft from the New York Times
"What Mrs. Clinton leaves out about her time as first lady is her messy, sometimes explosive and often politically clumsy dealings with congressional Republicans and White House aides. Now, the release of roughly 6,000 pages of extraordinarily candid interviews with more than 60 veterans of the Clinton administration paints a more nuanced portrait of a first lady who was at once formidable and not always politically deft."

Jeb Bush: More Conservative Than People Think

Reinventing Jeb Bush (S.V. Date) from Politico
"How America misremembers the family’s true conservative. ... Admittedly, there are his heresies on Common Core and immigration, the two hottest-button issues of the day in that world—but that’s enough to make Jeb a moderate? Really? For those of us who covered Jeb’s two terms in Tallahassee, this is beyond mind-boggling. On issue after issue, Jeb’s track record in Florida pushed conservatism’s envelope to the breaking point."

Jeb Bush: Ahead of the Game for 2016?

Is Jeb Bush really prepared to lose in order to win? (Dan Balz) from the Washington Post
"Jeb Bush might or might not run for president in 2016. If he runs, he might or might not emerge as a winner. But his formulation for how to think about waging a successful presidential campaign suggests he already is ahead of some of his potential competitors — in both parties."

Beautiful Caves Nugget!!

Labour of love: Artist spends 10 years digging tunnels and carving amazing 'cathedral-like' rooms BY HAND in New Mexico caves from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
Ra Paulette uses small tools to dig and create designs in cave walls The 68-year-old is calling it his final and most ambitious project   He has carved holes into the walls or ceilings to bring in natural light  Mr Paulette is featured in a new documentary called Cavedigger."

HOPE-FOR=PAWS VIDEO NUGGET!!

Homeless blind dog gets rescued and receives surgery that restores her vision from Hope-for-Paws

Friday, December 5, 2014

News Nuggets 1498


DAYLEE PICTURE: An ice cave over the Mutnovsky Volcano in Russia.
Just so readers know, in the short term, due to a very busy schedule, postings will continue to be sporadic.  

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Vast Continent, Small World: America's Geopolitical Reality

Vast Continent, Small World: America's Geopolitical Reality (Robert Kaplan) from Real Clear World
"For when Saddam invaded Kuwait, upsetting the status quo in the Middle East, only the United States was in a position to reverse what he had done. And it was in such a position only because of the military armature it had built up in the course of the Cold War. In other words, having defended the free world for almost half a century, there was no possibility of retreating back into itself."

Here's How Bad Corruption Is Around The World

Here's How Bad Corruption Is Around The World from the Huffington Post 
"A new map by Transparency International, a non-profit group dedicated to fighting governmental and corporate corruption, shows how levels of corruption vary around the world. Using data and expert opinion from 12 independent institutions specializing in governance, the group ranked 175 countries on factors such as the prevalence of bribery, how countries prosecute corruption, and how governments respond to their population's needs, such as guaranteeing basic human rights."

REPORTS: Obamacare Is Working Incredibly Well

Four New Studies Show Obamacare Is Working Incredibly Well (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"What makes this wave of regret — not even taking into account the unmitigated hostility from the political right — so strange is that Obamacare is actually working. Indeed, evidence continues to mount that the law is working extremely, even shockingly, well."

Obama Uses Old Law To Go Big On Climate Change

Obama Uses Old Law To Go Big On Climate Change from the New York Times 
""Censure comes up as a possible alternative to impeachment. But then the question comes up, what does censure get you that simply denouncing the president in a news conference doesn't get you?" Gerhardt said."
The more meaningless and partisan it is the more likely they are to do it.

The anxieties of the GOP majority

The anxieties of the GOP majority from Politico
"Even after a historic midterm win, Republican confusion over how to respond to Obama on immigration is evidence of a changing party."

The Cycle of Republican Radicalization

The Cycle of Republican Radicalization (Paul Waldman) from the American Prospect
"Elite Republicans take their place in the fight against Obama; then rank-and-file Republicans follow along; then pushed by their constituencies, the officeholders harden their positions, which in turn pulls their voters farther to the right, and on it goes. The particularly intense loathing Republicans at all levels have for Obama feeds the cycle, pushing them toward not just disagreeing with him on particular courses of policy but rejecting the underlying principles he holds."

For GOP, Censuring Obama Replaces Impeachment

Republicans Float 'Impeachment Lite' Plan To Censure Obama from Talking Points Memo
"An alternative that has gained some traction among Republicans is to "censure" the president. The idea has been endorsed by King and Rep. Raul Labrador, both influential GOP voices on immigration issues. National Review writer John Fund has been pushing it for months."

Latino Voters Supportive Of Hillary Clinton

Latino Voters Supportive Of Hillary Clinton After Obama's Immigration Actions: Poll from the Huffington Post
"Latino voters seem primed to back potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in significant numbers, and President Barack Obama's recent executive action on immigration could strengthen their support for her, according to a poll released on Wednesday by Latino Decisions."

Jeb Looks Not Just Like a Candidate -- But Perhaps a Smart Candidate

Jeb Bush: GOP Must 'Lose The Primary To Win The General' from the Huffinton Post
"I don’t know if I’d be a good candidate or a bad one," Bush told attendees. "But I kinda know how a Republican can win, whether it’s me or somebody else." A winning candidate "has to be much more uplifting, much more positive, much more willing to be practical," than recent Republican presidential nominees, he said. The candidate should also be willing "[To] lose the primary to win the general, without violating your principles," Bush said."
THESE are the words of a very savvy pol!  The odds of him running in 2016 just went up in my view -- and IF he gets the nomination, he could be a VERY formidable opponent against Hillary or any other Democrat.  Can he win the nomination with this strategy?  Maybe.  I could easily see him being the only GOP contender with a positive message and someone willing to take real risks -- rather than just spoon-feeding his base what they want to hear.  However, if I were a betting man, I would say the odds are this strategy would fail -- simply because the base has too much of a hysterical lynch mob mentality rather than a coherent group willing too be reasoned with -- which I think is what Jeb is selling.  He could be the GOP's Bill Clinton of 1992 -- or he could simply be the Jon Huntsman of 2008. -- Nuggetsman

ACTION MOVIE NUGGET!!

The New James Bond Movie Is Called 'Spectre' from the Huffington Post 
"James Bond has returned. Twenty-five months after "Skyfall" debuted, director Sam Mendes announced the title and cast of the 24th Bond film during a press conference at Pinewood Studios in England on Thursday. The next 007 adventure, "Spectre," will arrive in theaters on Nov. 6, 2015."

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES NUGGET!!

38 Celebs Who Have Severe Illnesses from Press Room VIP
"Sure, a lot of celebrities look as if their lives are perfect, but underneath all the fancy clothing and makeup, many of the them suffer from the same issues that some of the rest of the world suffers from.  And just as with many things in life, illnesses do not discriminate against the famous."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

News Nuggets 1497


DAYLEE PICTURE: Turkey Tail Fungus in British Columbia.  From National Geographic.

Immigration Action May Derail the Republican Agenda

Obama's plan of action on immigration may derail Republican agenda from the Los Angeles Times
"... the strong reaction by Republican leaders has less to do with opposition to the nuts and bolts of the president's immigration policy and more to do with fear and anger that the issue will derail the agenda of the new Republican majority before the next Congress even convenes."

President's Immigration Actions May Damage the Stability of the GOP Looking Ahead

Republicans confront own worst enemy on immigration from the Washington Post
"Just two weeks ago, Republicans handed President Obama a humiliating defeat at the polls, winning full control of Congress. But already, GOP leaders fear that the conservative uproar over the president’s immigration actions will doom any hopes for a stable period of GOP governance."

Obama Fulfills His Promise on Immigration

On Immigration, Obama Fulfills His Promise to Progressives (Peter Beinart) from the Atlantic
"The president has long been tugged between his bipartisan urges and his activist roots. With his executive order and speech Thursday, he chose activism."

Obama's Words to the GOP Over Immigration? "Bring It!!"

The Coming GOP Freakout Over Immigration (Patricia Murphy) from the Daily Beast
"With an executive order this week that will affect 5 million undocumented immigrants, the president is daring the Republicans to fight back—and alienate Latino voters."

Employers' New Higher Wage Dodge: "Associate in Need" Programs

Walmart employees holding food drives for their own colleagues who can't put food on the table for the holidays from the Daily Mail [of the UK] 
"A picture was posted online on Thursday of a green box at an Oklahoma City store asking employees to donate canned for 'associates in need' One employee said today: 'We work hard and we don't want charity. We just want a fair wage."

The Impact of Pittsburgh's Waterfront Renewal

How Green Riverfronts Transformed Pittsburgh from the Atlantic
"The City of Bridges revives the rivers that helped make it an economic powerhouse."

House Intelligence Committee's Benghazi Report Torches Conspiracy Theories

House Intelligence Committee's Benghazi Report Torches Conspiracy Theories from the Huffington Post
"Yet another detailed investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, has refuted claims that there was a coverup or that officials didn't do all they could at the time to save the four Americans killed that night."

Obama Uniting Conservatives Against Him? Hardly

Republicans Hand Obama an Immigration Political Triumph (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"Michael Gerson, the Bush-era speechwriter and an advocate of bipartisan legislation, warns that Obama is “uniting conservatives — from the Obama-obsessed to reasonable institutionalists — in fervent opposition.” Actually, just the opposite is occurring. Ardent populists are demanding a series of suicidal confrontations, from shutdowns to, potentially, impeachment, as the Party leadership strains desperately to keep them at bay."

Immigration and a Gov't Shutdown: A Masterpiece of GOP Self-Sabotage

An Immigration Shutdown Is the Dumbest Idea the Republican Party Has Ever Had (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"It is almost a masterpiece of self-sabotage, harnessing the party’s most self-destructive short-term political maneuver to its most dangerous long-term demographic liability. It is the sharks-with-laser-beams of political maneuvers."

President Obama's climate agreement already paying off

President Obama's climate agreement already paying off, as China announces cap on coal use by 2020 from Daily Kos
"This was an historic moment, and it also puts pressure on other large polluters to do their part. But China already is stepping up. And of course, the Republicans were furious that the agreement was even made. Find out what the climate scientists are saying, and how the Republicans are responding, over the fold."

The GOP's Darker Impulses WILL Surface in Debate Over Immigration

The GOP Reaction to Obama's Immigration Order Will Be Way More Damaging Than They Realize (Noam Scheiber) from the New Republic
"... it turns out to be the one issue on which the right is least capable of maintaining the pretense that its objections are procedural rather than born of some deeper, darker suspicions."

The GOP's 2014 Victories a "Dark Victory"?

GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP's Midterm Victory from Daily Kos
"A GOP strategist, columnist at the Houston Chronicle who goes by the handle GOPLifer, Chris Ladd, has declared that the week of the Midterm Elections “was a dark week for Republicans, and for everyone who wants to see America remain the world’s most vibrant, most powerful nation.” What the HELL! Where was he? In a careful analysis, Ladd builds a case..."

Obama's Immigration Stance Upsets 2016 Pres Hopefuls

Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects (Jon Terbush) from The Week 
"By moving ahead solo before the new Congress is sworn in, Obama ensured Republicans will finally have to address immigration reform next year — and on into 2016. This poses a unique problem for two of the GOP's biggest potential presidential candidates who have broken with the party on the issue."

The Hillary Camp Looks Ready to Go

For Democrats, Hillary Clinton just has to say ‘Go.’ For voters, she’ll have to say much more (Dan Balz) from the Washington Post
"The black-tie dinner was also a reminder of the potential gap between Clinton and the voters she will appeal to if she is a candidate. Much of the conversation with Isaacson was about the Roosevelts — Franklin, Eleanor and Teddy. One point made by both Clinton and Isaacson was that while the Roosevelts came from privileged circumstances, they found in public service ways to advocate for those without."

ANIMAL VIDEO NUGGET!!

Squirrel and cat playing from Youtube

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

News Nuggets 1496


Glacier National Park.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Who Are We? The Question Asked by Arab Muslims

Who Are We? (Thomas Freidman) from the New York Times
"... conversations here in Dubai, one of the great Arab/Muslim crossroads, make it clear that the rise of the Islamic State “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, and its barbaric treatment of those who are against them — moderate Sunnis or Shiites, Christians, other minorities and women — has revived this central debate about “who are we?” Why? Because the Islamic State, or ISIS, is homegrown; its aim is not to strike at enemies far away, but to spread and impose its vision of an Islamic society right here and right now..."

Obama Boldly Pushes Agenda Forward!

Obama Boldly Pushes Agenda Forward After Election Losses, Sparking GOP Outrage from the Huffington Post
"President Barack Obama's party may have taken a beating at the polls last week, but that hasn't stopped him from taking an aggressive series of actions to push his agenda forward.  Over the last week, Obama announced a historic deal on climate change, took a bold stance to protect an open Internet, and is expected to soon announce sweeping changes to the nation's immigration system. Some progressives are already taking notice."

Will the GOP Try to Impeach Obama? Probably.

Rep. Jim Clyburn: GOP will try to impeach President Obama from Politico  
“There will be some reason found to introduce an impeachment resolution,” the South Carolina congressman said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.” “These Republicans have decided that this president must have an asterisk by his name after he leaves office, irrespective of whether or not he gets convicted. It is their plan to introduce an impeachment resolution.”
I completely agree with Clyburn's analysis here -- the GOP HAS to do something that will placate their enraged base.  It is ALL BUT CERTAIN that the Republican Congress will accomplish virtually nothing else!  They have to be able to fill their idle hours with something they can sell come primary election time -- and impeachment WILL be it.  I suspect that whether Obama is actually found guilty or not doesn't matter.

What If the SCOTUS Rules Against Obamacare?

A SCOTUS ruling against Obamacare: Health care for the poor, but not for the working middle class? (Greg Sargent) from the Washington Post
"The question is this: Will these legislators really support federal money flowing into their states to help poor people continue to get health care, while opposing federal money flowing into their states in a way that could result in working and middle class people losing their health care?"

Number Of Homeless Children In America Surges

Number Of Homeless Children In America Surges To All-Time High: Report from the Huffington Post
"The number of homeless children in the U.S. has surged in recent years to an all-time high, amounting to one child in every 30, according to a comprehensive state-by-state report that blames the nation's high poverty rate, the lack of affordable housing and the impacts of pervasive domestic violence."

Why Is American Teaching So Bad?

Why Is American Teaching So Bad? (Jonathan Zimmerman) from the New York Review of Books
"The primary responsibility of teachers is no longer to encourage good behavior in future citizens, as Horace Mann insisted. Instead, it’s to ensure that they get the right answers on a high-stakes test. The shift in goals has unfortunately done nothing to alter the tedious, anti-intellectual practices of American teaching. If anything, the strong commitment to “academic” goals has probably made teaching less academic—so far as the quality of learning is concerned—and more routinized than it was before."

Federalist Society Begrudgingly Accepts Obama's Immigration Powers

Legal Panel At Federalist Society Begrudgingly Accepts Obama's Immigration Powers from Huffington Post
" But, by and large, the panelists agreed the president has wide legal latitude to prioritize and shape deportation laws, as regrettable for Republicans or the long-term balance of powers that may be."

Declining Interest in Cable TV

People are moving away from cable TV, but the industry is not going down without a fight. from the Huffington Post
"A report released Friday by the Leichtman Research Group says the 13 largest pay-TV providers -- a group that includes companies like Time Warner, Comcast and DirecTV -- shed about 150,000 video subscribers in the most recent quarter, compared to just 25,000 in the same period last year."

Will Demographics Sink the GOP Majority?

What Happened the Last Time Republicans Had a Majority This Huge? They lost it (Mark Zeitz) from Politico
"... what if the Republicans of 1928 owed their demise to a more fundamental force? What if it was demography, not economics, that truly killed the elephant?"

The Dark Art of Political B.S

The Dark Art of Political B.S. (John Harris) from Politico
"Pay no attention to the pundit behind the curtain: Most of them are full of it."

The Return of the GOP Shutdown Gollum

The Return of the GOP Shutdown Gollum (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo
"The upshot is clear and shouldn't surprise us: government by crisis is built into the DNA of the current GOP. And leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, despite their efforts since just after the 2010 election, are largely powerless to control or discipline it."

Hillary's Electoral Map in 2016

Why Hillary 2016 Thinks She Can Expand Obama's Electoral Map from Talking Points Memo
"The top minds in the proto-Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign infrastructure are already gaming out Electoral College scenarios. What they think they have is a candidate who could compete in a handful of traditionally red states, putting Republicans on the defensive and increasing her chances of winning the White House."

Summon Your Own Rescue Drone...

The panic button app that can summon a drone (and the police) to come to your rescue at the touch of a button - and will even chase after an assailant from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"System set to be used in 30 US hospitals, schools and offices.  Drone can record everything it sees on arrival at the scene.  Drone has speakers and microphone - and can follow a fleeing assailant."

DOG RESCUE VIDEO NUGGET!!

Saving Layla - A Homeless Poodle That Brought This Rescuer To Tears! Please Share! from Rescue from the Hart

In astonishing images, the enduring bond of a young woman with wild gorillas

Tansy of the apes: 23 years after she was pictured playing with a 300lb primate as a baby from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
Tansy Aspinall, 25, was reunited with gorillas she knew as a child from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
Her father took controversial pictures of a gorilla holding her as a baby Years later the pair went to Gabon to track down their beloved apes Amazingly two of them emerged from the rainforest to meet the Aspinalls One of the gorillas, Djala, sniffed Tansy before recognising her scent Heart-warming pictures show gorilla and woman embracing each other."

Does the Alexander the Great-era tomb belong to the blue-eyed king?Does the Alexander the Great-era tomb belong to the blue-eyed king?

Remains of 'general' reveal that he was of medium height and had red hair from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Last week bones were found in Greek tomb dating from the 4th Century BC. Analysis shows they belong to a man of medium height who had pale skin.  Experts think he was probably an important Macedonian general.  DNA tests will determine if the man was a member of the royal family."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

News Nuggets 1495


DAYLEE PICTURE: A flamingo in the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: What Really Happened in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars?

The Truth About the Wars (Daniel Bolger) from the New York Times
"The surge legend is soothing, especially for military commanders like me. We can convince ourselves that we did our part, and a few more diplomats or civilian leaders should have done theirs. Similar myths no doubt comforted Americans who fought under the command of Robert E. Lee in the Civil War or William C. Westmoreland in Vietnam. But as a three-star general who spent four years trying to win this thing — and failing — I now know better."

Staying Sane About the Next Obamacare Court Case

Eight Reasons to Stop Freaking Out About the Supreme Court's Next Obamacare Case (Brian Buetler) from the New Republic
" Outside of these conservative precincts, the challenge is rightly viewed as a cynical effort to gut the ACA. For the challengers to prevail in what’s ultimately a political campaign, they will have to overcome not just the weakness of their own legal arguments, but the political and substantive concerns weighing against them.  Here are eight reasons for the ACA’s supporters to stop freaking out—at least for now."

How new threat to Obamacare may backfire on the right

SCOTUS could roil the GOP (Simon Maloy) from Salon
"Republicans could finally realize their dream of seeing Obamacare eviscerated -- and they may not like the outcome."

Other Election-Night, Little-Noticed Big Losers: The NRA

One of the Midterms’ Little-Noticed Big Losers: The NRA (Cliff Schecter) from the Daily Beast
"The Washington state background check win was a big [Bidenism] deal. Several others like it prove that people want progressive things."

Tea Party Sees the Republican Rise as New Threat

With Fear of Being Sidelined, Tea Party Sees the Republican Rise as New Threat from the New York Times
"As Republicans on Capitol Hill transition from being the opposition party to being one that has to show it can govern, a powerful tension is emerging: how to move forward with an agenda that challenges the president without self-destructing."

Scientists Finally THINK ABOUT becoming better communicators on Climate Change

Climate Controversy Pushing Scientists to Become Better Communicators from Allegheny Front
"Most of us rely on scientists who are good at telling stories, good at translating what happens in the lab, to understand subjects like climate change. What makes a scientist a good communicator? It turns out the scientific community has become more interested in figuring that out."
Boy -- are these folks coming late to the table!!  As regular readers know, I've been very critical of the mainstream scientific community for its decades long unwillingness to become political actors and media communicators when it comes to climate change.  They abandoned the field to right-wing demagogues who knew scientific facts and evidence were NEVER the real issue.  These ultra-cynics knew early on that they could control regulatory outcomes by channeling average people's understanding of the issue. -- Nuggetsman

An Up-Date on the Still-Emerging Gun Control Movement

The Gun-Control Movement Is Learning How to Win (David Frum) from the Atlantic
"In Washington state, advocates passed some straightforward controls—by bypassing politicians terrified of the NRA and going straight to voters."

The Dems Road Back to Senate Control in 2016

Here's The Democratic Route Back To Senate Control In 2016 from the Huffington Post
"Only 10 Senate Democrats are up for re-election in 2016, the residual benefit of the shellacking they took in 2010 when tea party Republicans swept into office. The only two challenges Democrats likely will face will be defending Michael Bennet's seat in Colorado and Reid's in Nevada. ... Meanwhile, Republicans need to defend 24 seats. Democrats likely will need to pick up five seats to take back the Senate. They'll have a variety of routes to get there."

State House Disaster Continues for Kansas

Kansas revenues will fall $1 billion short of 2015 and 2016 expenses, fiscal experts say from the Kansas City Star
"The new figure raises the prospect of deep cuts in the state budget following controversial income tax cuts that Brownback vigorously defended during his re-election campaign against Democrat Paul Davis. Critics worry that schools, roads and social services will be among the areas cut in coming months."

AMERICAN AUTHOR NUGGET!!

John Steinbeck story that has been missing since WWII finally to be published after being found in Texas archive from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
With Your Wings is a story about a black war veteran written by John Steinbeck.  It was read out by Orson Welles on his radio show in 1944 but has been missing since.  Transcript was recently found in the University of Texas archives in Austin.  Will be published Friday for the first time in The Strand magazine."

CIVIL WAR VETERAN NUGGET!!

Civil War officer receives Medal of Honor today...151 years after defending the Union at Gettysburg from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor on Gettysburg soldier 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing at a White House ceremony on Thursday.  He commanded about 110 men and six cannons, defending the Union position against Pickett's Charge, a major Confederate thrust.  On the third day of battle, Cushing's small force stood its ground under severe artillery bombardment and an assault by nearly 13,000 Confederates.  Wounded in the stomach and right shoulder, Cushing refused to move back and insisted on ordering his guns to the front lines.  He was shot and killed as Confederate forces closed in on his position."

ENGLISH LANGUAGE NUGGET!!

Four British languages in danger of becoming extinct from the Independent [of the UK]
"Tourists looking for sun and sea but keen for something extra from their holiday break can now help save an ancient language. Four languages spoken on British territories feature on an new "endangered" list, with the numbers of people using them seriously dwindling. There are particular fears for the future of Jersey French and Guernsey French, which are marked as "severely endangered" on a list of 33 under-threat languages."

Big Send-off Planned for Richard III

Richard III to have 'effective state funeral' from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK]
More than 500 years after his death Richard III will receive an 'effective state funeral' when he is reinterred at Leicester Cathedral."
Mark your calendars kids!! March 22 and March 26, 2015.  It should be televised -- be there or be square! -- Nuggetsman

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

News Nuggets 1494


DAYLEE PICTURE: An ice cave over the Mutnovsky Volcano in Russia.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: The Crumbling Relationship between Israel ... and Reality

Even Israel's Best Friends Understand That It Is Disconnecting From Reality from the Atlantic
"An editorial in the leading American Jewish newspaper should be read by Prime Minister Netanyahu as a serious warning."

Standing Up for Rationality

Good for you, Kaci Hickox (Ruth Marcus) from the Washington Post
"Thank you, Kaci Hickox. You did the world a service in traveling to Sierra Leone to care for Ebola patients. Then you did your country a service in standing up for rationality."

Critics Rally Around Benedict As Talk of Schism Looms

Is the Pope Catholic? (Leslie Gelb) from the Daily Beast
"Conservative Catholics, angry at Pope Francis’s more moderate tone, are bucking the Church’s hierarchy."

The Costs of a Republican Senate ... for the GOP

A Republican Senate Victory Could Splinter the Party (Norm Ornstein) from the National Journal
"The tension between setting out a positive agenda for governing and the pressure to continue to block and obstruct will be very, very high."

The GOP in Long-term Decline - The Evidence

The Republicans: over-reaching and underscoring (Gary Younge) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"When Kansas starts rejecting the Republican agenda, you know it’s a party in long-term decline. ... Since Republicans are likely to take over the Senate, giving them both houses of Congress, they are equally likely to claim victory. But if there are broader lessons from this cycle then these celebrations will be short-lived. Economically, politically and demographically, the long-term prospects for Republicans are far from rosy for two reasons."


“People don’t eat in the long run, they eat every day.” – Harry Hopkins

Am I the only one who is tired of reading yet another article about the “long term” problems of the Republican Party? I guess were supposed to be optimistic even as the Democrat’s apologize for yet one more nearly total loss, because at least were not doomed as the Republicans are, “In The Long Run”. Apparently the Democrats winning strategy is to hope the Republican Party falls apart eventually. How inspiring.

Posted by – hopeandespair

No Takers on Boehner's Law Suit

Boehner has hired two law firms to sue President Obama. They've both quit from Vox
"Though the suit's legal arguments have been met with skepticism by scholars, Gerstein and Haberman report that the trouble here is more political — some clients simply didn't want each firm involved in such a controversial suit."

The 2014 Elections: The End of a Consequential Time?

Washington is returning to normal. And it sucks. (Ezra Klein) from Vox
"An amazing era in American politics is ending. Since roughly 9/11, American politics has been remarkably consequential."

SENATE PRE-MORTEM POST-MORTEM!!

Yes, Republicans will take the Senate. But here’s a GOP reality check (Glen Bolger and Neil Newhouse) from the Washington Post
"Winning on Tuesday will not necessarily portend success in 2016. ... So what does a GOP win in 2014 mean for the coming presidential contest? Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean: ..."

EUROPEAN CONQUERORS NUGGET!!

Napoleon's warriors stand proud... decades after the Battle of Waterloo: Fascinating images show former soldiers posing in their old uniforms from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Sepia-tinted images show men who fought in Napoleonic Wars of 1803-1815. Some of the men fought in Napoleon's elite Imperial Guard. Exactly why the veterans were photographed in the 1850s is a mystery. May have donned their regalia to mark the anniversary of Napoleon's death."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

News Nuggets 1493


DAYLEE PICTURE: A snake in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica.  From Smithsonian Magazine.


TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: The Remaining Flat Tire on the Road to Recovery: Home Ownership

Homeownership in America Has Collapsed—Don't Blame Millennials (Derek Thompson) from the Atlantic
"Americans between 35 and 44 have had the sharpest drop in homeownership since the recession struck, far outpacing the national rate. ... Read Trulia's Jed Kolko on why the middle-aged are the true lost generation of homeowners. In short: They bore the brunt of the foreclosure crisis:..."
It's a rather odd column in the sense that Thompson seems to think that people are choosing not to buy homes.  It is my perception that the problem is that in the wake of the Great Recession, people don't have the incomes to buy and, even for many of those that do have the foundation, the problem is on the lenders side as well: the only people who can qualify for a mortgage these days are people who don't really need a mortgage in the first place.  Last year 80 percent of home sales in Vermont were "cash only" sales.  

Obamacare Delivers!

Is the Affordable Care Act Working? from the New York Times
"A year after it was fully in place, President Obama’s health care law has largely succeeded in delivering on his promises, even as it fell short in some ways."

American Military Mistakes: The Big Ones

The Five Biggest Disasters in American Military History from the National Interest
"Nations often linger on their military defeats as long as, or longer than, they do on their successes. The Battle of Kosovo remains the key event of the Serbian story, and devastating military defeats adorn the national narratives of France, Russia and the American South. What are the biggest disasters in American military history, and what effect have they had on the United States?"

Religious and Conservative Bias Rife in TX Textbooks

These Biased Ideas Are Presented As Fact In Texas Curriculum Standards from the Huffington Post
"In September, nonprofit organization the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund commissioned a group of history scholars to evaluate proposed social studies textbooks from publishing giants such as Pearson Education and McGraw-Hill Education. The scholars found that several of the textbooks were rife with religious and conservative biases that they said distort history."

Why ISIS Targets Canada

Why Canada Is Under Attack by Terrorists from the Huffington Post
"Most people probably reacted in shock to learn that Canada has now been hit twice by terror attacks against soldiers in three days. Many Americans probably think of it as our sleepy socialist neighbor to the north. But Canada is a key ally in the war against terrorism in general, and ISIS in particular. And today's attack is a harbinger of things to come in America."

Why a GOP Senate is About to Infuriate its Base

Conservatives’ Rude Awakening (Jim Newell) from Salon
"Even if it takes the Senate, GOP won't be able to achieve much. How will McConnell explain that to conservatives? ... it took years for the simple fact to set in that Republicans can’t achieve any ideological goals with control of only one chamber of Congress. It took years for them to realize that taking government spending bills and debt ceiling hikes hostage were poor gambits with control of only one chamber of Congress. If Republicans get control of both the House and Senate, expectations among the base are going to jump right back to those old, naive levels, even though the basic dynamics of gridlock won’t change beyond the margin."

WORKPLACE NUGGET!!

Three Tactics for Dealing with Change Resisters from the Pittsburgh Business Times
"Some employees can be incredibly resistant to change. Here are three strategies to try before moving them off your team."

NATURE NUGGET!!

Jane Goodall's Jungles from Newsweek
"Some have come from across town, but many traveled far greater distances. They have come to see Jane Goodall, the primatologist-turned-activist whose revolutionary discoveries about chimpanzees forever changed our understanding of our closest genetic relatives."

WEIGHT-WATCHERS NUGGET!!

The Good News And The Bad News About Beating Obesity from the Huffington Post
"... as obese people know all too well, one of the biggest downsides to being overweight is emotional: having to endure nasty looks and snide comments from the folks who believe obese people are to blame for being fat. That belief is simply wrong ..."

BAD TV NUGGET!!

'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' Canceled By TLC After Allegations Star Is Dating Child Molester Come Out from the Huffington Post
"TMZ reports that TLC has canceled "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" following allegations that June "Mama June" Shannon is dating a convicted child molester named Mark McDaniel."

PREHISTORIC DWELLINGS NUGGET!!

6,000-year-old 'cathedral' unearthed: Enormous two-storey temple with red walls, sacrificial altars and burnt lamb bones discovered from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Burnt bones of lambs were found on raised clay 'altars' in the temple Humanlike figurines, pottery fragments and hair decorations were also unearthed at the site near modern-day Nebelivka in the Ukraine.  Two-storey temple was divided into rooms which were painted red.  It was at the heart of a prehistoric village with 1,200 buildings and 50 streets."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

News Nuggets 1491


NOTE: Due to an exceptionally busy travel schedule and a backlog of project deadlines, the News Nuggets will see postings only a couple of times a week in the near term.  The intention will be to go 5-7 times a week late this year. My apologies to Nuggets addicts who are jonesing for more! -- Nuggetsman

Check out my latest appearance on the Lynn Cullen Live! Program HERE.

DAYLEE PICTURE: A Napoleon wrasse swims through a school of fish in the waters off Australia.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: The Capacity for Empathy: Where it Lives in the World and Where it Doesn't

Putin and the Pope (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times
"Reading the papers these days I find that the two world leaders who stir the most passion in me are Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. One is everything you’d want in a leader, the other everything you wouldn’t want. One holds sway over 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, the other over nine time zones. One keeps surprising us with his capacity for empathy, the other by how much he has become a first-class jerk and thug."

Russia and the West: Wildly Divergent Views of Reality

Why Russia and the West continue to view the world very differently from Russia Direct
"In the latest release of the Transatlantic Trends survey, Russia’s complex relationship with the West figured prominently as one of the key trends impacting future transatlantic security."

Low Gas Prices Bring Low Many of the Globe's Worst Actors

The Upside of Lower Oil Prices from the Editorial Board of the New York Times
"It’s bad for members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and other nations and governments that rely heavily on oil exports because their income has taken a huge hit. It’s especially bad for Russia and Iran, which have relied on high oil prices to defy the United States and Western sanctions. It’s bad for the environment ..."

President Rivlin: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings."

President Rivlin: Time to Admit that Israel is a Sick Society that Needs Treatment from the Jerusalem Post
"Rivlin wondered aloud whether Jews and Arabs had abandoned the secret of dialogue. With regard to Jews he said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings."

Pope: 'God Is Not Afraid Of New Things'

Pope: 'God Is Not Afraid Of New Things' from Reuters 
"Pope Francis has closed an assembly of Catholic bishops that revealed deep divisions on how to respond to homosexuality and divorce, saying on Sunday the Church should not be afraid of change and new challenges."

Conservative Catholics Strike Back

Conservative Catholics Strike Back Against Synod Document Welcoming Gays from the Huffington Post
"A day after signaling a warmer embrace of gays and lesbians and divorced Catholics, conservative cardinals hit back strongly Tuesday (Oct. 14), with one insisting that an about-face on church teaching is “not what we are saying at all.”"

LGBT and Young Catholics

Overwhelming 85% Of Young American Catholics Support Gays And Lesbian, Pew Report from the Huffington Post
"While the Vatican vacillates over whether to welcome gays into the church, the new kids in the flock seem to have no qualms about the subject. Close to 85% of self-identified Catholics between the ages of 18 and 29 believe gays and lesbians should be accepted by society, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center."

So You Think Americans Hate Their Government?

12 Countries That Hate Their Government Most from 24/7 Wall Street 
"Obama still looks exceptionally popular in contrast to some governments’ approval ratings. The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for instance, had the world’s lowest approval rating, at just 8%. Based on Gallup’s study “Global States of Mind 2014; released at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit, these are the countries that hate their government most."