Political Link List: October 30, 2012

Leave a Comment
New York Times: Both Romney and Obama Avoid Talk of Climate Change (by John M. Broder)
Key passage: “Any serious effort to address climate change will require a transformation of the nation’s system for producing and consuming energy and will, at least in the medium term, mean higher prices for fuel and electricity. Powerful incumbent industries — coal, oil, utilities — are threatened by such changes and have mounted a well-financed long-term campaign to sow doubt about climate change. The Koch brothers and others in the oil industry have underwritten advertising campaigns and grass-roots efforts to support like-minded candidates. And the Republican Party has essentially declared climate change a nonproblem.”

The Washington Post’s series about the federal counter-terrorism apparatus: “The Permanent War”

  1. Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists (by Greg Miller)
    Key passage:
    “Obama approves the criteria for lists and signs off on drone strikes outside Pakistan, where decisions on when to fire are made by the director of the CIA. But aside from Obama’s presence at “Terror Tuesday” meetings — which generally are devoted to discussing terrorism threats and trends rather than approving targets — the president’s involvement is more indirect.” 
  2. A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy (by Karen DeYoung)
    Key passage:
    “Brennan is leading efforts to curtail the CIA’s primary responsibility for targeted killings. Over opposition from the agency, he has argued that it should focus on intelligence activities and leave lethal action to its more traditional home in the military, where the law requires greater transparency. Still, during Brennan’s tenure, the CIA has carried out hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan and opened a new base for armed drones in the Arabian Peninsula. Although he insists that all agencies have the opportunity to weigh in on decisions, making differing perspectives available to the Oval Office, Brennan wields enormous power in shaping decisions on “kill” lists and the allocation of armed drones, the war’s signature weapon.” 
  3. Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations (by Craig Whitlock)
    Key passage:
    “In Washington, the Obama administration has taken a series of steps to sustain the drone campaign for another decade, developing an elaborate new targeting database, called the “disposition matrix,” and a classified “playbook” to spell out how decisions on targeted killing are made. Djibouti is the clearest example of how the United States is laying the groundwork to carry out these operations overseas. For the past decade, the Pentagon has labeled Lemonnier an “expeditionary,” or temporary, camp. But it is now hardening into the U.S. military’s first permanent drone war base.”

Key passage: “It's a simple, eternal political truism: Democrats are less likely to turn out to vote than Republicans. It's reflected in the difference between polls of registered voters and those of likely voters -- in Gallup's latest survey, for example, Obama and Romney were tied, 47-47, among registered voters, but Romney led 50-46 among likely voters. If the Obama campaign, through organization and elbow grease, can drive more of those less-likely voters to the polls, the president's chances get better.”

Key passage: “In the view of most specialists, the danger to United States territory from Al Qaeda and its allies is far less than it was in 2001. Al Qaeda’s leaders have been relentlessly hunted, its ideology was rejected by most of the young Muslims who led the Arab revolts, and its recruits in the United States have been few. Of more than 160,000 homicides in the country since Sept. 11, 2001, just 14 were carried out by Qaeda sympathizers in the name of jihad.”

Read More

Political Link List: October 24, 2012

Leave a Comment
New York Times: For President, a Complex Calculus of Race and Politics (by Jodi Kantor)
Key passage: ““As he’s gotten more comfortable being president, he’s gotten more comfortable being him,” said Brian Mathis, an Obama fund-raiser. Asked when they could sense that shift, several advisers and friends mentioned the waning hours of Mr. Obama’s birthday party in the summer of 2011. As the hour grew late, many of the white guests left, and the music grew “blacker and blacker,” as the comedian Chris Rock later told an audience. Watching African-American entertainers and sports stars do the Dougie to celebrate a black president in a house built by slaves, Mr. Rock said, “I felt like I died and went to black heaven.””

The New Yorker: The Voter-Fraud Myth (by Jane Mayer)
Key passage: “The vast majority of the lawmakers who have pushed for voter I.D.s have been Republicans. As Bill Clinton has put it, “This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate”—when many young and minority voters stayed home—“than the 2008 electorate.” Clinton said that the “effort to limit the franchise” was the most determined “since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting.””

New York Times: Watching U.S. Race, Other Nations See Themselves (by Ellen Barry)
Key passage: “In other countries, like Russia and China, coverage has been muted, reflecting both wariness about Mr. Romney and disappointment with the four-year arc of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. Indeed, disillusionment has tempered news coverage in many countries — even Germany, a nation addicted to American political arcana. In contrast with 2008, when coverage of the Democratic primaries was breathless front-page news all over Germany, this season’s analysis has been sober and far less enthusiastic.”

New York Times: Strident Anti-Obama Messages Flood Key States (by Jeremy W. Peters)
Key passage: “This summer, a group of well-financed conservative activists had an idea for what they hoped would be a last-minute game changer in the presidential race. They would put out a DVD that made a compelling case against Mr. Obama in battleground states, sending it to voters through a carefully targeted direct mail campaign or as an insert in Sunday newspapers in the weeks before Election Day.”

Read More

Political Link List: October 21, 2012

Leave a Comment
New York Magazine: November 7th (by Jonathan Chait)
Key passage: “It’s important to be clear about what a defiant Obama II would offer, because it is both more and less than liberals are expecting. They may hope that Obama passes new job-creation measures in his second term. But he appears to have decided that the price of more short-term stimulus—more tax cuts for the rich, which Obama extended in return for stimulus in his December 2010 deal—is no longer tolerable. For better or worse, the president hopes the recovery is strong enough to stand on its own two feet. Where he can actually win without compromise, however, is in some ways more significant.”

The New Republic: How the GOP Destroyed its Moderates (by Jonathan Chait)
Key passage: “What remains of “moderation” within the party has taken on a definition very distinct from the meaning that it held originally. Unlike the moderate and liberal Republicans of yore, today’s “moderates” generally identify themselves as conservative. They are simply less so. The most recent wave of ideological re-making, undertaken since 2002, has seen a series of primary challenges largely replacing conservatives such as Bob Inglis, Richard Lugar, and Robert Bennett with even more implacably conservative Republicans.
What stands out in these contests is the lack of open ideological conflict. In debates within the party, both sides inevitably grasp for the conservative mantle. The virtues of the anti-government creed (except, of course, for the military and some aspects of social regulation) have no recognized limits. An incumbent challenged from the right can survive on other grounds—familiarity, likeability, the persuasive recantation of any past heresies; but the ideological ground on which he can stand has disappeared. Moderation can be successfully denied, but it cannot be defended.”

New York Times: Romney as a Manager: Unhurried and Socratic (by Michael Barbaro, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Michael Wines)
Key passage: “In his approach, there are intriguing echoes of and departures from presidents past. His intensely hands-on style sets him apart from George W. Bush, the self-styled chairman of the board, and Ronald Reagan, who cared only for the big picture and left dirt-under-the-fingernails policy work to his staff. His tendency to immerse himself in the details recalls Lyndon B. Johnson, who closeted himself with Pentagon brass to personally choose targets for American bombers during the Vietnam War. His passion for mastering policy and deliberative decision-making evokes the man he wishes to replace, Barack Obama.”

Read More
Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home