Morning Must Reads: We’re Back!

After a brief hiatus, Swampland's "Morning Must Reads" have returned.

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Photo-Illustration by Dan Winters for TIME

After a brief hiatus, Swampland’s “Morning Must Reads” have returned.

-Hagel attempts to become the next Secretary of Defense before a skeptical Senate panel, Jay Newton-Small writes.  The Weekly Standard produces “Hagel’s Greatest Hits.”

–Prettier in Print: this week TIME discusses how quirky White House petitions can advance Obama’s agenda, how to fix the Grand Ole Party, and 10 Questions for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The cover story, “Game of Drones,” examines the use of unmanned aircraft in America.

-Obamacare is back in the news.  The WSJ reports that Obamacare may drive up costs for union health care plans, and Marco Rubio believes it could be a hindrance to immigration reform.  Oddly enough, labor loves immigration.  Strategy to “Delay, Repeal, and Replace” Obamacare this week is brought to you by the Weekly Standard.

-Ahead of the March 1 sequester, military contractors Northrop Gruman, Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton tighten their belts. Last Sunday House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said he expected the $110 billion in cuts to happen, David Rogers of Politico writes today why many House Republicans agree.

–After raising the ordinary income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 35 percent on household income above $450,000, Obama may in his State of the Union address seek new revenue from capping deductions, Reuters reports.

-Scandal surrounds Sen. Robert Menendez.

-Al Gore goes on The Daily Show and Jon Stewart grills him on how a climate-change activist could sell his TV channel, Current TV, to the oil-backed company Al-Jazerra.

-Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray promises to keep his hands off of DC’s $417 million Rainy Day fund.  It must be raining in Texas, because Republican Gov. Perry has decided to take $3.7 billion from their fund to pay for water and transportation infrastructure improvements.

-The Washington Post Fact Checker calls Obama’s claim of skeet shooting, “curious,” and concludes “verdict pending.” The NYT runs a video on Nate Silver’s poker tips.   I think they both miss the election.

135 comments
Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

Christmas is apparently a month late, but I'm all right with that.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

I just realized something: it's been a troll free day!

roknsteve
roknsteve

Brief hiatus must mean something different because 3 months isn't brief.  Welcome back "apr" "chupar" etc.  And please don't feed "You Know Who".  He's completely lost his mind or the last brain cell.     

NP042
NP042

This may be old news, but it's delicious nontheless: Nevada woman arrested for voter fraud pleads to lesser charge


Money quote:


Rubin's lawyer, Ozzie Fumo, said his client was bothered that poll workers did not check her identification, so she tried to vote again to prove a point.

"She had zero intention of voting twice," Fumo said.

grape_crush
grape_crush

What's interesting is that, while there's a Constitutionally-granted right to freedom of speech and to keep and bear arms, there's not much in that document other than whom cannot be restricted from voting. Maybe it's time to change that.

grape_crush
grape_crush

"It’s become well known in the last decade or so that measurement of racial progress that focus strictly on income (still unequal, but getting less so) differentials miss a critical factor: wealth differentials, based on the vastly higher levels of assets owned by white families as compared to African-American counterparts with equivalent incomes.

Whatever slow progress the country made in reducing the “wealth gap” during the late 1990s into the 2000s was largely wiped out and even reversed during the Great Recession. And much of the reason for that was a racially divided pattern of homeownership that set up African-Americans to bear the brunt of the housing market collapse..."

grape_crush
grape_crush

"There’s been a great deal of chatter among Republicans lately that they don’t really need to change their ideas; they merely need to change their tone. But as Cuccinnelli’s comments demonstrate, the ideas are the tone. The basic problem here is not the rhetoric; it’s the apparent belief among many conservatives that there isn’t any legitimate way that government assistance can be a positive force in people’s lives. In this telling, any voter who is temporarily dependent on government in some way is at risk of suffering a kind of permanent political lobotomy, in which he or she will be rendered forever incapable of rational political decision making or future independence.  Any public official who extends the hand of government help in their direction is simply trying to manipulate these poor, lost souls.

This sort of thinking is increasingly at odds with the American mainstream..."

grape_crush
grape_crush

On the "we need border security before we do immigration reform" distraction:

"The Senate’s language suggests that the government has held back from devoting money, equipment and personnel to border security. In fact, even though the 2007 immigration bill ultimately failed, we’ve nevertheless hit nearly all of the targets that it established for increased border security—except for achieving absolute “operational control” of the border and mandatory detention of all border-crossers who’ve been apprehended."

La_Randy
La_Randy

"Turning Class War Into Generational War"

"In short, getting the economy back to full employment (can you say stimulus?) and winning the class war for the majority are the policies that will most help the younger generation. Gutting Social Security and Medicare will simply deny our children and grandchildren security that they will desperately need if the wealthy continue to win the class war."

La_Randy
La_Randy

Red State "tax reform" and "economic growth" at ataxingmatter.

"The Journal calls these plans for revamping state laws to provide substantial benefits to wealthy individuals and corporations a "rare bright spot in the current high-tax era."  That is garbage from both sides.  We do not live in a "high-tax era."  IN fact, we live in a low-tax era and we are already paying for that with the significant drop in state support for higher education, state support for parks and other public amenities (police and fire protection, protections for workers, fair and easy access to voting, etc.), and state support for K-12 education as well as the failure of the federal government to fund the kinds of infrastructure and education and basic research projects that could make the difference between a continuing great economy and the continuing muddle we are in after the Bush recession."

notsacredh
notsacredh

I'm guessing you didn't see the "What's Wrong With the Republican Party?" thread.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@Ivy_B   I hope Time Warner changes its mind and not do the layoffs. The last thing we need in this economy are more firings; we need more hirings and get everyone employed, literally. And if the mother ship believes firings will motivate people and improve the product, thy're wrong. Self-preservation will kick in over quality of work. Besides, I don't want to see any swamp reporters fired.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@Ivy_B "One of [CEO Laura Lang's] first moves was to call a top-to-bottom review facilitated by consultants from Bain & Co., evaluating priorities, opportunities and trouble spots."

I'm guessing they brought her "Binders full of " redundancies...

apr2563
apr2563

@Ivy_B Lots of layoffs.  Let's hope it doesn't go the way of Newsweek.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@apr2563 

Glad you are here to stay [fingers crossed].  Seems the old crew is gathering again.

notsacredh
notsacredh

Tested and negative. Great to see you back apr2563.

roknsteve
roknsteve

@NP042 Does anyone else think it's crazy or wrong that the Gee-O-Pee is all for changing the voting rules daily but the Second Amendment is written in stone and can't be changed even though it's been turned into a pro-gun lobby. 

apr2563
apr2563

@NP042 Just testing.  Having trouble posting a separate comment.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

@grape_crush And from a morbid standpoint, the guy who pushed Sherrod into prominence via a grandiose lying machine is dead.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

One was wronged, then vindicated.

The other was...was...heck, what was she???

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@grape_crush Thank you for the links, Grape. I'll be busy reading them tonight. ;)

Also: Prayers for those involved in the I-75 catastrophe...

bobell
bobell

Has Cuccinelli never heard of welfare for the rich -- the many tax breaks and subsidies in addition to the government-built infrastructure that allows them to carry on their businesses?  Government does far more for the top one percent than for anyone else.  I wish Obama would mention -- nay, emphasize -- this frequently.  Cutting back on tax breaks for the rich would just reduce this advantage, not eliminiate it, but it would be a good start.

notsacredh
notsacredh

This is just another case of states wanting the federal government to butt out but sticking their hands out and saying "But we want YOU to pay for this".

apr2563
apr2563

@kbanginmotown @apr2563 Happy to be back.  Feeling much better.  Had to get away from the toxic that can show up on this site.  With Obama's victory, I figured the crazies would need to up the vitriol.  Got hooked on Twitter.  But hopefully, I am here to stay.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@DonQuixotic @NP042 FTW. DonQ!

You just rolled up 4 years of RW, TeaBag, Conspiracy Hand-Wringing in a Tinfoil Hat and threw it down in the ACORN office on the Grassy Knoll in Area 51 !

Word.

roknsteve
roknsteve

@sacredh States to Govt: Give us all your money and get the heck out of here!"  Why does that sound like armed robbery?

notsacredh
notsacredh

Yesterday was a bit of a blur for me too. I finished up 7 straight midnights yesterday morning and stay up as long as I can to try to get my sleep pattern back on a non-vampire schedule. I'd been up for 30 straight hours before I hit the rack.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@apr2563 @kbanginmotown Hey apr, kabang and I tweet too. As do a lot of former Swampies. You can find us over there under the same names.