Morning Must Reads: January 22

In the News: Divisions at Peace Talks on Syria, Gov. McDonnell Speaks Out, Abortion, and Troops in Afghanistan

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • Sharp Divisions Come to Force as Peace Talks on Syria Begin [NYT]
  • Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell: “I Did Nothing Illegal” [Washington Post]
  • “The Pentagon has proposed to President Obama that 10,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan when the international combat mission there ends after this year, or none at all, senior government officials said Tuesday.” [NYT]
  • Chris Christie is More Nimble Than You Think [Politico]
  • Cuccinelli Says Christie Should Leave RGA [CBS News]
  • 2014: The Year the Pro-Choice Crowd Fights Back [Politico Magazine]
  • American’s Don’t Care as Much About Abortion as the Media Think [Atlantic]
  • “Secretary of State John F. Kerry and a former Texas governor are part of an international coalition trying to halt Texas’ execution of a Mexican citizen this week.” [LA Times]
  • Governor Snyder Expected to Announce Plan to Guard Detroit Pensions, Art [Detroit Free Press]
  • Oklahoma Lawmaker Faces Conservative Skeptics in Senate Bid [TIME]
  • How Lawmakers Skirt Law to Keep Their Next Jobs Secret [National Journal]
  • “On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit ruled in no uncertain terms that gay people cannot be bumped from a jury due exclusively to their sexual orientation.” [Slate]
  • Glenn Beck: “I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart” [BuzzFeed]
  • Lawmakers Won’t Toke Legal Joints [The Hill]
  • What’s Missing in “Mitt” [National Journal]
  • ” Lots of conservative lawmakers hate Obamacare. Rep. Louie Gohmert is putting his money where his mouth is. The Tyler Republican gave up his health insurance for 2014, asserting that the president’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, has made coverage too expensive.” [Dallas News]
431 comments
forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@collioure 

There's a problem with the stat - when you actually dig through the numbers, we find that the definition of pro-life has become very muddled.  If we ask them what their opinion is on abortion, some 74% (old stat - two years ago) would have an opinion that would be classified by most in the political field as pro-choice.  If we ask them what they identify themselves as, a majority now define themselves as pro-life.  So....take it with a grain of salt.

collioure
collioure

@forgottenlord@collioure

I doubt that Gallup has changed their question.

In the last four years there has been a slight shift toward pro-life though at least 50% still think abortion should be legal under certain circumstances.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

620K Alberta residents' Health Care information stolen.  Unencrypted.  Information was stolen Sept 26 but they only just decided to maybe tell the Health Minister - idiots.

Based upon what they were saying, I believe my data was in that batch.  Thankfully, did not provide a credit or bank card - no money required for my visit - and SIN numbers weren't included so screw it.

fitty_three
fitty_three

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that since @colliourehas played his welcome out, he's decided that it's time to whip out the paulejb persona out. 

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@mantisdragon91   "The study took a look at how mugger crocodiles"


Stupid egrets! They have mugger right in their name!

sacredh
sacredh

It's Movietime! Goodnight folks.

sacredh
sacredh

The Buss family bought the lakers for $20 million in 1979 (that also included the old Los Angeles Forum). They're now worth 1.35 billion.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

So who's lying about Iran's nuke capability - us or them?  My $'s on them.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@nflfoghorn

Them.

I think they are unwinding because they have the capability to crank it up rapidly if they need to.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@nflfoghorn 

This is an ego thing.  What I think they can claim from this agreement is something along the lines of "we can maintain enrichment at the levels we're currently doing [as far as we've publicly admitted]" while the US can say "they are winding down their capabilities so that they are only capable of civilian level enrichment".  Which I don't think is quite true 'cause I could've sworn they were doing medical isotope 20% enrichment while the deal is nuclear power 3-5% enrichment.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@sacredh 

Requires a replacement to be ready.  Not saying impossible, just saying that's a simplification.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@sacredh Finally a story that literally has no effect on my life.  I'll say the same when Twitter implodes. 


Such a luddite I am. 

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, if one of you doesn't ask "Isn't this a mortal sin?", then it's not being done correctly.

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, we're members of a very small club. I have no cellphone. I've never been on Facebook or MySpace. I've never been on twitter. I still believe that sex can be dirty if done correctly.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@sacredh @Paul,nnto Phone free here too. The cuter P has a flip phone but never charges it. 


Not sure that sex can be done incorrectly. 

collioure
collioure

Gallup today (registered voters)

Approve/disapprove of President Obama's performance improved markedly to 42%/49% = -7%.

Rasmussen today (likely voters)

On the Generic Congressional Ballot the Democrats widened their lead to 41%-35%. Two weeks ago it had been 40%-40%.

(Rasmussen Reports has acted to correct a previous deficiency in their polling methods.They note, “To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel.”)

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Paul,nnto

When a leaner like Razz shows Obama's numbers going up, there's some solidity there.

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, does this mean that I have to stop telling my rightwing friends that Rasmussen is the most reliable indicator of election outcomes? This is going to cost me money.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@forgottenlord @Paul,nnto You have the time and skill do crunch all those polls? I envy you.


Which is why, the last two presidential cycles, I just used 535. Not sure if he'll do the same at his new home at ESPN. 

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Paul,nnto 

Also, Gallup and Rasmussen are the only two daily polls and Gallup was worse than Rasmussen last cycle.

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, once I ran across Nate Silver, the only reason I looked at the other polls was to see the comparisons and to bet. People do tend to believe the polls that favor their candidates and I'm not above using that.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Paul,nnto

Actually, because a diverse array of methodologies and systems is more likely to be accurate than selecting my polls that are consistently towards the middle.  All methodologies have inherent flaws - I'm more likely to be accurate if I take a diversity of polls with a diversity of flaws and hope the flaws cancel out in the aggregate than if I assume a certain subset of those polls that have tended to be consistently accurate will remain consistently accurate - they could easily share the same flaw and all be wrong simultaneously.

Basically, Nate Silver's philosophy of polling.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Paul,nnto

I saw some announcements coming out of 538.com last November calling for writers and analysts. I'm pretty sure that he's going to be up and running this year in politics.

That's as close as one can get right now to the 'yes, Hillary is running' level of confidence.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Paul,nnto

I would rather a poll that's consistently right of reality than one that can't decide if it's right or not.  Rasmussen was consistently something like R-5 during 2012.  Fine, I can work with that.

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, I read the polls. Crunching the numbers is beyond me. I crunch cereal.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@sacredh @Paul,nnto I wallow in the politics as much as the next person (likely way too much) but I feel i done a much better job at weeding out the irrelevant. 


And quick up/down polling numbers and national numbers in an election that is decided by state totals are two of them. 

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, I was thinking more of my conservative friends that refuse to believe they're not the majority anymore.