Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stuff You May Have Missed

No official word yet on any defecting presidential electors yesterday, but reports are incomplete. In Alaska, where one Romney elector had threatened to vote Ron Paul, ballots were secret and sealed, so we won't know till early January. At that time I may need to eat the beret.

Pressure Mounts To Appoint The First Female Secretary Of Defense: "Aides and strategists of both parties see the stock of Michèle Flournoy, the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, rising to replace Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta when he leaves the Pentagon — likely early next year."

The current frontrunner is former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel. I have some problems there; all the way back to Robert McNamara,Democratic presidents too often put Republicans in charge at the Pentagon. Heck, even before there WAS a Pentagon and they still called it the War Department, FDR named Republican Henry Stimson.

But the real issue with Hagel:
Picking Flournoy would also be a smoother path through the Senate than another leading contender, former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, whose criticism of the 'Israel lobby' has drawn criticism from Republicans and Jewish groups.
That's a plus for me. But peace doesn't seem to be a priority for the Netanyahu government, and this quote captures the mindset: "The Israeli settler movement has long been premised on the notion of a Greater Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan."

Of course, guns remain Topic A and two more pieces of interest: the great Nate Silver crunches the numbers as only he can and shows how guns are, on the individual gun owner or non-gun owner level, a defining issue between the parties. And Jeffrey Toobin reviews the gun lobby's deliberate misinterpretation of the Second Amendment.

And stay classy, Mitt: in a final middle finger to the media, the campaign that cut off staffer's credit cards so fast they couldn't pay for the cab ride home on Election Night is now busted for over-billing news organizations for travel and food expenses.

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