Morning Reads for Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Above, change in wages over time. Thanks be to Kia for giving us some dark blue on the map. Your undifferentiated Morning Reads lie after the jump…

  • Abraham Lincoln a Whig? It could be,
  • but this is according the Whig society. (AbeLincolnAssoc)
  • Chart: What the documentary ‘Blackfish’ has done to SeaWorld (WonkBlog)
  • The ‘Graywashing’ of CIA Torture (The Atlantic)
  • China offers to help Iraq defeat Sunni extremists (FT)
  • Cheney Calls for International Ban on Torture Reports (New Yorker)
  • Humpback whales increasing in waters near NYC (AP News)
  • Insider Advantage claims RFRA is dead (IA)
  • I’d believe that article more anyone’s name was mentioned in front of what they said
  • Why America’s middle class is lost: They took America to the moon. Then something went horribly wrong. (Washington Post)
  • Deadliest US sniper’s greatest foe was tween playing Call of Duty (New York Post)
  • Louisiana’s Moon Shot: The state hopes to save its rapidly disappearing coastline. What could go wrong? (ProPublica)
  • Well, it’s a 50-year, $50 billion plan based on science that’s never been tested and money it doesn’t have.
  • A History of the C.I.A.’s Secret Interrogation Program (NYT)
  • License to Spy: There are thousands of cameras following you, anyone can watch, and it’s all legal (Back Channel)
  • Juan Cole: The Trial of Richard Bruce Cheney (Truth Dig)
  • How 4 Mexican Immigrant Kids and Their Cheap Robot Beat MIT (Wired)
  • About the Shark: How do we see ourselves in animals? (Poetry Foundation)
  • Georgia #1 in school shootings? (patch)
  • On the next chair of the Georgia Democratic Party (SaportaReport)


  1. drjay says:

    one of the things that really hurt seaworld was that it’s parent company went public right before the whole blackfish deal occurred…had they been a privately held company i think it would have been easier to weather the storm…

  2. saltycracker says:

    Suspect an inflation adjusted comparison of Kia wages and benefits with the Atlanta Ford and GM plants might be an eye opener of a past business model unsustainable in the global economy of today.

    Then compare public worker wages and benefits (Including obligations) of similar years and we might see another zombie business model that keeps on growing by the ability to tax and borrow.

  3. eburke says:

    Troup County (where Kia is located) is in yellow along with neighboring Harris & Meriwether Counties. The areas on the map with dark blue are Chattahoochee and Stewart Counties in the West and Burke County in the East.

  4. John Konop says:

    It looks like Ted Cruz may be a big ally for the democrats in 16. I would guess Bill and Hillary are hopping Ted is front center in 16, hurting the GOP chances…..

    Ted Cruz just did a huge favor for Democrats

    ……..The Saturday session was forced late Friday night by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, who are upset over the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration. They refused to allow Congress to go into recess without a vote on the constitutionality of Obama’s actions.
    The Senate voted down Cruz and Lee’s motion on immigration — with several Republicans joining Democrats — before it passed the CRomnibus.

    Because of the extra time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to move closer to votes on 24 Obama administration nominees — including nominees for Surgeon General, the head of the country’s chief immigration enforcement agency, and twelve federal judgeships — who Republican senators have been blocking…..

    • Harry says:

      Harry Reed was going to bring those nominees to cloture no matter what Cruz did or didn’t. Reed had already promised as much. The MSM has lied once more, imagine that.

      • John Konop says:


        It seems clear it is creating a divide in the GOP….. It is really race between both parties how big the divide becomes….Dems have the Warren revolt….

        …..GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, a conservative who faces a potentially tough reelection in the swing state of Pennsylvania in 2016, was one of the 20 Republicans who voted against Cruz’s tactics, saying he would have preferred to have a stand-alone measure targeting the president’s decision to defer deportations to millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

        “The point-of-order said that the segment of that [spending] bill was unconstitutional,” Toomey, who also voted for the spending bill, said Monday. “I don’t think the legislation was unconstitutional.”……….

        ……“It’s no secret that none of us were happy about the tactics that he chose without at least having the courtesy to let us know that was what he planned to do,” said Coats, a Republican from Indiana running for reelection in 2016 who voted against Cruz and had to abruptly change weekend plans because of the conservatives’ moves. “We had met as a caucus, we had an agreement, we had an exit strategy to limit the number of nominations. And every member has the right to do what he did, but it would have been nice to know about it.”

        Others who voted against the Cruz plan almost dared conservative groups to field a primary foe.

        “I don’t have a primary,” said Kirk, a moderate Republican. “And from the poll data I’ve looked at, a primary opponent would be extraordinarily foolish to come against me.”……….

        Read more:

    • Stefan says:

      Ted Cruz’s rhetoric and appeal is that he speaks truth to power. That becomes more difficult to do once his party gains power, so he has to carve out points of opposition to the new Senate leaders. It is anti-governing and opportunistic, but that’s his shtick.

      • John Konop says:

        The problem with Cruz is lack of focus on real issues….He was right about the last budget deal and derivatives being guaranteed by tax payers… can see even on this blog from both sides. the drowning out of his message, because he has pulled so many false alarms….He is like the kid in the book who cried wolf….We need a good balanced voice watching out for tax payers…not a circus clown…

        • Harry says:

          Can you also not agree the media cried wolf on Sen. Cruz being the cause of Harry Reid bringing those Obama nominees to cloture? Because that’s simply a media false narrative, aka a lie..

            • Harry says:

              Of course, the GOP is in primary mode but that doesn’t make it true. Cruz is hardly a clown or lightweight, having graduated cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He’s a leading contender for the nomination, representing the middle class in opposition to the elites who currently have the upper hand in this country. This same story has happened many times in English and American history.

              • TheEiger says:

                Barack Obama graduated from some of those fancy schools too. Not a winning argument. I think I would like him better if he went to SMU, Texas, Baylor, A&M. That’s what normal middle class Texans do right. Isn’t that what people said about Bush?

                • Harry says:

                  So we can put down as not a fan of Cruz?

                  The way I see it, in order to effectively understand the Elites you have to go into the belly of the beast i.e. Harvard. As far as Ted Cruz’ bona fides, I’m not worried about it. He’s the son of Cuban immigrants and a Baptist.

                  • TheEiger says:

                    I think Ted Cruz does what he does well. He talks. He vilifies. He keeps members of the republican party honest. He has a great place in the Senate.

                    I don’t think he can govern and I don’t think he would be a good President. But he is great at reading Greens Eggs and Ham in a fake filibuster and he’s great at helping get Obama’s nominees approved.

                    • Harry says:

                      OK, we got you down as not ready for President Cruz. He talks too much and vilifies. Wait, the Democrats elected Obama.

                    • TheEiger says:

                      “He talks too much and vilifies. Wait, the Democrats elected Obama.”

                      And that has worked out so well for us….

                    • TheEiger says:

                      I’m eager to see what Rand Paul does. He’s better than Ted Cruz and I thin he has the potential to actually be a leader. That’s the problem with electing a Obama or a Cruz. Neither a re leaders. They are talking heads that do nothing but talk.

                      I’m also eager to see what people that have actually accomplished things do. John Kasich and Scott Walker both have good conservative accomplishments as governors. Mike Pence would be better because he has actually lead before. Ted Cruz needs to stay in the Senate and hold one of these guys accountable, but Cruz should not run because not a leader.

                      Ted Cruz is the Republican party’s Barack Obama.

                    • Harry says:

                      Those you mention are also good possibilities. I think we can agree that certain other names currently being vetted would not be acceptable to conservatives.

  5. Will Durant says:

    Recommended light reading for the holidays that connect with a couple of Stefan’s links:

    Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Barton Gellman (3-time Pulitzer winning author, probably the definitive unauthorized story of the vice president who selected himself for the office.)

    Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker (White House correspondent for both the WP and NYT. Dismisses the Cheney as puppet master motif but demonstrates his diminishing influence from the most powerful Vice President in history to almost total marginalization by the end of the 2nd term.)

    The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer (Perhaps not as “fair and balanced” as the other two but much of its material is more difficult to cite and footnote.)

  6. Dave Bearse says:

    The large swaths of blue in the great plains and near west give the illusion of some balance, that the decrease in wages hasn’t been bad overall, until one considers for example, that Wyoming or each of the Dakotas have less people than DeKalb County.

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