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November 21, 2012
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National Pulse 

Reader Polls 
  • Poll results: The challenges ahead for the Republican Party
    On Monday, we asked you what you thought was the one most important step the Republican Party could take to improve its chances in the next presidential election. Nearly a third of you recommended that the party adopt more moderate positions on social issues and immigration, two issues important to women and minorities. Below is the breakdown of results. We will have a new poll on Monday.
    Adopt more moderate positions on social issues and immigration  32.71%
    Nominate a candidate with broader appeal  15.38%
    Reach out to women and minorities  12.83%
    Emphasize the party's conservative values  12.42%
    Adopt more moderate positions on taxes and entitlements  11.75%
    Change party leadership  8.87%
    Stay the course; no change needed  3.29%
    None of the above  2.75%
Agenda Items 
  • Top Republicans consider White House bids
    At least 15 top Republicans are privately considering seeking their party's nomination for the 2016 presidential race, with some doing surprisingly little to disguise their ambitions. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are seen as front-runners, but the party has a deep bench that includes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and a number of other prominent lawmakers and governors. "One area that gives me great optimism is the caliber and quantity of potential 2016 candidates," says Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (11/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Data Points 
  • Surviving sequestration: U.S. military would still be No. 1
    Source: Face the Facts USA
    Sequestration would hit the Pentagon hard -- but not hard enough to knock the U.S. off its perch as the world's top military spender -- at least not yet. Those cuts kick in next January should Congress and the White House fail to agree on a plan to reduce the deficit. They would shave $52.3 billion from the Pentagon in 2013. That would drop the Defense Department budget to $643 billion, still dwarfing No. 2 spender China, with its military budget estimated at $120 billion. Face the Facts USA (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 
  • Politics is no joke
    In the Twitter era, every weird turn-of-phrase or slight slip-up on the campaign trail becomes the fodder for political memes, writes Alex Pareene. That's not necessarily a good thing: Constant streams of low-grade political humor numbs people to the issues that really matter. "If either 'Binders' or 'Big Bird' changed a single vote, I will shave David Axelrod's mustache," Pareene notes. The New Republic (free registration) (11/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday. Publication will resume Monday. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together."
--Daniel Webster, statesman and lawyer
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