What we’re reading: Monday, December 10, 2012

Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks to firefighter cadets during a swearing in ceremony into the Newark Fire Department.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks to firefighter cadets during a swearing in ceremony into the Newark Fire Department.
Julio Cortez/AP

“Booker ‘absolutely’ considering a run against Gov. Christie” by Amanda Sakuma, msnbc

“During an appearance on CBS’sFace the Nation Sunday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the 43-year-old rising star of the Democratic Party, said he may challenge Christie in New Jersey’s 2014 gubernatorial race.”

“A ‘40% Chance’ of Cliff Deal Before Year End: Bowles” by Matthew J. Belvedere, CNBC

“Erskine Bowles, co-chair of President Barack Obama’s 2010 debt commission, said he expects there is a better chance that a deal will get done to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. ‘There’s a 40 percent chance of a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal before year end,’ Bowles, told CNBC on ‘Squawk Box’ on Monday. ‘The chances of getting it done are better and that’s what’s key.’ But he still thinks there’s a 35 percent chance of going over the cliff, which would trigger $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases. He said there’s a 25 percent chance of a deal being hashed out just after the new year.”

“Obama’s Historic Budget Opportunity” by Robert B. Zoellick, The Wall Street Journal

“Since the election, PresidentObama has focused the debate about the fiscal cliff on taxes. This tactical political positioning is putting at risk the strategic objective of a pro-growth budget package to reduce U.S. debt. Unless the president pushes to slow the growth of spending, he will fail to strike a deal, undermine U.S. growth prospects and ultimately erode America’s safety-net programs. The country’s global standing would falter, too, because the president would not have led in demonstrating America’s ‘governability.’”

“Susan Rice and Africa’s Despots” by Salem Solomon, The New York Times

“On Sept. 2, Ambassador Susan E. Rice delivered a eulogy for a man she called ‘a true friend to me.’ Before thousands of mourners and more than 20 African heads of state in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ms. Rice, the United States’ representative to the United Nations, lauded the country’s late prime minister, Meles Zenawi. She called him ‘brilliant’ — ‘a son of Ethiopia and a father to its rebirth.’

Few eulogies give a nuanced account of the decedent’s life, but the speech was part of a disturbing pattern for an official who could become President Obama’s next secretary of state. During her career, she has shown a surprising and unsettling sympathy for Africa’s despots.”

“How About a Bar Exam for Teachers?” by Randi Weingarten, The Wall Street Journal

“Every profession worth its salt goes through such periods of self-examination. That time has come for the teaching profession…Instead of the current hodgepodge approach to teacher certification and licensing, we propose that all prospective teachers in the United States take a rigorous bar exam that gauges mastery of subject-matter knowledge and demonstrates competency in how to teach it. The process could be modeled after the bar exam for lawyers or the board certification of medical doctors.”

What we're reading: Monday, December 10, 2012