Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ll refrain from linking to the numerous pieces today that give advice on how to win a Thanksgiving dinner political argument with those family members you can’t believe share your same heritage.

Instead, my advice is this: don’t fight. Enjoy America’s best holiday!

And don’t forget the pie!

An Inside Look at Hillary Clinton’s Speaking Career

Using public documents, the Washington Post got “a rare glimpse into the complex and meticulous backstage efforts” to manage Hillary Clinton’s lucrative speaking career.

The special discounted “university rate” for a talk at the University of California at Los Angeles: $300,000.

“It is commonplace for celebrity speakers to request special accommodations — and Clinton was no exception. Her representatives asked for a case of still water, room temperature, to be deposited stage right. They also asked that ‘a carafe of warm/hot water, coffee cup and saucer, pitcher of room temperature water, water glass, and lemon wed­ges’ be situated both on a table on stage as well as in another room where Clinton would stand for photos with VIPs.”

Obama Builds Environmental Legacy Without New Laws

“President Obama could leave office with the most aggressive, far-reaching environmental legacy of any occupant of the White House. Yet it is very possible that not a single major environmental law will have passed during his two terms in Washington,” the New York Times reports.

“Instead, Mr. Obama has turned to the vast reach of the Clean Air Act of 1970, which some legal experts call the most powerful environmental law in the world. Faced with a Congress that has shut down his attempts to push through an environmental agenda, Mr. Obama is using the authority of the act passed at the birth of the environmental movement to issue a series of landmark regulations on air pollution, from soot to smog, to mercury and planet-warming carbon dioxide.”

GOP Mulls Not Inviting Obama to Give State of the Union

Congressional Republicans are weighing a variety of tactics to “address” their anger over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and are reportedly considering the idea of “refusing to invite the president to give his State of the Union address,” Politico reports.

As Steve Benen notes, Republicans considered but rejected the same idea in January 1999 after they had impeached President Clinton.

Perhaps Republicans could have Mitt Romney give the speech and pretend Barack Obama isn’t even president.

Ginsburg Hospitalized for Heart Problem

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent heart surgery Wednesday morning after experiencing discomfort during exercise, NBC News reports.

“Ginsburg, 81, had a stent placed in her right coronary artery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She was resting comfortably and was expected to be discharged within 48 hours, the court said.”

The Ginsburg health watch continues.

How the Iran Nuclear Deal Slipped Away

New York Times: “With a deadline approaching, Mr. Kerry thought the opportunity could be lost unless the Iranians finally offered a breakthrough compromise. But Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, came with little new. Frustrated, Mr. Kerry said there was no way the United States would accept a deal that did not curb Iran’s ability to produce enough fuel for a bomb within a year. The conversation grew heated. The two men, patricians in their own cultures and unaccustomed to shouting, found themselves in the kind of confrontation they had avoided during multiple negotiating sessions over the past year.”

Said one American official: “This was the first time there were raised voices and some unpleasant exchanges.”

Do Democrats Only Have a Message Problem?

Molly Ball: “There’s a predictable debate after every election, as the losing partisans cycle through rationalizations for why they lost. This time, it’s the Democrats, who were slaughtered at an unexpected scale on November 4 and now must reckon with what went wrong and how to move forward.”

“When Republicans went through this two years ago, they were heckled constantly—by both the media and many of their own — about the need to moderate their positions if they ever wanted to win another election. But Democrats today are convinced there’s nothing wrong with what they stand for — if anything, they just need to stand for it louder and more aggressively.”

Fiorina Sees Opening in GOP Presidential Field

“Sensing an opportunity in a crowded field that lacks a front-runner,” former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R) “is actively exploring a 2016 presidential run. Fiorina has been talking privately with potential donors, recruiting campaign staffers, courting grass-roots activists in early caucus and primary states and planning trips to Iowa and New Hampshire starting next week,” the Washington Post reports.

“Fiorina, whose rise from secretary to Silicon Valley corporate chief during the dot-com boom brought her national attention, has refashioned herself as a hard-charging partisan hoping to strike a sharp contrast with the sea of suited men seeking the GOP nomination.”

I’m not sure how losing a U.S. Senate race badly would convince Fiorina to think she should run for president.

Obama Upends GOP Political Strategy

Jonathan Chait: “The GOP has withheld cooperation from every major element of President Obama’s agenda, beginning with the stimulus, through health-care reform, financial regulation, the environment, long-term debt reduction, and so on. That stance has worked extremely well as a political strategy. Most people pay little attention to politics and tend to hold the president responsible for outcomes. If Republicans turn every issue into an intractable partisan scrum, people get frustrated with the status quo and take out their frustration on the president’s party. It’s a formula, but it works.”

“The formula only fails to work if the president happens to have an easy and legal way to act on the issue in question without Congress. Obama can’t do that on infrastructure, or the grand bargain, and he couldn’t do it on health care. But he could do it on immigration. So Republicans were stuck carrying out a strategy whose endgame would normally be ‘bill fails, public blames Obama’ that instead wound up ‘Obama acts unilaterally, claims credit, forces Republicans to take poisonous stance in opposition.’ They had grown so accustomed to holding all the legislative leverage, they couldn’t adapt to a circumstance where they had none.”

Obama to Unveil Sweeping Controls on Ozone Emissions

“The Obama administration is expected to release on Wednesday a contentious and long-delayed environmental regulation to curb emissions of ozone, a smog-causing pollutant linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death,” the New York Times reports.

“The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations, released under the authority of the Clean Air Act, have become a hallmark of President Obama’s administration.”

Wonk Wire: Some climate change impacts are unavoidable.

Obama doesn’t seem to realize he’s a lame duck.

President Obama, Then and Now

“I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.”

— President Obama, quoted by the Chicago Sun Times in 2011.

“There have been significant numbers of deportations. That’s true. But what you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took action to change the law.”

— Obama, quoted by the Washington Examiner, earlier this week.

Republican Voters Still Like Romney

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Republican voters nationwide prefer Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee again. Romney leads with 19%, followed by Jeb Bush at 11% and Chris Christie and Ben Carson at 8% each. No other Republican tops 6%.

With Romney out of the race, Jeb Bush leads with 14%, followed by Christie at 11%, Carson at 9% and Sen. Rand Paul at 8%.

This is just another indication of a wide open GOP presidential race.

Threat of White House Veto Stalls Tax Cut Talks

“Congressional negotiations to extend a slate of temporary tax breaks stalled Tuesday when the White House pushed back on a deal under discussion on Capitol Hill,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Lawmakers had neared an agreement to make permanent a handful of temporary tax breaks in a deal expected to add $450 billion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade, according to people familiar with the discussions. But the threat of a White House veto quickly halted its momentum.”

The veto pen is still a very powerful tool at the president’s disposal.