3 Israelis killed in rocket strike from Gaza; intensive Israeli assault leaves 13 Palestinians dead: “Three Israelis were killed by a rocket fired from Gaza overnight, and Israeli shelling in Gaza continued unabated, as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi warned that the escalating violence could destabilize the entire region. Morsi, in a televised address to his nation, condemned Israeli’s assassination on Wednesday of the Hamas military chief, and the intense, ongoing offensive that Israel says is aimed at ending a barrage of rocket attacks in southern Israel in recent days.” (Washington Post)

Israel drops warning leaflets on Gaza. (Washington Post)

 Room for Debate asks: On Wednesday, Israel began its broadest attack against Gaza in years with a pinpoint airstrike that killed the military leader of Hamas. In Pakistan and Yemen, the United States has used drones to kill members of Al Qaeda. The legality and morality of such actions, and whether they constitute government-sponsored murder, have long been questioned. Are targeted killings by governments ever appropriate? (New York Times

Politico’s Arena asks: President Obama called on Sen. John McCain yesterday to stop blaming U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the administration’s handling of the Benghazi killings. “If Sen. McCain and Sen. [Lindsey] Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama said during his first news conference since Election Day, adding that Rice had “nothing to do with Benghazi.” Republicans are claiming that Rice, who is in the running to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, covered up major details of the attack that killed four Americans. Do Republicans have a point with their attacks on Rice? Or should their frustration be aimed elsewhere?

Victor Davis Hanson: “Apparently, like tragic Greek heroes, administrations grow arrogant after their reelection wins. They believe that they are invincible and that their public approval is permanent rather than fickle. The result is that Nemesis zeroes in on their fatal conceit and with a boom corrects their hubris. Or is the problem in some instances simply that embarrassments and scandals, hushed up in fear that they might cost an administration an election, explode with a fury in the second term?” (National Review)

AEI’s Michael Barone: Obama sacrifices House, state legislature. (National Review

Cato’s Michael Tanner: “The president promised a great deal of benefits from health-care reform: lower premiums, better care, universal coverage. He reassured Americans: If you had health insurance, and you liked it, you could keep it. The bill’s gross ten-year cost would be less than $1 trillion, and the legislation would actually reduce the deficit in the long run. The rich and some big businesses might have to pay a bit more in taxes, but the middle class would be better off. But as with so many other policies of this administration, the results never matched the rhetoric. The pretty promises turned out to be ‘just words.'” (National Review

Obama must kill the debt limit: “Amazingly, no one asked about how it would affect the coming fiscal talks at thepresident’s press conference Wednesday. But we’re slated to hit the debt ceiling early next year, meaning it will be a central part of the kabuki dance that begins Friday at the White House. So the only way President Obama really has leverage is if he decisively removes the debt ceiling as a source of power for the Republicans,” writes CAP’s Matt Miller. (Washington Post)

Brookings’ E.J. Dionne: The inconvenient truths of 2012. (Washington Post)