Steve Benen: We’ve reached the point at which the looming fiscal deadlines are so close, we can count them in hours, not days….
….. And so, we’re waiting. The respective Senate leaders will try to reach a resolution with the intention of holding a vote [Sunday]. If they succeed in crafting a plan, and it passes, Boehner has agreed to bring it to the House floor – even if most of his caucus disapproves – probably on Monday, the last possible day to act.
This is a machine with plenty of moving parts, but looking ahead, there are two main questions to keep an eye on: (1) what might the Senate plan look like? and (2) what would happen if a Senate plan doesn’t come together?
NYT: Never much known for restraint, Joseph R. Biden Jr. did not hold back during a presidential primary debate in 2007 when a voter asking about gun rights in a recorded video displayed a fearsome-looking semiautomatic rifle and declared, “This is my baby.”
Mr. Biden shook his head. “I tell you what, if that’s his baby, he needs help,” he said. “I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don’t know if he’s mentally qualified to own that gun.”
….. Five years later, that same type of weapon, a Bushmaster AR-15, is at the heart of a renewed national conversation about gun laws because it was used this month by the mass killer in Newtown, Conn….
Sun Times: President Barack Obama is urging the Illinois General Assembly to legalize gay marriage in his home state as lawmakers are poised to take up the measure as early as this week in Springfield.
“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.
“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.
Michael Tomasky: The Republicans’ Moment of Truth ….. Will McConnell and Boehner allow votes on any last-minute deal? A more emphatic way of phrasing it is, will they finally put the country ahead of their party for a change, and ahead of their party’s unaltered view that any posture toward Obama other than belligerence equals capitulation to an enemy? …. We’re going to learn a lot about the post-election Republican Party this weekend.
….. The only thing the Republicans are ready to play, as usual, is roulette, with the cocked gun against the country’s temple, unfortunately, and not their own …. Never have the priorities for survival and success of a major party’s Washington politicians been so utterly at odds with the priorities required for the country’s survival and success. These Washington Republicans represent the one-third of the country that hates government, despises Obama, and considers obstruction victory.
The rational two-thirds wants compromise, good-faith bargaining, higher taxes on the wealthy, a reasonably strong safety net, and lower defense spending. But the obstructionist one-third wants the opposite. McConnell and Boehner aren’t ideologically committed to that one-third in the way that Jim DeMint and Paul Ryan are, but so far, they have never once stood up to it for the country’s sake. We’ll find out this weekend who they really are.
NBC: This Sunday, David Gregory sits down exclusively with President Barack Obama. This will be Mr. Obama’s 11th appearance on Meet the Press, his second time as the commander in chief …. His most recent appearance was on Sept. 20, 2009 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office, Dec. 28 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) speaks to a gathering outside the US Capitol to protest inaction by Congress to pass legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, December 28
NYT: Republicans haven’t made it easy for the Northeast to get the $60.4 billion in aid it needs to recover from Hurricane Sandy. They have objected to the amount and tried to slash it. They have demanded that $3.4 billion of the aid for flood control be offset by spending cuts in other programs. And in the Senate, as on virtually all bills, they filibustered the aid package proposed by President Obama.
That filibuster was broken last week, allowing the Senate to pass the bill late on Friday. But it is not clear whether the House will even take up the bill in the remaining days of the session. If it does not, that will push desperately needed aid off until the next session of Congress, wasting weeks of time preparing and voting on a fresh bill…..
Business Insider: The Obama campaign’s digital operations proved to be a crucial point of success that led to the re-election of President Barack Obama in November.
Based on a sophisticated effort and larger emphasis on digital and new media, the Obama campaign engaged supporters and raised an unprecedented amount of money through its digital efforts.
How did the Obama campaign become so effective in the digital realm? Engage, an interactive digital political agency in Washington, D.C., recently published a report entitled “Inside the Cave.” It features a 93-page, step-by-step in-depth look at the secrets to the Obama digital team’s success.
We’ve collected 15 of the report’s key topics and published them here.
In case you were worried President Obama is home alone – na, Bo’s with him ;-) (NYT)
President Barack Obama will meet with the four congressional leaders on Friday as Congress on Thursday was poised to miss the Dec. 31 fiscal cliff deadline.
The White House meeting is with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio); House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Check the 0:34 mark – the first President, surely, to sing along to a Led Zeppelin tune? :cool:
Hiya everyone, the blog should be back to normal – crikey, whatever that is :???: – by tomorrow evening, I’ve been away from home all week so, as you might have spotted, the updates haven’t been too regular at all, at all, at all.