First Lady Michelle Obama reads a Christmas story as her dog Bo sits on her lap and 5-year-old AJ Murray (L), and 5-year-old Jordyn Akyoko sit nearby at Children’s National Medical Center on December 14
10:10: The President and Vice President meet with governors at the White House
1:0: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
The President will participate on Tuesday in his first television interview since the election. Bloomberg’s White House correspondent Julianna Goldman will do the questioning. According to a preview, they will discuss the fiscal cliff and his priorities and agenda for his second term. The interview will air at 12:30 p.m. EST on Bloomberg TV. (See here)
Paul Krugman: It goes without saying that the Republican “counteroffer” is basically fake. It calls for $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes, but doesn’t specify a single loophole to be closed; it calls for huge spending cuts, but aside from raising the Medicare age and cutting the Social Security inflation adjustment – moves worth only around $300 billion – it doesn’t specify how these cuts are to be achieved. So it’s basically the Paul Ryan method: scribble down some numbers and pretend that you’re a budget wonk with a Serious plan.
….. for all the seniors or near-seniors who voted Republican because you thought they would protect Medicare from that bad guy Obama: you’ve been had.
NYT Editorial: ….. under pressure from the White House, Republicans finally released their opening position in the negotiations – a remarkably shallow one that demonstrated a lack of seriousness in negotiations, or farsightedness in policy.
…. The only way to produce the necessary revenue is to combine some limits on deductions with an end to the Bush tax cuts on the rich, and Mr. Obama, fortunately, has been adamant he will not consider any plan that does not do so. The Boehner letter, by contrast, actually advocates lowering rates, suggesting that Republicans are still clinging to the notion, rejected by voters, that was put forward by Mitt Romney.
….. Monday’s offer may simply be intended to show the most conservative Republicans that their leaders fought before the compromises to come. For everyone else, they show a party unwilling to approach the bargaining with responsibility.
Eugene Robinson: How dare he? President Obama, I mean: How dare he do what he promised during the campaign? How dare he insist on a “balanced approach” to fiscal policy that includes a teensy-weensy tax increase for the rich? Oh, the humanity.
…. “Right now, I would say we’re nowhere, period,” said Boehner. “We’re nowhere.”
Not true. It’s just that we’re somewhere Republicans would prefer not to be. We’re just past an election in which Obama won a second term and Democrats gained seats in both houses of Congress. And we’re nearing a “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and budget cuts that horrify Republicans more than Democrats.
… There is no guarantee that Obama will get everything he wants out of this showdown. But I’d rather be playing the president’s hand than Boehner’s.
2:55: President Obama hosts a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria
4:0: Delivers remarks to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction symposium
Paul Krugman: In the ongoing battle of the budget, President Obama has done something very cruel. Declaring that this time he won’t negotiate with himself, he has refused to lay out a proposal reflecting what he thinks Republicans want. Instead, he has demanded that Republicans themselves say, explicitly, what they want. And guess what: They can’t or won’t do it.
No, really …. And there’s a reason for this reticence. The fact is that Republican posturing on the deficit has always been a con game, a play on the innumeracy of voters and reporters. Now Mr. Obama has demanded that the G.O.P. put up or shut up — and the response is an aggrieved mumble.
Steve Benen: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared on several Sunday shows yesterday, and for the first time, made explicitly clear that higher rates on income above $250,000 is a precondition to any fiscal agreement.
…. this, in a nutshell, is why talks aren’t going anywhere. The White House has a plan on the table, which includes $1.6 trillion in new revenue, relying largely on higher rates on income above $250,000. Congressional Republicans, by their own admission, have no plan….
For those who take arithmetic seriously, the GOP approach borders on laughable….
CNN: Mitt Romney supporter Kid Rock said on Sunday that he told President Obama there are “no hard feelings” over his re-election victory. In an interview with CNN, the rock singer said he spoke with the President on Sunday at the Kennedy Center Honors event. (Video at link)
No hard feelings? Aw, that’s nice of him.
Loved what the President said to him when they met: “I’m still here.”
Kathleen Geier (Washington Monthly): One of the more surprising voting trends in American politics over the past two decades is the dramatic shift of Asian Americans toward the Democratic Party. Only 31% of the Asian American electorate voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, but 73% supported Barack Obama in 2012. What accounts for this change? Working with data from the National Asian American Survey, two political scientists have some answers.
The professors reject a variety of explanations that have recently been offered. No, it’s apparently not because, as David Brooks proposed, Asian American voters are less individualistic or less antagonistic toward government than are other Americans …. Rather, there are are cluster of “push and pull” factors …. Some of the pull factors: Asian Americans like President Obama’s policies on health care, education, and the Iraq War…..
As for the “push factors”: well, the Republican’s anti-immigrant bias and its alliance with the Christian right are not doing them any favors so far as Asian Americans are concerned….
Business Insider: One month before Election Day, David Paleologos threw himself into the poll-heavy discussion of the 2012 campaign with a bold prediction.
Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said that he would no longer poll three key swing states — North Carolina, Virginia and Florida — because he was certain Republican Mitt Romney would win them.
That prediction, obviously, turned out to be horribly wrong. Romney won North Carolina, but Romney lost Virginia by nearly 4 points — and one of the biggest surprises of the election came when President Barack Obama won Florida.
…. Paleologos said that Suffolk would re-evaluate its likely voter screen ….
ABC: When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the Constitution won’t wait …. The iron beams are in place jutting out over Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House.They will become the roof of the presidential reviewing stand for the second Obama inaugural next month.
But the traditional parade with its bands and floats will not march on January 20th, the day the Constitution requires the President to be sworn in. That falls on a Sunday this time so by tradition there will only be a small Sunday ceremony for the oath-taking at noon.
…. President Obama will also have to take the oath twice: At noon Jan. 20 as the Constitution requires, and again Monday at the US Capitol with the whole world watching.