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1.) President Obama is the fiscal cliff’s Dikembe Mutombo — House Speaker John Boehner made a major concession on taxes that was swiftly rejected by the White House in the on-going fiscal cliff negotiations. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“President Barack Obama has quickly spurned House Speaker John Boehner’s latest compromise offer as the federal government continues its scheduled progress towards the so-called $600 billion fiscal-cliff in January. The rejection came Sunday, two days after Boehner had offered to raise tax rates for people earning more than a million dollars per year. News of Boehner’s compromise will likely spur protest by the GOP’s small-government wing.”
President Obama is the Dikembe Mutombo of the fiscal cliff negotiations — no matter the offer the Republicans lob up, he rejects it and almost certainly performs a Mutombo-like finger wag afterward.
“President Obama has decided to nominate Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state and could make a formal announcement as early as next week, a Democrat who spoke to Kerry told CNN Saturday. The expected nomination follows U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the post. She dropped out of the running Thursday after weeks of criticism from Republicans about statements she made about the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.”
The real question is how involved was Kerry in the sinking of Susan Rice? Whatever faults he might have, Kerry will certainly be able to soothe America’s friends and foes into a sound sleep through dull and sanctimonious speeches and lectures.
3.) A Moranic career — Jim Moran made news again last week when his son was arrested for allegedly beating up his girlfriend on the streets of Washington. This is only the latest chapter in Jim Moran’s soap opera-like political career:
“The day after Bill Clinton admitted to his affair with Monica Lewinsky on national television in 1998, Democratic Virginia Rep. Jim Moran lamented the baseness of the national scandal. ‘This whole sordid mess is just too tawdry and tedious and embarrassing,’ he said. ‘It’s like a novel that just became too full of juicy parts and bizarre, sleazy characters.’ The criticism was stinging, mainly because Moran is a world-renowned expert in sleaze. … Moran’s whole career has led from one embarrassment to another, from his numerous physical confrontations, to his bombastic accusations against individuals and even an ethnic group, to his history of sketchy financial dealings.”
Read the full rap sheet, err, story.
4.) Billionaire bandits — Several billionaires are urging President Obama to push for an even more progressive estate tax. It just so happens that the most prominent among them, Warren Buffett, stands to gain from the policy. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Betsi Fores reports:
“Critics say the wealthy signatories actually stand to benefit financially from the policy they advocate. ‘To Warren Buffett, a higher tax isn’t merely a political issue, it’s good business. Who do you think profits from higher insurance premiums purchased to defend against the death tax?’ said Jim Martin, chairman of the anti-death tax 60 Plus Association, in a statement. … Warren Buffett owns seven life insurance companies within his holdings of Berkshire Hathaway.”
5.) Comforting a grieving nation — President Obama spoke Sunday night from Newtown, Connecticut, where a massacre at a school Friday killed over two dozen people, mainly small children:
“He spoke for a nation in sorrow, but the slaughter of all those little boys and girls turned the commander in chief into another parent in grief, searching for answers. Alone on a spare stage after the worst day of his tenure, President Barack Obama declared Sunday he will use ‘whatever power’ he has to prevent shootings like the Connecticut school massacre. ‘What choice do we have?’ Obama said at an evening vigil in the shattered community of Newtown, Conn. ‘Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?'”
President Obama didn’t give any specifics Sunday night. It was neither the time nor the place to do so. But stay tuned. There will be proposals from him and his fellow Democrats in Congress in the coming days and weeks.
6.) Let’s help make a Christmas miracle — Here’s our chance to do some good this holiday season for a boy who may not be around for the next one. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein reports:
“Nine-year old Dalton Dingus is dying of Cystic Fibrosis. But the Kentucky-native has a dying wish: To break record for receiving the most Christmas cards. … ABCNews.com reports that doctors basically gave up on Dingus in October. … But Dalton has beaten the projections and what keeps him going these days, his mother says, is his quest to break the Christmas card record. ‘The cards give him something to look forward to. Something to get excited about,’ his 27-year-old mother said. ‘The prayers are working.’
To help Dalton smash the record, send a Christmas card to: Dalton Dingus HC 62 Box 1249 Salyersville, KY 41465.