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1.) The never ending (fiscal cliff) story – Washington’s fiscal cliff saga continues, reports TheDC Alexis Levinson:
“President Barack Obama offered Speaker of the House John Boehner a fiscal cliff deal on Monday that lowered the amount of new revenue he was asking for, and increased the threshold at which the Bush tax cuts would expire. The offer was made when the two met this morning, according to a Boehner aide. The new deal, the New York Times reported, asks for $1.2 trillion in new revenue over the next decade, down from $1.6 trillion originally. The deal calls for the Bush tax cuts to expire for people making over $400,000 a year; originally, Obama had said that he wanted to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year.Obama asked for the debt ceiling to be raised to a level where it would not be an issue for the next two years. He had originally asked that the president be given power to raise the debt ceiling as necessary.”
“I wonder what Boehner will say,” said nobody ever. This deal will be rejected and America will continue to rapidly edge closer to the cliff. Will we go over? If you say you know, you don’t know. If you say you don’t know, you’d be right.
2.) Rice’s revenge – Are Susan Rice’s friends lashing out at John Kerry? TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein reports:
“The husband of one of Susan Rice’s top deputies at the United Nations intimated on Twitter on Saturday that he would prefer someone other than John Kerry be appointed the next secretary of state, now that Rice is out of the running. … [Bruce] Jones also suggested that he would prefer someone other than Kerry at State in response to a tweet by Brookings Institution colleague Tom Wright, who said Rice would not be able to become the next national security adviser for Obama as long as Tom Donilon was in that role, and that Donilon was unlikely to leave unless he was nominated for secretary of state or CIA director. ‘rice at NSC, Donillon at State a strong move. Also, McCain and co just got a scalp; why reward them with Kerry’s seat?,’ Jones tweeted in response.”
Jones told TheDC that he was merely opining on the politics of the situation, not on Kerry’s qualifications for the post.
3.) Meet Sen. Scott – South Carolina’s got new senator. On Monday, Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Republican Rep. Tim Scott to replace departing Sen. Jim DeMint in the august chamber. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:
“With Haley’s announcement, Scott, a congressman from Charleston since 2011, becomes the first black Republican in the body in more than thirty years and the only African-American to serve in the Senate today. But Haley – an Indian-American and the state’s first female governor – emphasized that she didn’t choose Scott solely because of the historical nature of his appointment. ‘Congressman Scott earned this seat,’ Haley said, explaining during a noon press conference that ‘it’s very important to me as a minority female’ to make that clear.”
TheDC’s Matt Lewis also opines on the importance of Scott’s symbolism.
4.) Aloha, senator. RIP — Democratic Hawai Sen. Daniel Inouye passed away Monday at 88. TheDC’s Patrick Howley reports:
“Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued a statement on Inouye’s passing late Monday. ‘I am saddened by the news this evening of Senator Inouye’s passing. He was one of the last World War II veterans in Congress, and a leading veteran advocate for more than 50 years,’ Miller said. ‘His selfless service to our nation dates back well before his time on Capitol Hill, where in hard battle on the fields of Italy in 1945 his actions resulted in being bestowed the Medal of Honor. With his passing, we remember the bravery and dedication of the Greatest Generation, and with each day that sets, we mourn all who battled through this life to find reward in the next.’”
And what a soldier Inouye was. Here’s some background on this hero. Prepare to be awed: “Back in Italy, the 442nd was assaulting a heavily defended hill in the closing months of the war when Lieutenant Inouye was hit in his abdomen by a bullet which came out his back, barely missing his spine. He continued to lead the platoon and advanced alone against a machine gun nest which had his men pinned down. He tossed two hand grenades with devastating effect before his right arm was shattered by a German rifle grenade at close range. Inouye threw his last grenade with his left hand, attacked with a submachine gun and was finally knocked down the hill by a bullet in the leg.”
6.) Today in North Korean News – BREAKING: “Mexican Friend Association for Memory of Kim Il Sun and Kim Jong Il Inaugurated”