TheDC Morning

TheDC Morning: Can the White House be serious?

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) Can the White House be serious? — President Obama has put together something of an offer to avert the fiscal cliff, TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:

“President Barack Obama has dramatically upped his demands in the fiscal crisis negotiations: He wants Congress to levy twice as much in extra taxes from Americans as he urged during the election campaign, give up its control over the nation’s debt limit, and fund an immediate $50 billion stimulus for his political priorities. In exchange, Obama offered to consider — but not necessarily accept — GOP proposals for cutting $400 billion from Medicare and other programs strongly favored by off-year voters. That listening session would take place sometime in 2013, giving the president plenty of time to wrap the unpopular demand around the necks of the GOP legislators before the 2014 midterm elections.”

The media like to act as if only the GOP would give in on raising taxes, our debt problem could be solved. This is poppycock, to put it politely. Medicare is far and way the biggest driver of our long-term debt problem. The GOP has addressed it in Paul Ryan’s budget. The Democrats haven’t. In no way can the president’s recent proposal — if it can be called that — be construed as serious. It is cowardly. He puts forth the politically popular but substantively insignificant — TAX THE RICH GUYS!!! — and almost completely avoids the politically unpopular but vitally necessary, tackling Medicare. And where he does ever so slightly broach Medicare, he tries to thrust the political bomb to the GOP. Pathetic.

2.) The White House’s press corps — Despite the absurdity of President Obama’s fiscal cliff offer, the White House’s press corps was there to flak for him, TheDC’s Paul Conner reports:

“Washington political reporters on Thursday tweeted defenses of the White House’s opening proposal in the fiscal cliff negotiations with House Republicans. … As conservative observers followed Republican lawmakers in dismissing the proposal, which was delivered to Capitol Hill by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner earlier in the day, political reporters and editors sprang to the White House’s defense.”

Great job, fellas. The president will surely give you a cookie and a pat on the head at this year’s White House Christmas party.

3.) Think you can fly? Give it a try — TheDC’s Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel opine that given the options, the GOP should just run off the cliff:

“Everyone in Washington fears the fiscal cliff. The White House has no interest in going over. Democrats understand they’ll never have more power than they do now. Delaying a budget deal until after January means getting less of what they want. Republican leaders, meanwhile, live in fear of another 1995 government shutdown. When two sides fail to reach a deal, the media blame Republicans. That’s the lesson Republicans learned 17 years ago. They shudder imagining the headlines if negotiations were to break down next month: ‘Norquist-controlled GOP forces America off cliff.’ Nothing terrifies them more than that. They’ll do anything to avoid it, as Obama knows well. (Hence his advantage.) The business community fears the cliff too. Federal contractors stand to lose millions if budget cuts take effect. And nobody wants to see unemployment rise or the economy fall back into recession, both of which would likely happen if Republicans and Democrats can’t make a deal. So there’s a lot to worry about with the fiscal cliff. Congress should leap off anyway. At a full run. Face first. Yes, it’s a scary prospect. But not as scary as the alternatives.”

4.) Will S.E. Cupp pull a Buckley? — Could the next New York City mayor be conservative commentator S.E. Cupp (assuming you can pry Michael Bloomberg from his desk when his term ends)? TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports

“S.E. Cupp, the lone conservative voice on MSNBC’s afternoon show ‘The Cycle,’ is being urged to run for mayor of New York City as a Republican, The Daily Caller has learned. But Cupp tells TheDC that despite the urging from political operatives, she’s not interested in leaving her TV gig for Gracie Mansion. ‘While I’m flattered by the interest, it is not something I’m considering at this time,’ Cupp said Thursday in an email. ‘I have my hands full with print and broadcast commentary, and five or six jobs that I love.'”

If Cupp changes her mind and runs, she wouldn’t be the first conservative pundit to run for the office. The late, great conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr. made a run for New York mayor in 1965 on the Conservative Party ticket in order to inject conservative ideas into a race that pitted a liberal Democrat against a liberal who called himself a Republican. When asked by a reporter what he would do if he won, Buckley famously quipped: “Demand a recount.”

5.) Tweet of Yesterday — Jeffrey Goldberg: The emissary of genocidal Sudan, whose leader is a wanted war criminal, introduced the Abbas resolution. What’s not to love about the UN?

6.) Today in North Korean News –BREAKING: “Open-air Ice Rink in Pyongyang Crowded with Visitors”

VIDEO: Charles Krauthammer says GOP should “simply walk away” from Obama’s fiscal cliff proposal 

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Jamie Weinstein