Friday, December 21, 2012

News Nuggets 1135

DAYLEE PICTURE: A blemish fish from southern Thailand.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

Republicans Crush Boehner’s Plan B from Talking Points Memo
"Plan B was supposed to have been John Boehner’s masterstroke — and the only legislative tactic protecting him from an embarrassing defeat in fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama. But late Thursday, after a brief but contentious meeting with his conference, he announced he’d gambled and lost. ... So what happens now?"

Boehner Plan B: House Republicans Humiliate Their Leader (Jennifer Rubin) from the Washington Post
"In one vote (or nonvote), the all-or-nothing crowd handed the high ground back to the president, who can now rightly claim that House Republicans would rather raise everyone’s taxes than raise them on millionaires. ... This is a party acting like a minority party, or worse, like petulant teenagers. ... the fault lies with the spineless members who think they’ll escape blame if they don’t vote for any measure. That is folly, not to mention political cowardice. To govern is to choose, and they apparently can do neither."
This, from Rubin, a down-the-line, committed, transmit-the-GOP-talking-points columnist, says this (and more if you read the entire column), you know both Boehner and his party are in VERY DEEP sh@#!

Some further analysis: 
What's Next for Boehner? A Better Deal—or Civil War? (David Nir) from Daily Kos
"John Boehner, who custom-wrote this ridiculous Plan B, couldn't even get it past his own caucus. Republicans have given birth to a monster—and it's themselves."

As GOP Sinks Plan B, Obama Should Tune Out His Own Party’s Doubters (Robert Shrum) from the Daily Beast
"John Boehner had to scuttle his fiscal-cliff deal when he couldn’t win over the Republican hard-core. The speaker may bow to his own crazies, but the president shouldn’t."

Fiscal Cliff Vote Fails Due to Republican Theology on Taxes (Daniel Gross) from the Daily Beast
"There should be no surprise that Republicans are incapable of compromising on a fiscal cliff deal. When it comes to taxes, for the GOP it’s a matter of theology—not business."

Mr. Smith's Insane Cousins Go to Washington (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"As Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday, a word I re-used on television last night, they are vandals. They aren't legislators. They have nothing to contribute to the polity at all. ... Obama tried. The Republicans said clearly: sorry, we don't compromise. On anything."

Boehner Budget Failure Followed Pressure From Conservative Groups from the Huffington Post
"The failure leaves President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with little opposition in crafting a measure to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. When the House returns, its members will have few options -- either back the Senate bill or allow taxes to rise for the middle class."

A Role Reversal: Dems Grow More Unified While Cracks Form in the GOP (Ronald Brownstein) from the National Journal
"The endgame over the fiscal cliff, like the first stirrings of debate about gun control and immigration, all capture a subtle but potentially consequential shift in the Washington dynamic. On each front, Democrats are growing more unified while Republicans and conservatives are
displaying increasing cracks. That inverts the alignment through most of President Obama’s first term--and indeed most of the past quarter-century."

Behind the Scenes of a GOP Meltdown from Politico
"Things were so bad for Speaker John Boehner Thursday night, support for his Plan B tax bill so diminished, the limits of his power with his own party laid bare, that he stood in front of the House Republican Conference and recited the Serenity Prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Boehner nearly cried."

Obama Approval at 56%, Highest Since October 2009: Uptick coincides with aftermath of Newtown, Conn., school shootings from Gallup
"The timing of the increase in Obama's ratings could reflect a broad-based public reaction to the Newtown shootings, similar to the 'rally around the flag' effect often seen at the start of wars and other threats to national security, in which Americans rally behind their leader. It could also reflect the impact of the president's specific actions after the tragedy, including his attendance and speech at a Newtown prayer service Sunday night, and his appointment on Wednesday of a national task force to recommend steps that can be taken to reduce gun violence in the future."

Republican Party Too Extreme, Majority Of Americans Say: Poll from the Huffington Post
"For the first time, a majority of Americans now say the Republican Party is too extreme, according to a poll released Thursday by CNN/ORC.  Fifty-three percent of people, including 22 percent of Republicans, said the GOP's views and policies have pushed them beyond the mainstream."

Boehner Agonistes (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"If the vote on the so-called “Plan B”, which would extend the tax rates on everyone but those earning more than $1 million a year, fails — and even the most optimistic Republicans acknowledge that it’s going to be close — it will be a massive blow to Boehner’s strength as Speaker."

Will Boehner’s Speakership Survive Until Plan C? (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post
"Has there been a House speaker in modern American history with less control over his members than John Boehner? ... Tonight, Boehner lost that vote. In a dramatic turn of events on the House floor, he pulled the legislation."

Dan Burton On Tax Cuts: GOP Would Swallow Democratic Tax Plan After December (Ryan Grim) from the Huffington Post
"If a fiscal cliff deal isn't struck by the end of the year, President Barack Obama will be in such a strong bargaining position that Republicans will be forced to accept the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for income above $250,000, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), an arch conservative, predicted Thursday."

A Fight for Church of England’s Soul from the Washington Post
"The debate over female bishops forces the church to ask: Should religion enforce tradition in increasingly secular society or adapt?"

How Pete Souza Became President Obama’s Secret Weapon (Chris Cillizza) from the Washington Post
"You probably have never heard of Pete Souza. But, Souza, the White House official photographer, plays an absolutely critical — and often under-estimated — role in the shaping of “Barack Obama”, the image of the president presented to the public."

Nine generations of First Families open up about Christmas in the White House... and more than a few kids confess to nibbling the gingerbread display during their time from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"While the Obamas are firmly ensconced at the White House for another four years, many First Families have lived within the prestigious walls before them. For the first time, these former hostesses-in-chief and their children have come together to share their memories of Christmas at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in NBC's holiday special, 'A White House Christmas.'"

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