‘Fiscal cliff’ and the Republican counterproposal; Susan Rice, race and more

December 4, 2012

Boehner, House GOP leaders offer ‘fiscal cliff’ counterproposal: “House GOP leaders endorsed a debt-reduction plan Monday that would raise tax collections by $800 billion over the next decade, but they refused to budge on higher tax rates for the wealthy, the central issue dividing Republicans and Democrats. In making a counteroffer to President Obama, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other senior Republicans suggested that a framework laid out by Democrat Erskine Bowles last year could serve as a starting point for talks aimed at averting the year-end ‘fiscal cliff.‘” (Washington Post)


To win the fiscal cliff battle, Republicans should follow the Constitution: “In the current negotiations over the budget cliff, Speaker Boehner is trying to cut a deal with the White House. This has – foreseeably – turned into political posturing from the Democratic side. I propose a quick – but not necessarily simple – strategy for moving forward. The Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, Para 2, states that laws are made in Congress, and then signed (or vetoed) by the president. It also requires that all bills affecting taxes must first be passed in the House. When there are differences between the House and the Senate, a conference committee is supposed to iron out the differences, and a common bill passed, before being sent to the president,” writes Carl Dahlman. (AEI)

Geithner’s fuzzy math on entitlement ‘spending cuts.’ (Washington Post)

Victor Davis Hanson on Susan Rice and Race: “There is sexism and racism in l’affaire Rice — but sadly it is all originating from the Obama administration and its supporters. First, having a woman or a minority as secretary of state has been accepted as the new normal for over a decade. Indeed, we have not seen a white male in the office since Warren Christopher stepped down in January 1997. Over that period, Bush’s first secretary of state, Colin Powell, was ridiculed by liberal critics for his misleading testimony about weapons of mass destruction on the eve of the Iraq War; I don’t recall him alleging racism. Vocal liberal senators tore into Powell’s successor, Condoleezza Rice, during her confirmation hearings; throughout her tenure, she was subjected to venomous criticism over her role in the Iraq War. Was Senator Barbara Boxer, who mercilessly grilled her, a racist? A disinterested observer over the last decade would conclude that the chief critics of black and female secretaries of state have been liberal Democrats — with no countervailing criticism of them from the Black Caucus, the Washington Post, or the Democratic party. Note in that regard that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left the Bush administration under vicious liberal criticism — although not quite as harsh as the vitriol directed at Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Again, their critics were not tarred with allegations of racism or anti-Latino bias.” (National Review)

Room for Debate asks: As the president considers a replacement for Gen. David Petraeus at the Central Intelligence Agency, is it time to consider not just a new leader for the agency but a new direction? Since 9/11 the C.I.A. has taken a more active paramilitary role with little public discussion. And it has continued to be embarrassed by intelligence shortcomings, like its failure to recognize the strength of the Arab Spring. Should changes be made in the way the agency is run and the way intelligence is gathered and used? (New York Times)

Politico’s Arena asks: Hollywood actress Ashley Judd is reportedly exploring a Senate run against Republican leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, sources tell POLITICO. Judd has spoken with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and a Democratic pollster. She has also started conducting opposition research on herself. If Judd were to become a candidate, she’d be the biggest celebrity to run since Sen. Al Franken – adding serious star power to a race already expected to be high-profile. Does a celebrity like Judd have a serious shot against McConnell?  What are pros and cons to having celebrities in office? Brookings’ Darrell West responds

Cato’s Gene Healy: Obama: I am the law. (Washington Examiner)

Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky: Crooked Justice. (National Review)

Police can record video inside your home without a warrant, appeals court says (ThinkProgress)

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Allen McDuffee | December 4, 2012