Not so fast. “Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has warned fellow Republicans they will be held accountable if they vote to end an ongoing Senate filibuster over the nomination of embattled secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel. ‘Make no mistake; a vote for cloture is a vote to confirm Sen. Hagel as Secretary of Defense,’ Inhofe wrote in a strongly worded letter to his Republican colleagues, several of whom have indicated in recent days that they would vote to end debate on Hagel’s nomination, paving the way for his confirmation.” Gosh, I remember back when Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was that concerned about Iran, Israel, etc.
In a flash, we’ll be back to the law of the jungle? Hogwash. “Even if sequestration goes through, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that spending will continue to go up over the next ten years, from $3.538 trillion in FY 2012 to $5.939 trillion in FY 2023. Even given inflation and population growth, it’s hard to see these projections as reflective of devastating spending cuts. Also, in FY 2023 we will be back to running a $1 trillion deficit. And that’s before our real fiscal troubles start.”
The economic sanctions are in place, but Iran is speeding ahead with its nuclear weapons program. “So sanctions are hurting Iran’s economy, and are hurting many Iranians — though the richest can take care of themselves, and the poorest are protected by the government. But there is no crisis, and it seems to be wishful thinking that the ayatollahs will abandon their nuclear program because the economic pain, and the political risk it is producing, are too great. That could happen if sanctions — especially sanctions that reduce Iran’s oil exports a good deal more and interfere with its ability to import refined products — are strengthened. But that does not seem to be in the cards.”
And lickety-split, the Dems want more tax increases. “House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called for an income tax increase on the 99 percent of Americans whose rates did not go up under the fiscal cliff deal, a hike that he proposed alongside entitlement reforms as part of a ‘balanced’ plan to resolve the country’s fiscal crisis.”
Jack Lew’s confirmation isn’t going to be swift, either. “Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wants to hold up the nomination of Jack Lew to be Treasury secretary until the nominee expands on several ‘unsatisfactory’ answers. In a statement, the Senate Finance Committee member said he was frustrated by Lew saying he could not recall details pertinent to Grassley’s questions surrounding his time as an executive in the private sector in between the Clinton and Obama administrations.”
Quick: Politico or the Onion? “NBC News and MSNBC’s new contributors — and former advisers to President Barack Obama — Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod both say they’re not going to be acting as partisan cheerleaders while serving as political analysts.” Hysterical.
And presto, the pretense of journalistic credibility goes poof! Steve Brill accuses New Republic of hiring Anita Dunn to nab a puff-piece interview with President Obama.