Obama makes fresh demands on ‘fiscal cliff:’ “President Obama offered Republicans a detailed plan Thursday for averting the year-end “fiscal cliff” that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in fresh spending on the economy and an effective end to congressional control over the size of the national debt. The proposal, delivered to the Capitol by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, mirrors previous White House deficit-reduction plans and satisfies Democrats’ demands that negotiations begin on terms dictated by the newly-reelected president. The offer lacks any concessions to Republicans, most notably on the core issue of where to set tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. After two weeks of talks between the White House and aides to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), it seemed to take Republicans by surprise.” (Washington Post)
“Republican aides are circulating their summary of the White House’s opening bid on the fiscal cliff. They’re circulating it because they believe it fleshes out Speaker John Boehner’s complaint that “the White House has to get serious.” Above all, they’re circulating it because the president isn’t offering them anything in his opening bid.” (Washington Post)
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Obama gets grass-roots help from progressive groups on fiscal battle. (Washington Post)
“Why are Republicans playing the Democrats’ game that the “fiscal cliff” is all about taxation? House Speaker John Boehner already made the preemptive concession of agreeing to raise revenue. But the insistence on doing so by eliminating deductions without raising marginal rates is now the subject of fierce Republican infighting. (Washington Post)
AEI’s Jonah Goldberg: Brain-Lock inside the beltway. (National Review)
Who should pay Sandy’s bill? “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York headed to D.C. on Wednesday to make his case for the $42 billion in Superstorm Sandy aid that the state and city want from the federal government. He asserted that “hurricane recovery is not a partisan issue.” But it is a public policy issue. Congressfolk from both parties should think before they write checks,” writes Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas. (Washington Examiner)
Steve King: Democrats will win over Hispanics by giving them ‘a great big check.’ (ThinkProgress)
Peterson’s Robert Zoellick: How the U.S. can deepen ties in the Americas. (Washington Post)
Politico’s Arena asks: Since the election, a number of Republicans have moved to support the idea of immigration reform. But that movement is hitting an early snag: the GOP can’t begin to agree on how to formulate legislation, making a deal seem unlikely to occur. Do you think Republicans are really willing to change their position on immigration reform? Or is this movement just a knee-jerk reaction to an election loss?
Room for Debate asks: “Few countries in the world have been as disastrously ruled as Congo,” wrote The Times’ Jeffrey Gettleman about the recent rebel takeover of Goma, Congo’s second largest city. Despite a rebel pledge to retreat, the potential for chaos looms. What is the secret to stabilizing this resource-rich, yet violence-plagued country? (New York Times)