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Senate Democrats Slam Obama-GOP Tax Cut Framework

“It’s been less than 24 hours since President Obama announced he’d reached agreement with Senate Republicans to temporarily extend all the Bush tax cuts, but already it’s clear that it faces an uncertain future on Capitol Hill within the President’s own party. Some Democrats criticized the plan in withering terms, and most Democrats refused to take an unequivocal position in favor of the plan.

But there were many other signs of uncertainty: Senate aides suggested that Republican members will have to provide the bulk of the votes for the plan; and one top Democratic aide worried that the President’s hastily-announced press conference indicated that the plan “may be taking on too much water,” and might sink. “

Obama Dresses Down ‘Sanctimonious’ And ‘Purist’ Progressives (VIDEO)

“In the final question of today’s press conference, President Obama was asked by Jonathan Weisman of the Wall Street Journal how he would respond to Democrats who think he’s compromised too much in agreeing on a two-year extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts — even for the wealthiest Americans — and that they have a hard time figuring out his core principles on what issues he would go to the mat for. Obama then responded forcefully, saying that the positions of such people on the left would result in getting nothing done, except having a “sanctimonious” pride in the purity of their own positions.”


Josh Marshall’s Analysis: “Today, he very clearly and loudly said: that savior persona is not me. I am the pragmatist. And you know what, I don’t have a whole lot of patience for the idealists. I share their ideals, but I don’t share their approach and I’m not going to get bogged down in recriminations over not living up to some abstract ideal.

I don’t think this a change in the fundamental truth of who he is or of what his politics are, but with today’s press conference the pretense that he might yet be someone else was finally dropped. Not only was he announcing that this is who I am, but he was also effectively declaring, I am not that other guy.”

More Dems Sign On To Extended Session Plan To Save DADT Repeal

“Add Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) to the list of Democrats who say the Senate should stay open long enough to give Republicans the time they require to bring the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers to an end. Asked by TPM yesterday if he supported Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) call for the Senate to keep the lame duck session going past the scheduled break if necessary to get repeal passed, Levin’s office confirmed his endorsement of the idea.”

Some Republicans Unhappy With Tax Cut Deal: Too Few Tax Cuts, Too Much Help For Jobless

“After relentlessly pushing for an extension of the Bush tax cuts on everyone including top income earners, Republicans finally won a temporary victory yesterday when President Obama agreed to extend the cuts for two years in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, something that was uncontroversial in prior congresses. This was not enough to satisfy some of the more hardcore Republican lawmakers and interest groups. “Ensuring that people don’t receive a tax increase for the next two years is vitally important, but ultimately that’s not enough confidence, that’s not enough certainty,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), a leading House Republican”

Coburn Attacks Unpaid For Middle-Class Tax Cuts, Ignoring Unpaid For Bush Cuts For The Wealthy

“Appearing on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show yesterday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) criticized the recently-announced White House tax cut deal with congressional Republicans for increasing the deficit. The deal extends the Bush tax cuts for the rich, which Democrats opposed, in exchange for continuing unemployment benefits and President Obama’s middle-class tax cuts, which Republicans opposed. Coburn attacked “spending” money on unemployment benefits and middle-class tax cuts, while ignoring the massive increase in the deficit caused by extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans.”

Analysis: Obama’s Components Of Tax Deal Help 150 Million More People Than GOP’s Components

“Yesterday, the White House agreed with Congressional Republicans on a “framework” for extending the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts. In exchange for a two-year extension of all the tax cuts — including those for households making more than $250,000 per year — the deal includes a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits, a two percent cut in the employee side of the payroll tax for one year, and a retention of the some expanded tax credits included in the 2009 Recovery Act. To get Republicans on board, Obama also agreed to a two-year cut in the estate tax.

For comparison’s sake, The Wonk Room has a chart detailing both the number of people (in millions) who benefit from each side’s priorities, as well as the total cost (in billions).”Tax Cuts

Facing Backlash From The U.S. Chamber’s Right-Wing Ads, More Local Chambers Plan To End Their Membership

“This year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran one of the largest, most partisan, corporate-funded attack campaigns in its history. It worked closely with Karl Rove’s network of attack groups, while raising $75 million dollars to smear Democrats, including Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), and others. The Chamber’s ads were particularly sleasy; many were patently untrue, while others criticized Democrats for supporting legislation that the Chamber actually asked them to support.

Part of the Chamber’s strategy has been to manipulate the press and the wider public by falsely portraying itself as a community of small businesses and local chambers of commerce. Meanwhile, local chambers are upset that they are being unfairly associated with the U.S. Chamber’s far right partisanship. Politico reported today reported on the growing rift.”

Supreme Court Weighs Limits On Retaliation Ban

“Federal law makes it illegal to retaliate against employees who file discrimination charges. But can your boss legally retaliate by firing your fiance or a family member? That was the question before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.”

U.S. and China Narrow Differences at Climate Talks in Cancún

“With narrowing differences over a key issue, verification, there is growing hope of modest success at the conference.”

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