Well, this is a short day for many. As you share you coffee break or “gather around the water cooler,” don’t forget to discuss the wisdom of changing Senate rules relative to the filibuster and secret holds. Remind your friends that every attempt at passing a bill in the US Senate was held up by REPUBLICANS through the filibuster. OVER 80 TIMES! The shortage of federal judges is due to their use of the filibuster. On the first day of the new Congress the Senate can vote to “change the rules.” With the REPUBLICANS administratively in charge of the House, would it be a good idea to limit or change somehow the filibuster? And what about the immoral practice of secret holds on bills? Yes, Senators can put a hold from consideration on bills without telling us who did it. IMHO, this must be done away with! The people have a right to know.
President calls on campaign team to spread the word about looming deadline when tax rises and spending cuts will kick in
Barack Obama has enlisted the help of his formidable grassroots army of volunteers in the battle with Republican members of Congress over thefiscal cliff, the January 1 deadline for a deal on tax and spending.
The Obama for America campaign team, which has remained intact post-election, sent out a message to supporters saying that though there is a lot of stake, with their help a deal is possible.
It comes after reports of no progress by the Republican and Democratic teams left behind in Congress over the Thanksgiving holiday period to start work on a compromise package.
The White House move suggests it has learned the lesson about the impact of grassroots opinion from the battle over healthcare reform. At that time, Democrats failed to match Republican and Tea Party groups who piled the pressure on Congress through the mail, in town hall meetings and in protests on Capitol Hill.
The Obama campaign team, in an email to its extensive network of supporters, said: “Right now, president Obama is working with leaders of both parties in Washington to reduce the deficit in a balanced way so we can lay the foundation for long-term middle-class job growth and prevent your taxes from going up.”
It calls on them to spread the word about Obama’s position to friends, families and neighbours. It said he wanted a balanced budget that will extend tax cuts for 98% of the population, eliminate tax cuts for the wealthiest and cut spending by $3tn.
“These problems are challenging, but they’re solvable. In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill to keep your taxes low. The House needs to pass it, and Congress should get it to the president as soon as possible,” the OFA mail said.
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O’DONNELL
By Sarah Muller
The White House said Obamacare is a non-starter in the fiscal cliff talks. And as final vote tallies come in, it looks likely Mitt Romney earned 47 % of of the final vote — the same infamous percentage that he discussed in the secret fundraiser tape which plagued his campaign. Here’s a look at headlines shaping tonight’s rundown:
By Chris Matthews
Let me finish with this tonight.
It did something magical, healing any bad feeling between the two presidential rivals, uniting the Democratic party, setting a hopeful course for political maturity, giving not just the president but the country a top-drawer top diplomat to face the world.
Now, it’s up to President Obama to do it again. He’s won a second-term. Now he needs to make it great. Naming John Kerry to replace secretary Clinton fits that bill. Picking Susan Rice would be good, but picking Kerry would be better.
Since Thomas Jefferson, the post of Secretary of State stands alone in history. It’s by its nature a role holding the most stature but for the presidency itself.
Kerry won 252 electoral votes in 2004 against a sitting chief executive, a wartime president at that. A combat veteran in Vietnam, a leading critic of that war later, a five-time elected Senator, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee has contacts around the world. He’s just the sort of heavyweight Obama picked the first time.
May your Christmas shopping be full of bargains!