TPM News

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is putting his clout behind one of the challengers to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, CNN reports, and will co-host an upcoming fundraiser for former Bush administration official Maria Cino:

Cheney's daughter Mary assisted in organizing the fundraising committee.

Cino served as a top Commerce Department official and Deputy Transportation Secretary under President Bush. She also worked at the RNC during Bush's two terms and managed the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

The fundraiser will be held at the Virginia home of GOP strategist Mary Matalin and is hosted by several veterans of Bush-Cheney world, including former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, former New York Rep. Bill Paxon and former administration aides Melissa Bennett and Emily Lampkin.

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Below is a copy of the White House Fiscal Commission's final report, somewhat hilariously titled "Moment of Truth."

According to the panel's chairmen yesterday, today's deficit-reduction recommendations aren't dramatically different from those in their much-ballyhooed draft report: It still contains cuts to Social Security, and eliminates tax expenditures to broaden the tax base and dramatically flatten the system, making the top-bracket tax rates drop dramatically.

The commission was supposed to vote on a final package today, per the executive order President Obama signed when he created the commission. But dissent on the commission delayed the unveiling of these recommendations, so the vote will happen Friday.

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Just hours after Democrats and Republicans agreed to bargain on tax cuts, and fewer hours still after Defense Secretary Robert Gates implored Congress to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell this year, word leaked that Republicans aren't really interested in any of it -- a major repudiation of Gates' authority.

According to a letter delivered to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning, Republicans will block all debate on all legislation until the tax cut impasse is bridged and the federal government has been fully funded -- even if it means days tick by and the Senate misses its opportunity to pass DADT, an extension of unemployment insurance and other Dem items.

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Lawmakers Stand Firm On Taxes As Talks Start The Associated Press reports: "Democrats and Republicans are working to reach a deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year, but neither side is budging as negotiations begin in earnest. Even as they talk, House leaders are planning to hold a politically charged vote Thursday to extend middle-class tax cuts while letting taxes for the wealthy expire. The bill, even if it passes the House, stands no chance in the Senate. Nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he is considering holding a similar vote."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the economic daily briefing at 9:15 a.m. ET, and the presidential daily briefing at 10:15 a.m. ET. Obama will meet at 10:45 a.m. ET with senior advisers, and will meet at 12:45 p.m. ET with D.C. Mayor-elect Vince Gray.

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Outgoing Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) received a heap of praise from a Senate colleague with whom he had an unlikely partnership. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) praised Feingold, who lost his election to Republican Ron Johnson: "I have to confess I think the Senate will be a much poorer place without Russ Feingold in it."

"I know that in my next term I will experience fewer occasions of inspiration because of the departure of Russ Feingold, a man whose courage and dedication to the principles that guided his Senate service often inspired me," McCain said.

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The "newfound freedoms" granted in the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision will allow the conservative movement to participate on a "level playing field" with groups like MoveOn.org and labor unions, Citizens United President David Bossie said Tuesday.

Bossie also said he enjoys hearing liberals complain about the outcome of the Citizens United case. "Somebody's always bitching and moaning," Bossie said.

He specifically mentioned former Justice John Paul Stevens, who said in an interview aired on 60 Minutes over the weekend that the court made several mistakes in the Citizens United ruling.

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The more you think about Senate Dems' current tax cut schism, the less clear the smartest choice becomes in pure governing terms.

Politically, the appeal of the Schumer plan is obvious. A millionaires tax. It was popular when House Democrats proposed a (somewhat) similar surtax on millionaires during the health care debate, and it's still popular. Being on the wrong side of that proposal will always be sticky.

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The more you think about Senate Dems' current tax cut schism, the less clear the smartest choice becomes in pure governing terms.

Politically, the appeal of the Schumer plan is obvious. A millionaires tax. It was popular when House Democrats proposed a (somewhat) similar surtax on millionaires during the health care debate, and it's still popular. Being on the wrong side of that proposal will always be sticky.

Read More →

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