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Friday, December 28, 2012

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

"Fiscal Cliff" Deal? - more drama on capitol hill as the deadline for automatic spending cuts and tax inceases from taking place on January 1.  President Obama, who cut his holiday vcation short, has summoned congressioonal leaders to the White House today for a last minute attempt to forge an agreement.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has called for the House to resume business on Sunday.

Rumors are plenty; one suggests a scaled down deal which would spare tax increases and add more time before automatic cuts would go into effect.  Stay Tuned.  You can read more here. has "Five Things To Watch at Today's White House Meeting" here.


More Americans Blame Republicans For "Fiscal Cliff" Stalemate in Congress - a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Americans continue to have a low opinion on the latest version of the "do nothing" Congress.

The poll shows 27% blame Republicans, 16% blame President Obama, 6% blame Democrats and 31% blame all of the above for the inability to reach agreement on the "fiscal cliff".  You can read more here.


Markey To Run for Kerry Senate Seat - Representative Richard Markey (D-Mass.) is the first to officially announce he will run for the seat vacated by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), when he is confirmed as Secretary of State.

In his announcement speech Markey said, in part, “With Senator Kerry’s departure, Massachusetts voters will decide once again whether we want a Senator who will fight for all our families or one who supports a Republican agenda that benefits only the powerful and well-connected, I refuse to allow the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party to lead us off the fiscal cliff and into recession. I won’t allow the [National Rifle Association] to obstruct an assault weapons ban yet again. I will not sit back and allow oil and coal industry lobbyists to thwart our clean energy future or extremists to restrict women’s rights and health care.”

The special election is likely to be held in June.  The Boston Globe has more here.


U.S. Embassy in Central African republic Evacuated - as concern for security grew that rebels could take the capitol.   The U.S. ambassador and his diplomatic team were evacuated out of the country by plane overnight.

The evacuation came after President Francois Bozize on Thursday urgently called on former colonial ruler France and other foreign powers to help his government fend off rebels who are quickly seizing territory and approaching the capital. has more here.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suffering from an illness and recovering from a concussion, announced she will be returning to work next week. 


Transition Government for Syria? - a distinct possibility now that long term ally, Russia has urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to begin negotiations with the opposition.

Frederic C. Hof, who served as a special adviser on Syria to the State Department, said “Assad is not yet persuaded that he needs to yield power and get out,” Mr. Hof said. “There is no solution that involves him sticking around, even as a figurehead.” The NY Times has more here.


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