1. I’m not a Democrat. I’m an anti-Republican.

    The return of Benghazi is the latest evidence that the GOP is putting its unhinged obsessions before the good of the country

     


  2. When it comes to gay marriage, the dissonance between the two Republican camps further underscores the GOP’s broader ideological divide. And it calls attention to the vocal influence of its more regressive, unflattering corners, further hindering the party’s attempt to broaden its appeal to younger voters, many of whom are gravitating en masse to the Democrats because of social issues like gay marriage.
     


  3. 140,000
    — 

    The number of low-income families set to lose rental assistance vouchers, thanks to Congress’ sequestration policy. That will save $2 billion, the same amount the government shutdown cost in back pay to federal workers.

    How to stick it to the poor: A comprehensive congressional strategy.

     


  4. 76%
    — 

    The percentage of Americans who believe “the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.”

    Why income inequality has become the Democratic party’s top issue

     

  5. Lesson for today: Paying too much attention to your base is deadly. Also, avoid duels at all costs.

    4 lessons from extinct political parties

     

  6. Does Hillary Clinton have an Anthony Weiner problem?

    "The Clintons are upset with the comparisons that the Weiners seem to be encouraging — that Huma is ‘standing by her man’ the way Hillary did with Bill, which is not what she in fact did," a Democratic source tells the New York Post.

     


  7. Bill Scher:

    On the surface, Washington seems hopelessly mired in chronic partisan dysfunction. Scandal hysteria continues to fuel bitter partisan rhetoric. Senate Republicans are still obstructing humdrum presidential nominations. House Republicans are threatening (again!) to block the perfunctory but essential task of raising the debt limit. Gridlock produced the hated sequester. The broadly popular gun background-check bill remains stalled. Obama recently lamented that the partisan “fever” he hoped his re-election would cure has “not quite broken yet.”

    And yet, amid the recent acrimony, landmark immigration reform quietly earned a solid bipartisan vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, sending the bill to the Senate floor. And the Senate minority leader pledged not to lead a filibuster that would prevent a final up-or-down vote.

    The bill cleared committee after a last-minute deal was struck between Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, making it easier for technology companies to hire foreign workers. While the agreement was a setback for the AFL-CIO, altering a previous compromise with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the union’s president, Richard Trumka, did not seek to blow up the bill. He hailed the committee vote as “an enormous step toward healing an injustice.”

    Don’t call it a comeback. Bipartisanship has been here for years.

     

  8. More cartoons: An inspired new look
    JEFF PARKER © 2013 Cagle Cartoons

    More cartoons

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

    • "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science."
      As Obama called for the country to respond to the threat of climate change, he issued a stark reminder that many Republicans seem to reject basic scientific findings.
       
    • "Enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."
      Obama rose to national prominence by opposing wars started by George W. Bush, and he rarely misses a chance to remind Americans that Republican foreign policy led to open-ended wars with no exit strategy.

    5 unmistakable shots at Republicans in Obama’s inaugural address

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  9. "The most dysfunctional ever…” 
    "The most worthless, incompetent, do-nothing gathering of lawmakers in the nation’s history…"
    "The most unproductive session since the 1940s…"

    10 insulting labels for the outgoing 112th Congress

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  10. Cartoon of the day: Preparing for backlash
    DAYLE CAGLE © 2012 Cagle Cartoons

    More cartoons

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  11. The fiscal-cliff fix: Winners and losers

    WINNERS 

    • Joe Biden — Biden certainly “emerges with enhanced stature from the budget mess,” says The Daily Beast's Kurtz. He was “called off the bench” on Sunday, then “showed a deft hand — and the experience of growing up in [the Senate] — in quickly hammering out a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.” If the 70-year-old vice president “decides to run for Obama’s job in 2016, such performances could more than offset his reputation for shooting from the lip.” Of course if Democrats end up hating the deal, this could actually “bite Biden down the line,” says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. But he clearly ranks among the winners for negotiating the deal and persuading Democrats to support it. The vice president is often underestimated by the political press, but “the ‘Biden as major White House asset’ storyline writes itself” now.
       
    • The rich and elderly — Obama’s decision to raise the threshold for higher taxes from $250,000 to $450,000 makes for “a big tax cut for all kinds of rich people, not just those with adjusted gross incomes between the two figures,” says Matthew Yglesias at Slate. Because our tax rates are marginal, meaning that only income above $450,000 is taxed at the higher rate, “if you make $600,000 or even $1 million a year you still have a very large share of your income that’s taxed at a lower rate thanks to this deal.” The deal also didn’t have any of the expected cuts to Social Security and other federal retirement security programs, so at least for now, “old people are the winners,” too.

    LOSERS

    • John Boehner — "The fiscal cliff talks were cast as a moment for [John] Boehner to cement his legacy as speaker," negotiating a grand bargain that would "set the country on the right financial course through the Republican-controlled House," says Cillizza at The Washington Post. “The exact opposite happened.” The Ohio Republican dropped negotiations with Obama to pass his own “Plan B” — raising taxes on only people earning $1 million a year — but that plan failed to even get a vote, raising questions about “how much — if any — control he had over his fellow House Republicans.” That idea was reinforced when Boehner couldn’t get more than half of his caucus, or even his top lieutenants, to back the final compromise, says Daniel Newhauser at Roll Call. Boehner “now slumps into the 113th Congress with gavel firmly in hand but with scant ability to wield its power.”
       
    • Hurricane Sandy victims — After the messy fight over the fiscal cliff bill, House GOP leaders canceled a scheduled vote on a supplemental spending bill for areas ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, mostly in New York and New Jersey. The House Appropriations Committee had even teed up a $60 billion package, matching the Sandy relief bill that passed the Senate last week. “Absent a change of heart, the upshot now is that the Senate bill will die with this Congress on Thursday at noon,” says David Rogers at Politico. “I assume there is as tactical consideration here, that the Republican leadership didn’t want to be anywhere near a big spending bill after the fiasco of their handling the tax debate,”says Rep. Rob Andrews (D.N.J.). “I understand the tactics but there is a real human need here that is being ignored.”

    More winners and losers

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  12. Cartoon of the day: Biden’s future
    STEVE BREEN © 2012 Creators Syndicate

    More cartoons

    (Source: theweek.com)