1. Cartoon of the day: A real threat 
    RANDALL ENOS © 2013 Cagle Cartoons

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  2. It’s not quite clear who actually takes seriously the idea of minting a pair of $1 trillion platinum coins to sidestep the upcoming debt-ceiling battle, who just wants the option on the table as a warning to House Republicans, and who’s just having fun with the idea. But it’s pretty clear that the “oddball suggestion” is gaining traction. But somebody would have to grace the design with their trillion-dollar face. Here, 10 suggestions. 

    [Photos: Twitter, TPM]

     

  3. Cartoon of the day: Digging for trouble 
    TOM TOLES © 2013 Universal Press Syndicate

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    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  4. Cartoon of the day: The public has spoken
    CHAN LOWE © 2013 Tribune Media Services

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    (Source: theweek.com)

     

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

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    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  6. 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)

     

  7. Parliamentary procedure is as baffling and dull to most people as it is important to our legislative process. But the Senate gave us a very watchable — interesting, even — little civics lesson on Thursday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filibustered a bill he had introduced only hours earlier. The bill at hand was a measure proposed by the White House, based on a “last-choice,” one-off fix McConnell himself came up with in the 2011 debt-ceiling standoff, to take America’s borrowing limit out of Congress’ hands — the president could raise the debt ceiling, and Congress could override him only with a veto-proof majority. McConnell introduced the bill to show that President Obama doesn’t have the votes for such a measure even in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Well on Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called his bluff. 

    McConnell’s miscalculation is amusing, but it also tells us something about the larger issue: The showdown over the fiscal cliff, says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post. This was “the first major test we’ve seen of whether Dems will remain united” behind Obama, and they passed. Things are going to get hairier, “particularly if Republicans make good on their vow to use the debt ceiling to leverage entitlement cuts next year, and Obama makes good on his refusal to countenance the debt ceiling having any role in the talks.” But if you’re Obama, this is a good sign that your fractious, famously self-defeating party may actually stick together in this fight.

    Watch McConnell filibuster his own bill

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  8. President Obama just wrapped up a live Twitter chat about the fiscal cliff. If you missed it, here’s a rundown of what happened

    (Source: theweek.com)