We do not have, at 12 o’clock today, a Secretary of Defense.Harry Reid, revealing today that Senate Republicans have rounded up the 41 votes necessary to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Defense Department. Today is outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s last day on the job; if Republicans make good on their threats during Hagel’s confirmation vote tomorrow—and this is certainly a big “if”—it will be the first time a nominee for Secretary of Defense has been filibustered, and the country will be left without a Defense Secretary. A couple of Republican senators have threatened to block Hagel’s nomination unless the Obama Administration releases more information about the attack last year on the American consulate in Benghazi, an incident with which Hagel was wholly uninvolved. A Hagel spokesman said today that despite the threats of his former colleagues, the Nebraska Republican is not withdrawing his nomination. source
I’m not going to be coy. It’s not something I’ve ever been good at. I’ve told the governor that I would now like frankly to do that because I would like to be a part of that. It’s only a three-month period; I wouldn’t want to do anything more. I don’t want to run again…Coach, put me in!Barney Frank isn’t opposed to becoming Massachusetts’ temporary senator after John Kerry leaves his post, while they start looking for the next guy. Please, let this happen!
AP: Early Tuesday morning the US Senate passed a deal to avert the ‘fiscal cliff.’ The legislation will now move to the House of Representatives where a vote is expected before Wednesday.
The White House-backed deal raises taxes on incomes of more than $400,000 for individuals and on incomes of more than $450,000 for couples. The measure also temporarily blocks spending cuts for two months.
Who wants to bet the House finds a way to screw this up?
I’m not saying I was always right. I’ll leave that to God and history. But I believed I was doing what I thought was right and people didn’t just disagree with me. There was hatred. But I’m not alone in that. You can take the last three presidents — Clinton, Bush, Obama — and people haven’t just disagreed with them, they’ve hated them. And to me, that’s really terrible. That’s a cancer that’s eating at our politics.Joe Lieberman • Discussing the hatred he’s seen during his time in the Senate, especially in recent years. He should know, he was there, hated by many of the same folks that hated any (or all) of the above presidents. Lieberman, who entered the Senate a Democrat but leaves an Independent, spent 24 years representing Connecticut, and even got thisclose to being a vice president in 2000. No matter your feelings on Joe, he’s probably right on this point.
One mistake does not erase an otherwise honorable career. It’s a good guess that the embarrassment anybody might feel for him is nothing compared with the embarrassment he feels for himself. It’s bad enough that Crapo has to explain himself to his wife and family. It’s worse when he has to explain himself to 1.6 million constituents, many of whom have viewed Crapo as an example of what American politics should be about.The Idaho Statesman editorial board • Offering a little Christmas cheer in the direction of Sen. Mike Crapo, who was arrested for a DUI over the weekend. It feels like we’re watching the plot to a Frank Capra film happen in real life, and our heart just grew three sizes as we were writing this post. We’re headed to the urgent care facility right now to get this enlarged heart checked out. (ht Ben Smith)