The Evening Flap: January 3, 2013

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These are my links for January 3rd.

  • Biden: Republicans had ‘epiphany’ on immigration – Vice President Joe Biden said Republicans have had a major realization in their approach to immigration reform in recent weeks.”Have you ever seen a time when Republicans have had a more rapid epiphany about immigration than they have this last election?” Biden said Thursday while speaking at an event for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington.
  • There’s No ‘I’ in ‘Kumbaya’ – A Uniquely Polarizing President – We’re all talking about Republicans on the Hill and their manifold failures. So here are some things President Obama didn’t do during the fiscal cliff impasse and some conjecture as to why.He won but he did not triumph. His victory didn’t resolve or ease anything and heralds nothing but more congressional war to come.

    He did not unveil, argue for or put on the table the outlines of a grand bargain. That is, he put no force behind solutions to the actual crisis facing our country, which is the hemorrhagic spending that threatens our future. Progress there—even just a little—would have heartened almost everyone. The president won on tax hikes, but that was an emotional, symbolic and ideological victory, not a substantive one. The higher rates will do almost nothing to ease the debt or deficits.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Return of the real Obama – The rout was complete, the retreat disorderly. President Obama got his tax hikes — naked of spending cuts — passed by the ostensibly Republican House of Representatives. After which, you might expect him to pivot to his self-proclaimed “principle” of fiscal “balance” by taking the lead on reducing spending. “Why,” asked The Post on the eve of the final fiscal-cliff agreement, “is the nation’s leader not embracing and then explaining the balanced reforms the nation needs?”Because he has no interest in them. He’s a visionary, not an accountant. Sure, he’ll pretend to care about deficits, especially while running for reelection. But now that he’s past the post, he’s free to be himself — a committed big-government social democrat.
  • Boehner reelected as Speaker; nine Republicans defect in vote – Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was reelected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt.Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted “present.” Two years ago, Boehner won all 241 available GOP votes.
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  • California lawmakers thought they were targeting, the out-of-state giant, when they voted last week to force Internet retailers to collect sales tax.
    It turns out eBay Inc., California's own golden child of e-commerce, isn't so thrilled about it, either.

    The San Jose online auction company says the legislation would hurt its business model, which relies on thousands of entrepreneurs who sell goods on its site.

    The intent may have been to go after Amazon, but "we're literally caught in the crossfire," said David London, senior director for state government relations at eBay.

    And they say it was written in a way to prevent any harm to eBay.


    Yeah right…..this tax is a lose- lose for California

    (tags: Amazon_Tax)
  • California's attempt to corral more revenue from Internet sales would address a real inequity, but the effort could just as easily harm as help the state. A disjointed, state-by-state approach to collecting online sales taxes will not work. Congress needs to provide a comprehensive national solution instead.

    The budget plan the Legislature passed last week included a bill designed to boost sales tax collection by Internet retailers. The bill, ABx1 28, would generate an estimated $200 million a year for the state's deficit-ridden general fund. And the legislation would ease the competitive advantage distant online sellers have over in-state retailers. While Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the main budget bill last week, the online sales tax legislation remains alive.


    Read it all

    (tags: Amazon_Tax)
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  • Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar has been preparing for an intra-party challenge since he was first elected, but recently, questions have popped up about his residency and commitment to Indiana.

    Asked if Lugar lived in a hotel when he returned to Indiana, Lugar chief of staff Mark Helmke said, "That's correct."

    Lugar owns a farm in the Hoosier State that he's been tending for decades. His siblings own parts of the farm, but he still works on it once a month with his son, even though he doesn't live there.

    As for the living conditions on the farm, Helmke joked, "The place is pretty rustic."

    Asked how Lugar's team would respond if challenged about his residency, Helmke shot back, "We'll be happy to talk about the farm."

    "It's not an issue. They can try to make it an issue. We'll be happy to talk about the farm and what it means to him," Helmke said.


    Not like Rham Emanuel and Chicago but Lugar really should have a residence in the state he represents.

  • House Republicans and Democrats started Friday morning's debate over whether to defund last year's healthcare law, and as part of this debate sparred over whether members should be allowed to call that law "ObamaCare."

    After two House Republicans called it "ObamaCare," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked the chairman whether these "disparaging" remarks should be allowed on the House floor.

    "That is a disparaging reference to the president of the United States; it is meant as a disparaging reference to the president of the United States, and it is clearly in violation of the House rules against that," she said.

    Because Wasserman Schultz only asked if it would be appropriate to curb the use of the term "ObamaCare," the chairman said he would not rule on a hypothetical. But he did urge members to "refrain from engaging in personalities or descriptions about personalities in general."


    Well, what should be call it?

    Obama's attempt to ruin American medicine?

    How's that?

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  • Amid the third straight day of chaotic but largely peaceful protests at the Capitol, Democratic senators Thursday boycotted a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair plan, forcing Republicans to put off further action in that house until Friday at the earliest.

    With Democrats hiding out just over the Illinois border and drawing national media attention, Republicans had too few lawmakers to take a vote Thursday and had to adjourn. With thousands of demonstrators swarming the Capitol Square, GOP lawmakers vowed to come back Friday morning to try to take up the proposal, which would help solve a state budget shortfall by cutting public employee benefits and most public union bargaining rights.

    Democrats holed up in the Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford, Ill., while Republicans said they wanted law enforcement to bring them to the Capitol if they were still in Wisconsin.
    A mockery of their oath of office.

    Come on……

  • Sarah Palin addressed a variety of issues Thursday at a gathering of business officials in Long Island, New York including her 2012 plans, first lady Michelle Obama, President Obama's proposed budget, the crisis in Egypt, and her feelings on the media.

    Here's a snapshot of what she had to say:

    On her 2012 ambitions:
    "I am still thinking of leading this country. I am still thinking about it. I haven't made up my mind. We hired a chief of staff because Todd is getting tired of doing it for me."

    When asked who else she might envision at the top of the GOP ticket Palin responded, "No one is more qualified to multi-tasking and doing all the things you need to do as a President than a woman."

    She then began reciting from her resume, listing her experience as a mayor and running for Vice President.


    Sarah Palin can't let it go…..always setting herself up to be the victim.

  • Tennessee was a rare state where Barack Obama performed worse in 2008 than John Kerry did in 2004, albeit by less than one point on the margin. But the state now joins red-turned-blue neighbors North Carolina and Virginia as states where Obama has actually improved since the last election. While he lost to John McCain by 15 points last time, he now trails next year's crop of Republican frontrunners by no more than 12.

    Neighboring Arkansas' Mike Huckabee typically does best against the president in Southern states, and he comes closest to matching McCain's margin of victory here, 53-41. The other candidate who usually runs closest to Obama, Mitt Romney, beats him here, 48-41. But neighboring Georgia's Newt Gingrich can manage only a 46-43 lead, and Sarah Palin actually ties the president at 45%.


    Tennessee is solidly red….

  • While most of the Democratic establishment is visibly encouraging Tim Kaine to dive into the Virginia Senate race, the same cannot be said for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in Arizona.

    In fact, top Democrats are unenthusiastic about a Napolitano Senate candidacy for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's seat, according to those familiar with the race and Arizona politics.

    Beyond the routine calls that are made to any potential candidate, one source noted that there's been little outreach from typical Democratic players to urge the former governor to run.

    "There's not much interest in her. She has a long, long, long record, closely tied to President Obama. She's got a lot of baggage," said a Democrat involved in the race.

    Dubbed derisively as "Big Sis" by Matt Drudge, Napolitano also took a considerable amount of heat for declaring that "the system worked" after the Christmas bomber was able to board a plane.
    Time has passed Big Sis by and Jeff Flake will be the next Sen

  • Rather than call a “truce” on social issues as possible presidential contender Mitch Daniels suggests, Sen. John Thune tells The Brody File that, “I don’t think we can minimize those in the debate.”

    Thune is mulling a presidential run and The Brody File spent the whole day with him on Capitol Hill this past Tuesday. The Brody File received exclusive access into certain meetings Thune was holding that day. All of that will be part of a feature airing on The 700 Club in a few weeks.

    Thune told me, “For any conservative or any Republican to get elected to office, you have to have the support and hopefully the energetic support of people who care passionately about the social issues. So, they’re important. And we shouldn’t trivialize that.”

    Not exactly what Mitch Daniels said but is the CW that opponents will use against him – should he decide to run

  • Gov. Mitch Daniels is recovering at home after surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

    The governor's office says the outpatient surgery Thursday morning at Indiana Orthopedic Hospital Northwest in Indianapolis was successfully performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sandy Kunkel.

    Daniels is expected to return to his office at the Statehouse sometime next week.

    Spokesman Jacob Oakman says he's back in charge of the executive branch of Indiana government after temporarily handing those duties to Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.


    Get well Governor – Spring Training is just around the corner.