POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 12/17

Boehner Proposes Millionaire Tax Hike

House Speaker John Boehner has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans if President Obama agrees to major entitlement cuts, Politico reports.

“It is the first time Boehner has offered any boost in marginal tax rates for any income group, and it would represent a major concession for the Ohio Republican. Boehner suggested hiking the Bush-era tax rates for top wage earners, including those with annual incomes of $1 million or more annually, beginning Jan. 1.”

Final Tally Shows Election Wasn’t Even Close

Los Angeles Times: “More than five weeks after election day, almost all the presidential votes have been counted. Here’s what the near-final tally reveals: The election really wasn’t close.”

“In the weeks since the election, as states have completed their counts, Obama’s margin has grown steadily. From just over 2 percentage points, it now stands at nearly 4. Rather than worry about the Bush-Kerry precedent, White House aides now brag that Obama seems all but certain to achieve a mark hit by only five others in U.S. history – winning the presidency twice with 51% or more of the popular vote.”

Crist Heavily Favored in a Democratic Primary

A new ClearView Research poll in Florida finds former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) is the clear favorite for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2014 over Alex Sink (D), 55% to 34%.

Feinstein Will Seek New Gun Law

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told Meet the Press that she intended to introduce a gun control bill on the first day of the next Congress would “take aim at limiting the sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons, along with the capacity of high-capacity magazines.”

Said Feinstein: “It can be done.”

She said her bill would be paired with a similar bill in the House and she expects President Obama will publicly support the proposal.

Wonk Wire: Arming people doesn’t stop mass murders.

Kerry to be Nominated for Secretary of State

Sources tell ABC News that President Obama has decided that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to be Secretary of State.

The Week summarizes the case for and against picking Kerry.

Microsoft Looks to Political Strategist to Battle Google

The New York Times profiles former Clinton strategist Mark Penn show is now in charge of “strategic and special projects” at Microsoft and “much of his job has involved efforts to trip up Google, which Microsoft has failed to dislodge from its perch atop the lucrative Internet search market.”

“The campaigns by Mr. Penn, 58, a longtime political operative known for his brusque personality and scorched-earth tactics, are part of a broader effort at Microsoft to give its marketing the nimbleness of a political campaign, where a candidate can turn an opponent’s gaffe into a damaging commercial within hours. They are also a sign of the company’s mounting frustration with Google after losing billions of dollars a year on its search efforts, while losing ground to Google in the browser and smartphones markets and other areas.”

Colbert Donates Super PAC Money to Charity

Splitsider reports that comedian Stephen Colbert will give the remaining $773,704.83 left over from his campaign super PAC to charities helping victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Quote of the Day

“This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws – and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait.”

— Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), on Facebook.

Clinton Sustains Concussion After Fainting

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who skipped an overseas trip this past week because of a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after fainting, the AP reports.

“The 65-year-old Clinton, who’s expected to leave her job soon, was recovering at home after the incident last week and is being monitored by doctors… No further details were immediately available.”

Close Race for Virginia Governor

A new Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll in Virginia finds Terry McAuliffe (D) edging Ken Cuccinelli (R) in next year’s race for governor, 43% to 42%.

The poll was done for Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and also shows him with a 67% approval rating.

Huckabee Blames Shooting on Removing God from Schools

Mike Huckabee told Fox News that Friday’s deadly massacre in an elementary school in Connecticut was due to the lack religion in public schools.

Said Huckabee: “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage because we’ve made it a palce where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability?”

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