POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/16

Lawmaker Threatens to Impeach Obama Over Guns

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) says he’s willing to impeach President Obama should he implement new gun regulations through executive action, the Washington Post reports.

Said Stockman: “The White House’s recent announcement they will use executive orders and executive actions to infringe on our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms is an unconstitutional and unconscionable attack on the very founding principles of this republic. I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment.”

The Republicans’ Plan for the New President

From a must-watch Frontline airing tonight: “On the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration, a group of top GOP luminaries quietly gathered in a Washington steakhouse to lick their wounds and ultimately create the outline of a plan for how to deal with the incoming administration.”

See more…

Bachmann Had “Unnatural” Relationship With Debate Coach

Former Michele Bachmann staffer Peter Waldron tells BuzzFeed that debate coach Brett O’Donnell developed an “unnatural” and “Rasputin-like” relationship with Bachmann during her failed 2012 presidential campaign.

Waldron said O’Donnell exercised an “unusual power over Mrs. Bachmann” and even “prohibited her husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, from sleeping in the same room with wife while on the campaign trail.”

Waldron is one of five staffers who says they are still owed money by the Bachmann campaign.

What’s Really Behind the Hagel Fight

Aaron David Miller points out that the bumpy nomination and confirmation process for Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary isn’t really about Hagel himself.

“This is really a fight about Barack Obama. It is being driven by three somewhat overlapping constituencies — a pro-Israel community that doesn’t trust the president, a Republican party and a neoconservative elite struggling unsuccessfully to define its own foreign policy identity, and finally, a party in opposition that is determined to remind Obama that, reelected or not, he doesn’t have a free hand.”

Obama Did Fewer Press Conferences Than Bush or Clinton

President Obama had fewer press conferences during his first term than any other president since Ronald Reagan, Politico reports.

With Monday’s event, Obama has done a total of 79 over four years. That’s 10 fewer than George W. Bush, 54 fewer than Bill Clinton and 63 fewer than George H.W. Bush.

Reagan had only 27 press conferences during his first term.

NRA Puts Out New Shooting Game

The National Rifle Association just launched a new game for the iPhone called NRA: Practice Range. It features a shooting range and is geared towards children as young as four.

Just last month, the NRA blamed violent video games for gun violence.

Bill Keller: Is it a hoax?

Obama Close to Picking Another Chief of Staff

President Obama is close to naming Denis McDonough as his fifth chief of staff, with an announcement coming as soon as this week, Bloomberg reports.

McDonough would succeed Jack Lew, Obama’s choice as the next Treasury secretary.

RNC Chair Backs Electoral Vote Gambit

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel over the weekend that he thinks Wisconsin and other battleground states “should change the way they allocate their Electoral College votes, but he said he is not inserting himself into how states decide to proceed.”

The Fix: “Basically, Republicans who have control of states that went for President Obama in the 2012 election are pushing for their states to change how they award electoral votes. While almost every state awards electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, Republicans want these states to instead award one vote to the winner of each congressional district.”

“The new system would allow Republicans to consistently win electoral votes (and quite possibly a majority of electoral votes) from states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Virginia, regardless of whether they win the statewide vote. All five of these states went for Obama in 2012.”

Romanoff Weighs House Bid in Colorado

Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), “who helped lead a Democratic resurgence in the state before mounting an unsuccessful 2010 Senate campaign,” is considering challenging Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) in the upcoming midterm elections,Politico reports.

Said Romanoff: “I haven’t made much secret of the fact that I’d like to return to public service and that’s one path I’ve looked at. I haven’t made any decision.”

Schumer Will Back Hagel for Defense

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is seen as a key to Chuck Hagel’s becoming Defense secretary, is backing the former Nebraska Republican senator — despite past controversial statements on Israel, Iran, and the “Jewish lobby,” NBC News reports.

Said Schumer: “Based on several key assurances provided by Senator Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him.”

Republicans are Frequent No-Shows at White House

Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” He might also have said a house that cannot watch a movie together also might not stand.

Glenn Thrush reports that House Speaker John Boehner “has been by the White House for most holiday parties — and he played that legendary round of golf with POTUS a couple of years back — but he declined Obama’s invitation to screen ‘Lincoln.’ So did McConnell, along with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).”

“House Republicans have routinely turned down White House invites (as Democrats did under Obama’s predecessor), with the high point of bipartisan schmoozing being a sparsely attended 2011 BBQ Obama threw for newly-elected Republicans after the 2010 midterms.”

Even the newer lawmakers are taking part: “One Republican freshman who didn’t go was Rep. Renee Ellmers whose flack said, with admirable candor, ‘She declined because she chose not to go.'”

The Cabinet Shuffle

First Read recaps the changes to President Obama’s cabinet.

Here are the cabinet secretaries who are remaining: Napolitano (DHS), Duncan (Education), Vilsack (Agriculture), Holder (Justice), Sebelius (HHS), and Shinseki (Veterans Affairs).

Here are the cabinet members leaving, plus their nominated replacements: Clinton at State (John Kerry nominated), Panetta at Defense (Chuck Hagel nominated), Geithner at Treasury (Jack Lew nominated), Solis at Labor and Jackson at EPA.

Are Democrats Just as Unrealistic About Spending Cuts?

Charlie Cook: “For all of the focus and talk about the cleavages within the GOP and how unrealistic Republicans’ approach to taxes has been, we will now see a mirror-image debate over spending that will show Democrats to be equally culpable for the fiscal crisis that we find ourselves in.”

Obama Staffers Shut Out of Inaugural Events

In a “sour footnote” to President Obama’s re-election last November, many of his campaign staffers tell BuzzFeed they have been shut out of the inaugural festivities.

Said one: “We worked our butts off, and I’m going to watch it on TV instead of being there. It’s a huge bummer.”

“Former staffers — who spoke to BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity to preserve their relationships, and possible jobs, in Obama’s second term — say they have grown frustrated by what they see as inadequate communication from the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the group responsible for the inaugural balls, and in particular by its restrictions on access to the official events.”

House GOP Considers Four Year Debt Limit Deal

House Republicans are weighing an increase in the national debt limit for four years in exchange for big spending and entitlement cuts, Roll Call reports.

“The plan would, however, come at no easy price for Obama, who pledged as recently as Monday morning not to negotiate with Republicans on a debt ceiling hike. Republicans would demand major tax and entitlement reforms — the latter of which has been anathema to many Democrats — and they could also ask for movement on the sequester and an expiring continuing resolution that must be dealt with in the next three months.”

Three Fiscal Cliffs Approach

Politico: “The White House and Congress are facing three critical deadlines — the country hits its debt limit as early as mid-February, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts take effect March 2, and the government runs out of money to fund operations later that month.”

“There is no real optimism among Republicans and Democrats that the standoff will end quickly, or painlessly. The strategy of each party rests largely on the other one folding.”

Marc Ambinder: Why the White House really rejected the trillion dollar coin to avoid the debt ceiling fight.

Obama Plans Big Gun Control Package

President Obama “will embrace a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence that will call for major legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases and lay out 19 separate actions the president could take by invoking the power of his office,” the New York Times reports.

“Lawmakers and other officials said that the president could use a public event as soon as Wednesday to signal his intention to engage in the biggest Congressional fight over guns in nearly two decades, focusing on the heightened background checks and including efforts to ban assault weapons and their high-capacity clips. But given the difficulty of pushing new rules through a bitterly divided Congress, Mr. Obama will also promise to act on his own to reduce gun violence wherever possible.”

Roger Simon: “The gun lobby has weathered this before. It has faced public outrage over gun massacres many times. And it has its playbook ready.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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