Kicking off 2013 with a feel-bad deal on the fiscal cliff

Briefing: Obama (via google)
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Congress has passed a last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff that both parties can be furious about.

For congressional Democrats, Barack Obama and Joe Biden caved on a promise to raise taxes on people making $250,000 or more, and guaranteed a worse standoff in February, when Republicans use the debt ceiling as leverage to extract spending and entitlement cuts.

For Republicans, a majority of whom opposed the final compromise measure in the House, the deal raised taxes on wealthy Americans without corresponding cuts, a defeat in principle, even if the tax-to-cut ratio could have been far heavier in practice.

Politico has a detailed story about how the deal got put together, opening, appropriately, with an anecdote in which House Speaker John Boehner swears at Senate Leader Harry Reid.

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The White House apparently thinks it did the best it could, rejecting the notion that Republicans would have been under heavier pressure to strike a comprehensive bargain after the New Year, with everyone's taxes having gone up automatically.

Lots more to come, apparently.

Recommended

House Speaker John Boehner told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to "go fuck yourself," twice, outside the Oval Office. [Josh Besnahan, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and Jake Sherman]

Rep. Michael Grimm said he is "almost in disbelief and somewhat ashamed" after the Republican-led House did not approve money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. [Andrew Grossman]

Putnam County officials will break state law if they refuse a newspaper's Freedom of Information Law request seeking the names and addresses of gun permit owners, according to a state FOIL expert. [John Barry]

Events

10:30 a.m. Sen. Chuck Schumer urges the House to reverse its decision and vote on Sandy aid, at his office, 780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301.

11 a.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo has a Q&A after making an announcement in the Red Room of the State Capitol, in Albany.

11 a.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a Q&A after making an announcement at the FDNY promotion ceremony, in the auditorium of Building 9 of the Fire Training Academy, on Randall's Island.

2013

In their first joint newspaper interview, Bill de Blasio and his wife explain why their family is such a key part of his public profile. [Michael Howard Saul]

Joe Lhota is meeting with the Republican county chairmen from Staten Island and Manhattan today, plus Republican powerbroker Guy Molinari. [David Seifman]

Unnamed sources say City Council Speaker Christine Quinn struck a deal to keep NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly if she's elected mayor. [Josh Margolin and Dan Mangan]

Flashback: Quinn told reporters last May: "The next mayor of the city of New York would be incredibly lucky to have Ray Kelly stay on as their police commissioner." [Carol D'Auria]

City Hall / City Council

An argument for dropping the hate crime charge against the latest subway pusher. [Sally Kohn]

Only one Republican signed the Daily News pledge to support an assault weapons ban: Eric Ulrich. Another, James Oddo, said he supports banning assault weapons but did not sign the pledge. [Tina Moore]

Nine people in New York City were shot, but none were killed, in the early hours of 2013. [AP]

Albany

Cuomo held a meet-and-greet with visitors to the governor's mansion. Apparently there was an incident with a cookie. [Laura Nahmias]

At least one guest spoke to Cuomo about gun control. [Erik Kriss]

Assemblyman Joe Morrelle, who is also the Monroe County Democratic Chairman, said he'll recommend his son to fill a vacancy in the local county legislature. [Democrat and Chronicle]

An editorial board wants every vote counted in the race that could help determine which party controls the State Senate. [Daily News]

A columnist wants Cuomo to watch the anti-fracking Matt Damon movie, Promised Land. [Juan Gonzalez]

Washington

Seven of eight New York Republicans voted for the fiscal cliff deal, with outgoing Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle not voting. [Brian Tumulty]

Buerkle's office says it was "due to an electronic error," and that she recorded her "no" vote in the congressional record. [Inbox]

Republicans are starting to see their no-tax policy as "politicially unsustainable." [Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman]

Obama and Democrats quietly reauthorized a key anti-terror tool they criticized when it was used by Bush 43. [Wall Street Journal]

A Republican aide said Boehner was committed to getting a bill for Hurricane Sandy relief aid passed "this month." [Geoff Earle]

"[T]he whole affair is sure to bring back memories of the famous Daily News headline in 1975—'Ford to City: Drop Dead.'" [David Rogers]

"The viciousness of the pundit class is disheartening and disgusting," a conservative columnist wrote, defending Hillary Clinton from skeptics. [Kathleen Parker]

Clinton's health is improving. [AP]

A new interactive map shows how neighborhoods in Putnam County voted for president. [Lohud.com]

Media

The Journal News hired armed security guards to protect their headquarters, following an uproar from their map showing where gun-permit holders live. [Dylan Skriloff]

The home address and phone numbers for some Journal News reporters and editors were made public. [Dylan Skriloff]

CNBC stood out among its competitors for not covering the fiscal-cliff vote live. [@InsideCableNews]

On offensiveness. [@BuzzFeedAndrew]

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