Mark Smith of the AP: "President Barack Obama is ready to entertain Republican proposals for spending cuts, but GOP lawmakers must first commit to higher tax rates on the rich and specify what additional spending cuts they want in a deal to avoid the looming 'fiscal cliff,' Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. 'The ball really is with them now,' Geithner, one of the president's chief negotiators with Capitol Hill, said during appearances on five Sunday talk shows."
Jia Lin Yang & Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post: "U.S. multinationals have spent years pushing for a change to the tax code that would eliminate taxes on business profits overseas.... Now ... lobbyists and some on Capitol Hill are latching onto the 'fiscal cliff' as a potential springboard for their cause." Support comes from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-chaired by Erskine Bowles & Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), President Obama's jobs council, Mitt Romney's economic platform, the Business Roundtable & the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Some tax experts warn, however, that such a change could radically alter how companies behave and have broad implications for the economy. Without the right safeguards, they say, eliminating taxes on foreign profits and switching to what is known as a 'territorial' system would blow a hole in tax revenue, give multinationals more leeway to exploit tax havens and drive jobs overseas." CW: No kidding. Hey, what could be more American than more tax breaks for the ultra-rich corporations/people?
"What Does Jack Think?" Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times profiles Jack Lew, President Obama's chief of staff & a former budget director under both the Obama & Clinton administrations.
Louise Story of the New York Times: "A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains. The cost of the awards is certainly far higher.... For local governments, incentives have become the cost of doing business with almost every business."
Jessica Silver-Greenberg of the New York Times: "Just as the housing market is recovering, a growing group of homeowners -- widows over the age of 50 whose husbands alone were holders of the mortgage -- are losing their homes to foreclosure because of a paperwork flaw that keeps them from obtaining loan modifications. In the latest chapter of the foreclosure crisis, homeowners over 50 are falling into foreclosure at the fastest pace of any age group, according to nationwide data, in part because women are outliving their spouses and are unable to cope with cuts in their pensions, ballooning medical costs -- and the fine print on their mortgages." CW: Nice going, Banksters. Nothing like hitting elderly widows when she's down. No one can say you jackasses are not living up to your stereotype. ...
... Kevin Roose of New York: banksters dread the coming of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, fearing she is more than "one of a hundred."
Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News: "... the story McCain and Graham are trying to sell is getting harder and harder to swallow."
Mitt Is Bored, Ann Is Disconsolate. Philip Rucker of the Washington Post: "Four weeks after losing a presidential election he was convinced he would win, Romney's rapid retreat into seclusion has been marked by repressed emotions, second guessing and, perhaps for the first time in the overachiever's adult life, sustained boredom, according to interviews with more than a dozen of Romney's closest friends and advisers.... By all accounts, the past month has been most difficult on Romney's wife, Ann, who friends said believed up until the end that ascending to the White House was their destiny. They said she has been crying in private...."
Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post: David "Petraeus was neither a conquering hero nor an empty suit. To view his military record through the lens of his personal failure merely serves to replace one myth with another."
Greg Miller of the Washington Post: "The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, U.S. officials said. The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units."
David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's "recent tone and actions reminded critics of the autocratic ways of his predecessor, and have aroused a new debate here about his commitment to democracy and pluralism at a time when he and his Islamist allies dominate political life."
Right Wing World
Andre Tartar of New York: Defeated Tea Party Rep. Allen West (Florida) compares himself to -- Abe Lincoln.
The Hill: "President Obama and former President Bill Clinton hit the golf course on Sunday."
AP: "The trial of an Army private charged with sending U.S. secrets to the website WikiLeaks is being pushed back from February to March. Military judge Col. Denise Lind announced the change Sunday at a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade for Pfc. Bradley Manning."
AP: "The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has returned home to a hero's welcome after winning a resounding endorsement for Palestinian independence at the United Nations. Some 5,000 people thronged a square Sunday outside Abbas' government headquarters in the West Bank. Many hoisted Palestinian flags and balloons in the colors of the flag." ...
... Reuters: "Israel said on Sunday it was withholding this month's transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, after the United Nations' de facto recognition of a Palestinian state."
Reuters: "Protests by Islamists allied to President Mohamed Mursi forced Egypt's highest court to adjourn its work indefinitely on Sunday, intensifying a conflict between some of the country's top judges and the head of state. The Supreme Constitutional Court said it would not convene until its judges could operate without 'psychological and material pressure', saying protesters had stopped the judges from reaching the building."
Reuters: "Suicide attackers detonated bombs and fired rockets outside a major U.S. base in Afghanistan on Sunday, killing five people in a brazen operation that highlighted the country's security challenges ahead of the 2014 NATO combat troop pullout."
Reuters: "A strike by clerical workers at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach idled most of the busiest U.S. cargo shipping complex for a fifth day on Saturday as container-laden vessels waited to be unloaded and marathon contract talks stretched into the night. Some 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 were refusing to cross picket lines of some 500 striking clerical workers, effectively shutting down 10 of the two ports' combined 14 container terminals."
Reuters: "Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death, then drove to the team training facility and killed himself in front of the coach and general manager in a burst of violence on Saturday that stunned the NFL and its fans." CW: (1) give a guy a job where he gets his head bashed several times a day; (2) give him a gun; (3) act all surprised when he kills his girlfriend over a trivial argument, then takes his own life.