Cory Booker Makes Power Play for Lautenberg's Senate Seat - http://abcn.ws/12rPenl
Mayor Bloomberg - NRA Bears Some Blame for Connecticut - "We're not trying to take away your right to advance the interests of gun owners, hunters, people who want to protect themselves," Bloomberg told "Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden in an interview today. "But that's not an absolute right to encourage behavior which causes things like Connecticut. In fact, Connecticut is because of some of their actions." http://abcn.ws/12CVS9D
The main event tomorrow will be NRA's 10:45 press conference - their first statement since the shooting in Connecticut.
The main event tonight is the House vote on John Boehner's 'Plan B' tax plan. Undercard - Sequestration.
'Plan B' is starting to feel a little more like 'The Plan.' John Parkinson reports Boehner and Obama haven't spoken since Monday.
Oft-Heard Statement - Boehner and Obama really aren't that far apart and there will be a deal.
Let's deconstruct with the help of Jon Karl, ABC's new Chief White House Correspondent: http://abcn.ws/VT7P53
Boehner and Obama really aren't that far apart?
"The differences are more significant than just tax rates. Republicans say the Democratic offer is really $800 billion in spending cuts and $1.3 trillion in tax increases. That is because the inflation adjustment applies to tax rates* as well as Social Security - resulting in about $100 billion in added tax revenues. Democrats count that as a spending cut. Republicans say that is a tax hike. So the real difference, from their perspective, is $450 billion. The $400,000 vs. $1 million threshold for tax rates hikes is just one part of this. Republicans want more spending cuts and fewer tax increases.
"Obama and Senate Democrats are fond of saying they are this close (fingers close together). They say Boehner should just accept the President's offer. But, as I asked Reid earlier today, if you are this close, why not just accept Boehner's offer? He dodged, saying that Boehner's offer wasn't really an offer and called him Lucy and the football.
"Both sides like to talk about Lucy and the football. But that is another story.
"Will there be a deal?
"They should be able to do a deal. I know where the deal should be. So do you. But, really, they aren't quite so close as the nifty charts like this one from the Washington Post chart suggest. And this is about much more than the $400,000 tax rate threshold."
*By lowering the government's calculation for inflation, the income level for the top rates would rise at a slower rate, putting more and more people into the top rates. http://abcn.ws/VT7P53
Plan B - It's still a tough vote for some Republicans. Grover Norquist says sure, why not. FreedomWorks says hell no. It would allow tax rates to rise (or raise tax rates) for people making more than $1 million per year. A separate, earlier vote, would replace "sequestration" with $38 billion in cuts. That's as far as Boehner says he'll go. But for Democrats, it isn't far enough. And Harry Reid says he won't even take it up. So Ho Ho Ho!
The day's wrap from Devin Dwyer, John Parkinson and Sunlen Miller - http://abcn.ws/WxzA9F
Back on Guns - Tapper - Biden Enlists Cops to Help With Assault Weapons Ban - http://abcn.ws/12CW3BO
Power Players: Joe Lieberman - Outgoing Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a national tragedy that happened in his state, was different than other acts of violence because the victims were young and innocent. "I don't want the hurt, the guilt that people feel now about how we could let this happen to our children dissipate, or get spent in another legislative gridlock," said Lieberman. "I think if we strengthen our gun laws nationally it would prevent some murders that are occurring now," said the four-term senator. "That's why it's worth doing." The senator also reflected on how things would have been different if Vice President Al Gore had won the presidency in 2000. Al Gore "would have really led on climate change," says Lieberman, who was Gore's running mate. http://abcn.ws/WsPtuh
Watch: Inouye Lies in State - Obama Will Attend his Service at Natl. Cathedral Friday - http://abcn.ws/12sp0kA
White House Christmas Decorations Through the Administrations http://abcn.ws/UJDPtf
U.S. Amb to Finland and Vacuum Scion Bares Arms in Christmas Card - http://abcn.ws/TDOTsA
Hip New Trend - The Pre-Nomination Fight - Chuck Hagel, Cont'd - As pro-Israel groups continue to wrangle over Chuck Hagel, reportedly President Obama's likely nominee for secretary of defense, the conservative Emergency Committee for Israel plans to air a new ad on cable TV in the Washington, D.C., area today and Friday. The group, launched by Weekly Standard editor and noted neo-conservative William Kristol, blasts the former Nebraska senator for his stance on Iran - a refrain multiple Jewish and pro-Israel groups have hit since Hagel's name first surfaced. Hagel does have his defenders on Israel, though, most notably among moderate and left-leaning columnists and the group J Street, which consistently pits itself against Israel's staunchest and hardest-line backers. http://abcn.ws/UKhYlF