POLITICS
11/29/2012 05:24 pm ET | Updated Jan 29, 2013

HUFFPOST HILL - Obama Earned Political Capital, And Now He Intends to Spend It

President Obama met with Mitt Romney today in the White House, but Obama resisted the urge to give Romney a commemorative box of White House M&Ms. Joe Biden visited the new Costco in Northeast, prompting the media to seek reaction from Sam's Club Republicans. And Joe Lieberman defended Susan Rice's Sunday show comments about the Benghazi attack. No word if John McCain has returned his half of the friendship pendant. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, November 29th, 2012:

WHITE HOUSE FISCAL CLIFF PROPOSAL - Obama's got your offer...RIGHT HERE, COWBOY. Jonathan Weisman: "House Republicans said on Thursday that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, an immediate new round of stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits. The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, was likely to meet strong Republican resistance. In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other entitlements, to be worked out next year, with no guarantees. He did propose some upfront cuts in programs like farm price supports, but did not specify an amount or any details." And John, he'll take DC abortion back. Who is this president and what have you done with Barack Obama??? [NYT]

BOEHNER: ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE THAT NEGOTIATE HERE - John Boehner expressed frustration today with the pace of the fiscal cliff negotiations -- which is to say that his brow was slightly more furrowed, he showed some but not that much of the top of his head to the camera, and his eyes were just a little bit less watery. WaPo: "House Speaker John A. Boehner delivered a blow Thursday to the optimism that Washington leaders have been showing over negotiations on the fiscal cliff, saying that there's been 'no substantive progress' in attempts to reach a deal and that 'the White House has to get serious' on entitlement spending. At a press conference after meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and White House legislative affairs chief Rob Nabors, Boehner (R-Ohio) said the meeting and a call with President Obama on Wednesday evening left him believing that Democrats are not willing to rein in spending on entitlements as part of the deal. 'The White House has to get serious,' he told reporters, adding, 'We have no idea what the White House has been willing to do.'" [WaPo]

Boehner's remarks, made around 11:30 this morning, precipitated a dip in the market.

Mitch McConnell Debbie Downed pretty hard: "Today, they took a step backward, moving away from consensus and significantly closer to the cliff, delaying again the real, balanced solution that this crisis requires," he said in a statement after his meeting with Geithner. "This is a real problem--every day they delay brings us one step closer to the fiscal cliff that we simply must avoid."

WHITE HOUSE REJECTS GUANTANAMO LIMITATIONS - That sound you hear are the anguished cries of Democrats who almost voted for Jill Stein. Mike McAuliff: "The White House Thursday handed out its first veto threat since President Barack Obama won reelection when advisers warned that they would counsel the commander-in-chief to nix the defense bill currently on the floor of the Democratic-controlled Senate. The White House warned that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 breaks from the president's budget request, limits his ability to pursue his defense strategy and trespasses on his power. Among the issues the president's Office of Management and Budget singled out were some of the controversial military detainee provisions, although it did not take issue with language passed in last year's bill that lets the military hold American civilians without trial. Instead, the White House complains about ongoing restrictions on its ability to transfer prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison base for terrorism suspects, which are reasserted in section 1031 on the bill." [HuffPost]

HEY - At least they never resorted to "You up?" Bloomberg Businessweek: "One fascination in a presidential race mostly bereft of intrigue was the strange, incessant, and weirdly overfamiliar e-mails that emanated from the Obama campaign. Anyone who shared an address with the campaign soon started receiving messages from Barack Obama with subject lines such as 'Join me for dinner?' 'It's officially over,' 'It doesn't have to be this way,' or just 'Wow.' Jon Stewart mocked them on the Daily Show. The women's website the Hairpin likened them to notes from a stalker. But they worked. Most of the $690 million Obama raised online came from fundraising e-mails." [Bloomberg Businessweek ]

No surprises as House Democrats announced their leadership team and some of their ranking committee members today. There are women.

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Email of the Jobless: "I have no family to help me," writes a person who just started receiving the federal unemployment benefits slated to expire on Dec. 29. "I can't make my car payment and house payment, just a matter of time before I become one of those people living under a box in an alley that I always wonder why they lived that way. I go to local areas where I can use internet to job search. Every day I apply for at least four jobs." [Hang in there!]

ETHICS! If you could put a dollar value on transparency and ethics laws in Washington, what would it be? How about $1.12.

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

DEBT CEILING MAKING FISCAL CLIFF EVEN CRAGGIER - Just how many self-imposed financial disasters can our Congress get the country into? Did we make some nationwide promise to pay someone Tuesday for a hamburger today? Sam Stein: "Two top Democratic sources confirmed to The Huffington Post that the president, in private meetings and conversations, has made it abundantly clear to Boehner that he wants the debt ceiling raised as part of the current package being negotiated... To what extent Boehner wants to have another fight is not entirely clear. He likely realizes that it would be difficult to corral his caucus for more than one major vote related to budget or spending. He also likely recognizes the hit congressional Republicans took in public polling following the July 2011 debt ceiling standoff... There is a legal school of thought that holds the debt ceiling to be inherently unconstitutional, calling it a violation of the 14th Amendment, which declares that the validity of the public debt 'shall not be questioned'... The White House scoffed at this argument during the summer of 2011, saying privately that it lacked a legitimate legal bearing and would do little to instill confidence among those buying U.S. debt. That could be so. But as a political matter, it's a tool that Democrats currently say they are willing to revisit. " [HuffPost]

Any good suggestions for hot yoga? Sam Stein, who is in the market.

FINAL HOUSE COUNT: DEMS GAIN EIGHT SEATS - The final House race has been called, and in an alternate universe, we would all be sleep-deprived and bleary-eyed as the final results from Ohio AP: " Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre reclaimed his longtime southeastern North Carolina congressional seat on Wednesday night, earning a razor-thin victory over his Republican challenger after a machine recount produced hardly any change in the margin. Republican rival David Rouzer conceded defeat after the recount in the 12th and final county in the 7th Congressional District showed McIntyre keeping a 654-vote lead over Rouzer. McIntyre had a 655-vote lead out of more than 336,000 votes cast before Rouzer requested the recount that began Monday...Even with McIntyre's victory, the new U.S. House remains on track for a 234-201 Republican majority, a narrowing of its 242-193 advantage today, which includes five vacancies." [AP]

CORY BOOKER: STRONG SENATE NUMBERS, WEEK GUBERNATORIAL ONES - An unexpected development for the American politician who reminds everyone of that cool history teacher they had in high school. Ariel Edwards-Levy: "Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) would likely fare well in New Jersey's 2014 Senate race, according to a poll released Thursday by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling. If Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) doesn't run for reelection, 48 percent of Democrats would support Booker, putting him far ahead of potential rivals Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone, PPP found... In the general election, Booker would defeat one possible Republican candidate, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, 52 percent to 29 percent, PPP found. Lautenberg would win 48 to 33 percent against the same opponent... Booker would face longer odds if he entered the 2013 gubernatorial race against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), whose approval ratings have shot up since his handling of the storm. A Quinnipiac poll found Christie leading Booker by 18 points in a hypothetical matchup." [HuffPost]

Tim Johnson, the chairman of the Oh Right, Him Committee, will wait until next year to decide whether to run for reelection. TPM: "Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) welcomed former South Dakota Mike Rounds (R) to the state's 2014 U.S. Senate race in a statement released on Thursday...Johnson, a three-term Democratic incumbent who suffered a life-threatening brain hemorage in 2006, said he feels 'great' and that he intends to formally announce his plans next year, adding that he plans to 'put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead.'" [TPM]

LIEBERMAN DITCHES HIS AMIGOS, DEFENDS SUSAN RICE - Politico: "Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Thursday that Congress should have "mercy" on United Nations ambassador Susan Rice, who has been heavily criticized for her public statements made immediately after attacks at U.S. posts overseas in September...'I think that anybody in Washington, particularly in Congress, ought to have a little sense of mercy about those kinds of errors because they were not in my opinion intentional attempts to deceive the American public. She said basically what the intelligence community told her was the truth [as] she tentatively understood it the day she went on national intelligence.' Lieberman met with Rice on Tuesday in Washington for what he told reporters afterward was 'a productive meeting.'" [Politico]

ROMNEY MEETS WITH OBAMA - From the readout: This afternoon, President Obama and Governor Romney visited for an hour over lunch in the Private Dining Room adjacent to the Oval Office. Governor Romney congratulated the President for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years. The focus of their discussion was on America's leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future. They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future. Their lunch menu included white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad. [Photo]

Here's Romney being heckled as he arrived.

Here's a photo of Romneyvisiting McDonald's. Behold the infinite sadness.

JOE BIDEN VISITS COSTCO, REFRAINS FROM JOKINGLY PURCHASING 128-PACK OF CONDOMS - Nor did he purchase 20 pounds of frozen burritos and ten 48 oz bags of Bugles for President Obama and Mitt Romney's lunch. Disappointing. From McClatchy's Lesley Clark's pool report: "Motorcade arrived at dc's first Costco at 9:24 am Today is the store's grand opening... VP Biden engaged in an extended Costco shopping spree, to the delight of shoppers and employees at the store, which just opened its doors to the public today. He flashed his Costco card as he walked through the doors to loud cheers. Employee Ivey Stewart handled a cart for Biden, who stopped frequently for hugs and photos... Motorcade rolled from Costco at 10:12 am, w VP stopping to talk to reporters after wheeling a cart filled w among other things, childrens' books, fire logs, a 32 inch Panasonic tv and a big apple pie to the registers... Unknown if he bought a watch, though he spent considerable time at the counter looking at them, including a $1,200 one, and put in a call to his daughter, Ashley, saying he needed to 'get some guidance'... Biden also availed himself of several Costco food samples, and looked like he enjoyed them."

Biden's visit, in GIFs

OUR KENYAN PRESIDENT'S LATEST POWER GRAB - Mother Jones: "Barack Hussein Obama is hatching a secret plot to pull off the ultimate power grab: securing himself a third term in the White House...Among the main proponents of this theory -- which comes in several different flavors -- is Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, a publishing firm that hawks financial advice -- and has a history of promoting dubious claims. Even before the president won reelection, the company began blasting out emails to subscribers of various conservative newsletters, warning of the coming third term of Obama. The emails went out as paid advertisements through the right-leaning Townhall.com, Newsmax, Human Events, and Gingrich Marketplace (a spokesman for Newt Gingrich and the vice president of Human Events both claimed this email blast was a mistake)." [MoJo]

WHOOPS - @UN: On Day of Solidarity with Palestinians, Ban Ki-moon stresses urgency of reaching 1-state solution http://j.mp/Shm6tH

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Puppy does not enjoy wearing a hoodie.

THE MEN WHO LOSE GOATS - HuffPost DC: "Staten Island has its wayward zebras and ponies. Northern Virginia and Maryland have stolen goat college mascots." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- The national beard and moustache championships would make Ron Swanson's knees buckle. [http://goo.gl/kqNgU]

- Does the universe has a purpose? Neil deGrasse Tyson and a very talented illustrator tackle the question. [http://chzb.gr/Ut31GU]

- The world's fastest archer is also probably the world's fastest impaler. [http://goo.gl/kd5xM]

- That time Al Roker tweeted that he and Savannah Gutherie were going to get "lit." [http://bit.ly/UdSqgB]

- Atari turned 40 today. Here's a retrospective. [http://goo.gl/ZjuqS]

- Hipster Thanksgiving. [http://bit.ly/10vNZS4]

- Why are people attracted to mean people? Science has an answer. [http://bit.ly/112Vj9h]

TWITTERAMA

@anamariecox: Trying to squeeze melons in a non-suggestive way. Failing. #bidenatcostco

@indecision: The worst part about the lunch? Jim Lehrer is their waiter.

@evanmc_s: you'll know the fiscal cliff talks are serious when someone promises and/or threatens to shave something

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