In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes yesterday, President Obama said Republicans are willing to tank the economy to get him out of office. They know they “really screwed up the economy,” Obama said, and thus calculated that “our best bet is to stand on the sidelines, because we think the economy’s going to get worse, and at some point, just blame [Obama].”
A climate change deal reached at the U.N. talks in Durban, South Africa could help break through the impasse among U.S. officials on climate policy. For the first time, all major economies, including China and India, which had previously been exempted, will be in the same category for cutting emissions, a policy that has been a sticking point between the U.S. and China.
Obama will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today as the U.S. prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq before the end of the year. Obama, Maliki, and Vice President Biden will also participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
President Obama probably will not get the chance to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the winter recess. Instead of officially adjourning, the Senate is likely to remain in “pro-forma” session throughout the break. Last week the Senate GOP blocked Cordray’s nomination.
Starting in 2012, San Francisco will become the nation’s first city with a minimum wage higher than $10. The “city’s hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24, more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government.”
Congress will likely approve a bipartisan spending agreement this week to avert a government shutdown before a short-term funding deal expires on Friday. Congress agreed to a spending level for the next fiscal year in the August debt deal, which smoothed negotiations, and Republicans acknowledged that they will need some Democratic votes in the House to pass a spending agreement because core members who want dramatic spending cuts will oppose any compromise.
Today, the Supreme Court will decide if it will rule on the constitutionality of Arizona’s anti-immigration law, SB 1070. Arizona is asking the justices to allow it to start enforcing measures that have been blocked by lower courts, but the Justice Department insists that regulating immigration “is the job of the federal government, not states.”
Dozens of cities across the U.S. have found themselves in dire straits as projects to build badly needed affordable housing units have been delayed. After millions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME fund failed to produce the promised housing, cities are trying to get troubled construction deals back on track.
And finally: Some free advice for Mitt Romney: When running for president, it’s probably best not to discuss that time you pooped in a bucket. “A number of the apartments I lived in when I lived there didn’t have toilets…it was a bucket affair,” Romney said at a campaign event in Iowa of his time as a missionary in France.