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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blissful cliff

Barack Obama holds as press conference today, fresh from setting a new, higher line in the sand on new taxes to avoid the fiscal cliff. Want to wager that's not going to be the prime topic on journalists' minds?

That's because Washington is awash in bimbo eruptions, a hot and juicy scandal involving sex, spies and shirtless rogue FBI agents. You know, reporters just can't pass up a juicy scandal.

Obama set the tone for new negotiations with Congress, telling labor leaders his opening gambit in negotiations with Republicans would be for $1.6 trillion in new taxes. That's twice the amount House Speaker John Boehner was willing to accept last year.

Of course, an entirely new number -- 332 electoral votes -- have changed the equation dramatically.

But the looming financial showdown will be small potatoes in today's session with reporters-- Obama's first since dispatching Romney and the first since the bizarre story of David Petraeus and what could be a love pentagon gripped the nation's capital.

There are, to be sure, some serious issues behind L'Affaire Petraeus -- online privacy and the threats to personal and national security. Not to mention the nagging feeling the whole thing was an effort at an electoral dirty trick by the enlisting of said shirtless FBI agent who sought out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor a week before the election.

The FBI certainly has some 'splainin' to do.

You can expect the media will pepper Obama with "what did you know and when did you know it" questions, trying to raising the specter already awash in right wing conspiracy circles that the White House somehow had a hand in covering up the affair -- or manufacturing it so Petraeus was not able to testify to Congress about what happened in Benghazi -- you know the cover-up the right thinks is worse than Watergate.

The campaign lacked any substantive discussion of the right mix of taxes and spending cuts needed to set the nation back on firmer footing. Too much boredom (not to mention fireworks) in the numbers. The presumption was a deadline and political clarity would force the adult discussion.

No one counted on a juicy sex scandal to divert the media's attention. Then again, it may allow Obama and Republicans to negotiate quietly, out of the bright klieg lights that generate bluster and posturing.

Maybe that's exactly what that sinister Obama had in mind. You're welcome to run with that Rush.

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