Opening Act: $4 Trillion

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 2 2013 8:19 AM

Opening Act: $4 Trillion

The "fiscal cliff" parachute has lifted, and now might be a good time to read what was in it. The combination of tax cuts and almost no spending cuts -- a 41-1 candy to arsenic ratio -- costs around $4 trillion over 10 years.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

Welcome to the new era of bipartisanship.

It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.
“Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.
Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?”
Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.”

The irony? The deal passed because Boehner threw up his hands and let the bill pass despite majority opposition from Republicans.

Which brings us to some excellent rumor-mongering from Matthew Boyle.

American Majority Action spokesman Ron Meyer told Breitbart News late Tuesday that enough House Republicans have banded together in an effort to unseat House Speaker John Boehner from his position--they just need a leader to take up the mantle.
“At least 20 House Republican members have gotten together, discussed this and want to unseat Speaker Boehner--and are willing to do what it takes to do it,” Meyer said.

When the new House meets on Thursday, Republicans will have 234 seats, so -- purely theoretically -- 17 Republicans could deny Boehner the votes to become Speaker. But there's nothing stopping Democrats from voting for Boehner. My favorite, unlikely scenario has Boehner losing support as the roll call proceeds, and Democrats bolstering the guy they now know they can deal with, creating a sort of de facto Kadima speakership. Won't happen.

Geoffrey Stone pushes around George Will, who's already pre-deriding possible Obama SCOTUS picks.

Jim Tankersley explains why the deal doesn't meet any of the economic tests Washington has jawed about for years.

Human Events asks whether Obama should be impeached over "the Benghazi tragedy."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.