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Is the scene in Damascus Syria.
Where suicide bombers have killed dozens of people in the kinds of attacks that -- not typically seen in Syria the kinds of attacks that were more accustomed to seeing in places like Iraq.
And this is power play.
And what I've seen and I'm Chris -- I should point out I should take about responsibility for what's about to happen.
But we have seen.
In -- things devolved from a civil war.
To what could be that kind of bloody insurgency.
And long lasting conflict.
That we've seen in other parts of that very bad neighborhood that we called the Middle East.
So what's gonna happen with that.
What are the repercussions by the way as it relates to what we do here which is domestic politics we'll get to that we'll talk of course about the fiscal -- talk about the fiscal cliff.
And as it seems like people are getting ready to jump off of it.
What is the consequence of that who talk about that.
And also -- hear from a Republican and democratic member of the house talk about what their break point is where -- that where they gonna stick.
When it comes to voting for -- we'll do all of those things.
But we're gonna first talk.
Doctor James Joyner he is of course.
One of my favorite people to introduced because he's Smart about foreign policy he explains things in ways that even I can understand.
The doctor Joyner is the main man -- outside the beltway which is popular a new Internet.
He is also.
Indeed what is your title of the -- editor managing editor points at Atlantic Council which is that foreign policy think tank that focuses on our relationship.
I was -- European allies -- is -- military command veteran he's a good guy welcome back to preserve OK so Syria.
It it's getting worse and it.
Are we going in I don't think so.
I mean did the rationale for going union is no greater today than it was yesterday or the day before or frankly Europe Africa Democrat it's it's it's bad.
On the other hand -- our goal is regime change.
It's more likely today than it was yesterday that rebels are winning all right it's it's a costly defensive end maybe.
Another six months to -- And they're winning in using the same kind of tactics that Islamist terrorists use in other places well because there's -- here.
I always islamists -- -- -- conspiracy is another man's.
-- -- it's one of the reasons I.
One of many that we we're we're not -- jumping in here is because even more so than in the -- in Egypt and Libya.
We don't really know -- the the other team is there a disparate group but today it they are increasingly dominated by islamists.
And what that -- exactly there's always unclear from western standpoint because in your religion is just a bigger deal in politics over -- -- in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Israel -- a diversity next now these guys we Rhode -- they are.
So they're there.
Not they're not our kind of islamists now -- The folks in Egypt we thought were our -- or the administration knew that they were our kind of islamists that the mother Muslim Brotherhood.
Was going to be okay and now people are getting very anxious about the president there it.
Who we were not too long ago hailing it as a moderating liberator -- what's going to happen there.
-- really clearing the problem is is that.
We did this or face backwards and -- -- he had an election before the wrote the constitution.
It was never clear what more she's jobless and what his powers war.
And the assumption was always going to be that the military's gonna largely keep a lot of power he's gonna -- -- figurehead responsibility over -- writing a constitution.
And then have a have a do over in -- elect another -- another parliament on the road.
And -- -- figures he's got to have a president who wants to really be in charge yeah.
-- so he is had a lot of power play successful so far I think this this most recent one.
Too much maybe a little too much and he's backtracking of -- -- he's a good politician.
He's pretty good idea how I think so I -- The promises there's no institutional relations -- -- this is spend decades.
You're military or pseudo military rule on Wednesday in the previous regime weren't -- uniform but Iraq by the military a -- would say yes yes and yeah also.
He's he's pushing back and trying to take power and heat Zia the everybody's fairway with a minute to what about the what about the court what about this and what about the parliament what about the that the military types -- -- I know let's let's come home and the question here is right now.
What is wrong with.
As -- -- I understand that you haven't been -- -- you recognize that this is essentially political -- using her nomination.
As a view of the vehicle for Republicans to -- answers out of the administration's current.
But there seems to be sort of a generalized and -- with her what's the problem.
Pessimistic thing I mean she's.
Obviously she's had a distinguished career she's been unedited you're seeing your clothes he went back to the Clinton administration.
-- yeah I think a lot of this was politics may certainly.
You know that there would be -- -- the UN ambassador has a similar amount of responsibility for security in the Gaza the issue not -- directly -- you don't know what I'm absolutely yes -- -- -- -- putts.
Clearly -- -- you know we looked over the weekend like John McCain and others were moderating a little -- of you know maybe I wouldn't Rasheed get through.
-- -- -- On her little tour on capital hill and like right now.
It's and has -- always accusing her of complicity in the you know in 1998.
Embassy bombings and after -- it makes it isn't.
-- mad at you really mad at you you've done something -- at -- -- you have a very Smart piece that's at the Atlantic.
Where you talk about what the policy future for the Republican Party holds so the Internet a bit about that.
I mean my argument is basically that.
For the first time ever.
The Republicans came into the selection behind a foreign policy the policy was a disadvantage -- an advantage it has not been the case in -- our lifetimes and Lyndon Johnson in 1960 -- the last president to have a foreign policy advantage from the other side in Vietnam -- destroyed the Democrats and our policy -- did and then -- recorder and others did not -- -- you know so a lot of years of being soon to be too -- well.
Also clocked at all that you got bin -- he's he's he's he's shooting anything in -- would -- names and you Mitt Romney was basically well you know he's in a really good job but if if you elect me I would do it better stronger and faster -- -- -- Yes that that didn't work in the problem is -- -- the Republican brand of policy isn't and in deep trouble because of bush and are in Iraq -- because of the neo conservatives -- -- -- in fifteen seconds what's the solution.
I think the solution is to embrace what bush talked about in 2000 you know kinder gentler no -- no nation build saying no interventions.
You know wanted to be.
Libertarian Republican yes that there's certainly I would be viewed Rand Paul fans out there you guys like that doctor.
They -- gonna take a quick break but when we come back guess we'll get to the fiscal cliff and we'll talk about.
What happens at the stroke of midnight on December 31 it's actually not as much if you think but anyway we'll talk about whether we're gonna jump the -- for me softly down the slope.
-- will do that when we come back sister correct.
Is George Herbert Walker Bush.
Who happen to be the 41 president of the United States.
And this is power play.
Now George H.
Bush is in the news today not just because he's been hospitalized and in Houston.
The is -- that -- any lingering cough.
That is strong concerns as maybe the we're putting this on the shoulders of I'm gonna -- -- the Associated Press is what that sounds like but apparently it's not life threatening but just some concern.
So he's OK but he was already in the news today before it went to the hospital because Republicans are -- back to.
Is read my lips no new taxes pledge that then resulted in -- ninety that was followed up by.
In 1990 budget deal where he did in fact signed off on a plan that raise taxes.
Since the Apollo moment in the Republican Party in the 1992 presidential election would Bill Clinton beating the Republicans have held the line.
No new taxes and they've done -- they've they have managed to all essentially vote against tax increases for the whole time now the president says.
It's time for you to get over it's been too long it's time for you to get over it.
And he wants them to allow a tax rate increase on top earners will they actually do that.
That's a good question so what -- good people to answer that you know Michelle's class -- you know her because she is the communications director for gopac.
Which is -- recruiting arm of the Republican Party you also know Richard Fowler he is a nationally syndicated radio host.
He's a Democrat so that's why they're here is that she's a Republican and he's a Democrat but also their fair market people.
Will they not should that.
We knew we can leave should day out there let's focus on will -- will Republicans give the president what they want.
Well unfortunately for Republicans this year elections have consequences so as much as he would love to be controlling the White House and congress.
In pushing through our -- tax -- tax reform cutting rates left and right.
-- -- -- -- Do I think the Republicans are gonna bend on raising tax rates are people hurting as close 250000 dollars no do you think they will -- to relaxes but it's they're gonna find a way to push the bubble.
I think it's highly likely -- it's.
On people earning a significantly higher income 500000 dollars one million the dispatch US senate Democrats used to before they had had passed an initiative.
Increasing taxes on people earning over a million but that being said you know revenues -- part of it.
But I don't think that can come without any promise.
Long term reform.
For the tax code and entitlement spending -- you can't solve this issue deficit performance.
But and Richard I don't know -- -- -- -- Republican -- kind of isn't anti tax increase and if the president.
The way I'm looking at this is if the president succeeds in not only getting Republicans to vote for a tax increase and only does he win the round but he sets off the rest of the round of vicious.
That advantages him and his party from mid terms right I think your absolutely right on this Thursday and here's why because if the Republican and I do believe the president has drawn a clear line in the senate does to a quarter quarter million dollar number is it at every campaign stop in the -- -- -- again through every time in public in the White House is insane -- quarter million dollars.
Or no deal former going over the cliff that he -- were not going over the -- and I don't think John Boehner is gonna go over the cliff so that being said I think would you set yourself up for these.
The Republican biting them themselves do you have a lot of crazy you have a lot of you know hard primary -- -- I know what you're about to say because we're creating it created.
Really creative candidates if you've got there you go and I think the creative candidates sort of been vocal for the president I think they'll the only person that loses in this debate is the Republican Party and shows like elections have consequences and other Republicans -- there so what if the Republicans say to the president.
And guess what you want to make this about the tax rates let's jump the wolf I'll take your hand and we will jump the cliff together we will let that.
Is for everybody -- -- what happens to the Republicans that I mean it's still a bad deal it's a lose lose for everybody I don't.
Obviously this thank you -- there are no good things yeah and I think that Stephen.
More difficult for Republicans to say you wipe the slate clean we go over the cliff brass tax rates aren't an issue anymore.
Then where do you start from next year only when we talk about increasing taxes again my it may even be higher than what we're talking about -- with the bush baseline.
-- You're saying is if you preserve it even worse straits for the people under two because it's really took it as knowledge single individuals -- -- Obama voters to 54 Romney voters married people.
So for the so you're saying that if you do that which you end up with and this is a very good point what you do that you're starting from -- blanks like you're back at these new rates and now the Republicans are trying to claw back.
Dragged down those numbers -- instead of hold the line Gloria I think crucial for the Republicans have to make a deal before the end of this session they go into the recession in the fall off the cliff Burton -- over the speed -- everybody's calling -- now I think the Republicans lose uniquely worse because the car to reset the table 37 I think the president has the upper hand.
And on top but I think of the American public unfortunately -- -- with the president.
And the electorate with the Democrats of the Republican get -- begins electorate.
They're -- against the White House and -- against the US senate and I think there's no way that they -- in this Jewish whatsoever but if the Republicans cease to be party that.
Is that no new taxes party which they fined now for twenty years or more the Republicans have essentially -- -- -- blame Grover Norquist but really what it is.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And for change and -- lower.
If they lose that brand -- what are -- what are they selling to voters.
Spending cuts which I think is just part of the weakness.
It's blue and a life of me I can't understand why house Republicans haven't.
Change the game I had they haven't gone on offense and -- -- extension of the bush tax cuts every single day between now and January 1 to say we're not the ones who are raising taxes on on middle class still there was a guy who has to defend why haven't.
Do you hear that Michelle is basically and I -- an event.
We have hired Michelle will be shut up I'll look beyond that point I think they're having internal fighting in their own within their own ranks I mean they're really trying to figure out what to do you have people liberal -- -- think they're getting -- -- -- -- from fall officially.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Here's the deal the Republicans have a choice if they were.
Asked their rank and file members if they bring -- put it to them this way we can vote to raise taxes.
But we will probably hold on to majority it'll give us a better chance to hold -- majority next time we hold the line on taxes taxes will go up anyway and -- lose the majority.
Guess what I think a lot of Republicans would still accept him holding the line they would rather hold the line.
Than somebody who you know Newt Gingrich suffered a very difficult time in his caucus when they made some compromises with Bill Clinton.
And they paid a heavy price.
Is this not true.
That's completely true that is our power -- -- right now once today folks we thank you very much for making time for us today and at the show if you get hired by John David you -- cut.
I think that the OK guys we're gonna take a quick break but when we come back we're getting hit -- you're chats we're gonna talk to -- -- but we're also gonna talk to a couple.
Smart members of congress about what the state of play there really isn't what their -- bend or break points are on this discussion.
-- do that when we come back.
So stick around.
All your members of congress write them an email.
Posted on their FaceBook walls.
You can tweet it using the hash tag might to -- Not Y two -- -- -- -- We figure that would make -- a little easier to remember.
And that little bit of millennial humor was from President Obama who had an event yesterday calling on his supporters and in the folks who agreed with him.
Calling -- tax increase on top earners were holding the race the same for middle income folks.
To get after their members of congress and harass them on the -- books in the twitters and all of those places.
And you know who's who who are members of congress.
Diane black she's a Republican from Tennessee eight out there in suburban and then out into rural national.
And rob Andrews he's a Democrat he's from the northern part of New Jersey.
Congressman congresswoman welcome.
Thank you thank you -- out today thanks for being well.
Of course of course all right so let's start let's ladies first and we'll ask you congresswoman.
What for you.
When you look at this the discussion in your caucus right now is whether or not.
To pass an extension of the tax rates for folks who make under 200000 dollars.
And then have the next fight.
Over everything else and do that to get the political pressure off where do you stand on that.
Well we we we really believe that that we should not be raising taxes on anyone at this time.
This is a difficult economy and raising taxes on anyone will be difficult.
Parents and young -- sad that we would lose about 700000 jobs by raising taxes on small business owners.
And I don't think that's what any of us want.
On the other side of that is we keep talking about revenue and we also have to talk about their spending.
We have a spending drink prices here in Washington and we have got to talk about both sides of this -- OK so you're so -- you are you open beating you and you stand with the speaker who's talking about there's ways to -- about the revenues.
-- -- economic growth but also through the closing of tax loopholes and stuff like that you're you're within.
I am with him and we obviously being on the Budget Committee have already put out -- play and did you just that's pro growth tax reform.
And we're willing to do that but we also have to be very serious about looking at the -- issue.
And then -- to get serious about our spending problem here in Washington then we're never gonna solve this problem.
Now congressman Andrews.
200000 dollars doesn't go as far in northern New Jersey is it doesn't suburban.
Suburban national 200000 dollars -- tune of 50000 dollars.
Is pretty middle class actually in -- high.
In in a high cost of living area like the one that you represented is -- I actually represent the southern part of staple I'm sorry premise that -- -- I -- -- premise of the 200000 dollars -- not go very far in urban areas.
I think the discussions around 250.
Adjusted gross income -- up and listen.
My top priority is getting the economy rolling again.
By easing the anxiety of investors and lenders by getting the deficit now I'm four up.
Four trillion dollar deficit reduction plan modeled on Simpson Bowles.
That I think would restore confidence and a lot of Americans back to work.
-- but what do we do you congressman between them I mean there right now the president says he wants a deal by Christmas on the things that are going to happen and -- if there is an intervention.
Which is that across the board tax increase and he'd be across the board cuts.
McChrystal wants action between now and that is their time to do something on the order of four trillion dollars now.
Yeah I think there is that he will you do as you push the fiscal -- back three or four months.
You -- what we call a reconciliation instruction here you tell all the committees what to do.
You tell them come up with savings and revenues I would do about three dollars of cuts for every dollar revenue.
And if the committee's adopt those bills by the end of march the fiscal cliff doesn't happen that's what -- -- ago.
Congresswoman back -- you it here's there's the concern that many Republicans have.
Which is that if the if any changes are made it's certainly what congressman -- argument would be moved.
Would be popular in Europe caucus because it would at least hold the line it wouldn't require a change on taxes now and would make it part of a bigger deal is -- that's so.
Well I think that is so because when you look at the plan that we passed before the election.
Our -- -- say let's get some confidence to.
Both business owners and investors as the congressman has said let's give them some confidence that we are going to do some pro growth tax reform.
And that we are going to deal with that debt driven crisis that we have here.
And by getting that confidence will really help everyone to know that we are serious about what we need to do here in Washington.
And that is a look at our spending and make sure that we're just think.
What is the biggest issue and -- our debt.
So why then congressman do you think that the president is insisting on.
What he's insisting they -- because it's there when we got back from the election.
The assumption was that there was going to be some tide over some carry over like you described and then the whole thing would be -- why is he why is he being consistent.
Well you know there's a public dialogue and there's a real dialogue.
And I came to congress the day speaker Boehner did in 1990 I've known him for a long time.
And he's a very able and good public servant I think he and the president are having.
A very sincere -- focus dialogue to try to come to an agreement.
I think that agreement will emerge in the next two weeks or so.
And I think they'll be a vigorous public debate over whether to support -- I expect that I will support it because.
It will put the country -- track.
To reduce our deficit by about four trillion dollars and we need to do that.
Well let me just say.
I'm pleased the president would not be out in the public still campaigning.
I'd like to see him be a leader and give us his plan we've put a plan on the table.
And you can't negotiate against yourself.
And I think that's a disappointment for me look I came from a state legislature that was divided and yet we were able to get things done bipartisan -- But you didn't do it in the public.
Realm you'd get it by sitting at the table and being serious and putting a plan on the table and I think -- for me -- my greatest disappointment.
Really -- after the election.
From the American people obviously said we're going to keep a president in the White House and give him more time a look at gonna continue to have a majority in the house and we expect you to work together.
You don't do that by getting in front of the public and continuing to campaign.
You do that by sitting at a table with a plan -- be very serious about the -- -- I think that's a disappointment for me.
You know America thinks Washington can't work together for you to work together beautifully today we thank you.
Both of you for your time this and -- southern New Jersey guys I have -- I think there are things that you.
-- it wasn't governor Romney and presently have -- -- meeting right now.
I think we can sit down the way there and I think we give up with a good agreement for the country.
OK I just don't want to thank you very much for your dog -- great day.
We've got some business transact with you on the hunt I hopeless Jonathan Hunt is up next but somebody will be there helping you through the noon hour no question about that.
But before we get to that.
How about a little talking points about some talking points breaking bread breaking bread -- are talking points today.
Because today in in mere moments -- Obama and Mitt Romney are going to have lunch together.
And here's your first PowerPoint.
All word oh my gosh can you imagine Mitt Romney who always insisted -- -- is -- is a good guy he's just bad at being president.
He has to go to the White House to eat lunch with a guy who said he was of the empire that's tough that makes it tough and thanks for a very tough lunch.
But here's your second PowerPoint.
In this meal maybe there are some stirrings of grace for the American political class the president is doing it he says -- Jay Carney said to highlight the fact that we did not have a revolution after the election and that quite experienced the peaceful transfer of power.
Kind of a low threshold.
But in this action there are some stirrings of grace.
Not reflected in what else the president's doing what else the president's doing is trying to hammer the Republicans to nail them in public.
Because they won't give him what he wants but in -- bit.
As we heard the congressman say that people -- that the president -- is open to some things so here's hoping for the sake the little power plays.
That this is a moment where patriotic grace is flowing.
In the nation's capital.
And here's the -- that.
-- -- -- An untapped resource Mitt Romney is incredibly energetic he has a lot that he wants to do he's not going to get to be president of the United States but surely there's a role for him.
And maybe if the president really is feeling the stirrings of patriotic grace.
There's a place for him maybe he could run so does he do a good job.
And that's what we've got.
For you except for our best wishes and thanks and now.
As we like to do every day we want to leave you with the word from our French -- It's.
The Republicans have stood for one thing consistently.
It tells them together ideologically and generally speaking it's helped them electorally they are than low tax priority the other guys one attacks.
To match their reckless spending if they give it up now in return.
For nothing Obama who wins any wings -- --
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