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Obama agenda: Meeting with his base

“When President Barack Obama meets with labor leaders Tuesday about looming tax and spending decisions, he will confront a liberal wing of his party energized by last week's election and dug in against making deals with Republicans. These groups held more than 100 events last week to trumpet their success at the polls and remind voters that many Democratic candidates pledged during the campaign to push for higher taxes on upper-income earners and oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “Mr. Obama's challenge on Tuesday, and for at least the next several weeks, is to convince the left that he needs some latitude to fashion a deal with Republicans that might include compromising on some positions the liberal wing considers nonnegotiable.”

The Financial Times:
“The US Congress should agree to higher taxes on the wealthy to avoid the fiscal cliff, a top Republican economist has said in a sign of the rapidly shifting political climate in Washington before negotiations to avert the looming budget crisis. Writing for the Financial Times, Glenn Hubbard, who advised Barack Obama’s rival Mitt Romney on his losing presidential bid, is the latest prominent conservative to suggest Republicans should change tack and accept the president’s structure for impending budget talks. “The first step is to raise average (not marginal) tax rates on upper-income taxpayers,” he wrote. “Revenues should come first from these individuals.”

The Washington Post: “President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus. Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.”

“The FBI is preparing a timeline of its criminal investigation that brought to light CIA Director David Petraeus' extramarital affair so the bureau can respond to members of Congress asking why they and the White House weren't notified of the probe months ago,” the Associated Press reports.

“Gen. John Allen, the top American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, is under investigation for what a senior defense official said early Tuesday was “inappropriate communication” with Jill Kelley, the woman in Tampa, Florida who was seen as a rival for David H. Petraeus’s attentions by Paula Broadwell, who had an extramarital affair with Mr. Petraeus,” The New York Times reports. “In a statement released to reporters on his plane en route to Australia early Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said that the F.B.I. on Sunday had referred “a matter involving” General Allen to the Pentagon.”