- - Sunday, December 9, 2012

If President Obama wants to get anything done in his second term in the White House, he needs to cut a deal with House Speaker John A. Boehner on the “fiscal cliff,” Rep. Tom Cole said Sunday.

“I actually think this is a speaker at the peak of his power. The president’s going to have to deal with him,” Mr. Cole, Oklahoma Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And it’s not just about this period of time — it’s about the next four years. They both need one another to succeed, but honestly, the president needs John Boehner more than John Boehner needs the president.”

Mr. Cole, an ally of the speaker who has urged hard-line Republicans in the House to accept a fiscal-cliff deal that would save most of the expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts, said it’s time to take action.

“Tax rates are going up anyway. We’re not ‘raising’ them; that’s current law,” he said.

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are gridlocked over negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff, a package of across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January if lawmakers can’t make a deal on a long-term budget.


Controversial rapper Psy appears at holiday show

A holiday concert attended Sunday by President Obama and his family included a performance by suddenly controversial South Korean rapper and Internet sensation Psy.

Psy — wearing an all-red outfit including a sequined top — was backed by dancers wearing reindeer antlers as he performed his popular “Gangnam Style” dance, which mimics riding a horse.

The rapper, born Park Jae-sang, had apologized Friday for using what he called “inflammatory and inappropriate language” during anti-U.S. protests at concerts in 2002 and 2004.

Other performers at the charity concert included Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery and Megan Hilty, star of the NBC musical drama “Smash.”

In brief remarks, Mr. Obama said the celebration was “a chance to get in the Christmas spirit, spread some joy and sing along with artists who have much better voices than we do.”


Land under headquarters could prove lucrative to sell

Just six blocks from the White House, the FBI’s hulking headquarters overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue has long been the government building everyone loves to hate.

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