“The Democrats just helped us to restore and make permanent 85 percent of the Bush tax cuts,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said in response to the recently signed fiscal cliff deal. “That is progress…I’m happy.” Norquist, of course, would have been happier if President Obama had lost reelection and President Romney had made the Bush tax cuts permanent. But Obama won, not Romney. Given that election result, preserving 85 percent of Bush’s tax cut legacy does seem like quite an accomplishment.

The same might also be said about Obama’s pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan. When Obama was just a senator, he ran against almost all of President Bush’s national security policies including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), warrantless assassinations, and renditions. Now as president, Obama has embraced all of those policies. He recently signed yet another extension of FISA, a U.S. drone killed eight in Pakistan just this morning, and The Washington Post reported last week that “Renditions continue under Obama, despite due-process concerns.”

Is John Brennan, who supports and has been a key part in implementing all of these policies, who Romney would have picked to head the CIA? No. But he isn’t exactly a break from Bush’s security state either.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Collectible coins can’t solve our debt crisis
Byron York: GOP may use debt ceiling to force Harry Reid to pass budget
Phil Klein: Chuck Hagel’s nomination sends message, regardless of confirmation
Joel Gehrke: WH grilled about all the new male appointees to Obama’s cabinet
Charlie Spiering: Planned Parenthood reports record year for abortions
Tim Carney: Rich makers, corporate takers and Obamanomics

In Other News

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/01/07/179226/if-debt-ceiling-deal-fails-us.html#storylink=cpy
The Wall Street Journal, Big Banks Settle Mortgage Hangover: Major banks agreed to pay $20 billion to settle mortgage-related legal disputes, in Wall Street’s latest bid to put alleged abuses of the home-lending process in the rearview mirror.
The New York Times, Growth of Health Spending Stays Low: National health spending climbed to $2.7 trillion in 2011, or an average of $8,700 for every person in the country, but as a share of the economy, it remained stable for the third consecutive year, the Obama administration said Monday.
Pew Research, Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor – Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception: Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national economy and people like themselves.

Righty Playbook
Stephen Hayes on Obama, Hagel, and Iran
Elliot Abrams on Mr. Hagel and the Jews
Ramesh Ponnuru on Why a Debt-Ceiling Fight Is Good for the Country

Lefty Playbook
Josh Barro endorses minting our way out of debt
Timothy Noah celebrates the death of tax reform
Think Progress attacks a Wendy’s franchise for announcing they will cut employee hours to avoid Obamacare mandates