Sen. Paul says Republicans should agree to cut military spending to reach a deal before the Dec. 31 fiscal cliff deadline.
"I think the compromise is conservatives like myself who think national defense is very important should compromise on military spending and the liberals should compromise on entitlements and on social welfare spending. I think that compromise could get to some spending cuts," says Paul.
Paul tells Wolf Blitzer federal spending has increased at an "alarming rate" over the past four years. He believes raising taxes for anyone is not the answer, and it would be more beneficial to "leave it in the private sector."
Republican Rep. Tom Cole, who drew sharp disagreement from House Speaker John Boehner when he broke from party lines in the fiscal cliff negotiations, further stood by his position Wednesday night but added he would support the GOP no matter what decision was reached.
"I'm one voice. I'm not king of the universe, and I support my speaker," Cole, from Oklahoma, said on AC360. "I recognize he's the speaker. I support my conference."
In the fiscal cliff debate, Republicans and Democrats disagree over whether the Bush-era tax cuts should expire on the wealthy. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats want to let tax rates increase for households making more than $250,000, while House Republicans insist the tax rates should stay in place for all Americans, including the highest income earners.
Syrian opposition fighters say they shot down three regime military aircraft in the past 24 hours, including a MiG fighter jet. They've posted two videos online to support their claims. One shows a bloodied pilot.
Tonight you'll hear from CNN's Arwa Damon, who's inside Syria and went to one of the crash sites today. She saw villagers rejoicing at what appears to be a major victory for the opposition. She said people were carrying around pieces of military aircraft as "trophies of war." Even children were proudly showing off sizable chunks of metal.
The downing of the regime air power could be related to the opposition seizing control of the Syrian Air Force headquarters. Opposition fighters captured a "treasure trove" of weaponry by gaining control of the base, Damon said. This includes hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles and heavy machine guns.
Filed under: Syria
Reporter's Note: I do not know if President Obama likes sledding...or these letters, for that matter.
Dear Mr. President,
So I notice that you and your Republican pals are pouring more gasoline on the campfire over this whole fiscal cliff issue. You want to tax the wealthy more, they don't want to tax anyone, and the Chevy keeps racing toward the brink of the canyon.
Obviously there are genuine philosophical differences, but there is a political calculation as well. Each side is betting the other side will be blamed more if things go badly.
It reminds me of a misadventure with by brother. Many years ago, when we were kids, we were contemplating a narrow sled run cutting between thick forests of lodge pole pines down a very steep slope. At the base of the run was a single gigantic tree that dominated the path. We knew we would have to slip past it, either left or right did not matter, and it would be a close scrape.
We decided to risk it anyway. My brother, being older, laid down on the sled and grabbed the steering handles, I climbed onto his back and we pushed off. In seconds were were blistering down the icy decline and watching the big tree loom large ahead.
"Turn! Turn!" I shouted, holding on for dear life.
"I can't," he yelled back, "You're holding my arms too tight!"
A split second later we smashed into the tree and were flung across the snow like rag dolls. No one was seriously hurt, although the front of the sled was buckled by the impact. And a question has remained ever since: Who caused the accident? Him, because he did not turn us to safety? Me, because I prevented him doing what he wished? Or both of us for venturing so close to danger and not truly contemplating the consequences?
Just a few thoughts. Call if you can.
Wanda Butts lost her teenage son in a drowning accident six years ago, and ever since then she has been working to change a troubling statistic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-American children between the ages of 5 and 14 drown at a rate almost three times higher than white children in the same age range.
Since 2007, Butts and her nonprofit, the Josh Project, have helped nearly 1,200 children - most of them minorities - learn how to swim.
CNN asked Butts for her thoughts on being chosen as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.
CNN: What was the reaction when you found out you were a top 10 CNN Hero?
Wanda Butts: Shock and unbelief! I was thinking that this could not be happening to me, just as I felt back on August 6, 2006, when I was told that Josh had drowned.
Filed under: CNN Heroes
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