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8:35 PM ET, December 19, 2012

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 Top Items: 
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Did Boehner Just Pull The Plug On Fiscal Cliff Negotiations?  —  In response to President Obama's extensive comments about the fiscal cliff at the White House Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner left himself little if any room to continue negotiations.
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Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
House Republicans Again Show Why We Need to Wait Until January for a Deal  —  For about half a day, in the wake of President Obama's most recent budget compromise, it appeared that an agreement might be close at hand.  Boehner was reported to be taking the temperature of his crazies on Obama's plan.
Ryan Ellis / Americans for Tax Reform RSS:
ATR Statement on “Plan B” Tax Plan  —  ATR's statement on the “Plan B” tax bill.  —  ATR has consistently maintained that individual Members of Congress make a pledge to their constituents to oppose and vote against tax increases.  The House this week will vote on a tax bill.
Talking Points Memo:
Grover Norquist: Boehner's ‘Plan B’ Not A Tax Pledge Violation
Discussion: Firedoglake and National Review
Tom Cohen / CNN:
Boehner's tax gamble roils fiscal cliff talks
Kate Nocera / Politico:
Norquist giving House Republicans a pass on Boehner's ‘Plan B’
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
White House: Obama Would Veto GOP's Fiscal Cliff ‘Plan B’
Michael Scherer / TIME:
2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama, the President  —  Twenty-seven years after driving from New York City to Chicago in a $2,000 Honda Civic for a job that probably wouldn't amount to much, Barack Obama, in better shape but with grayer hair, stood in the presidential suite on the top floor …
RELATED:
Adolph L. Reed Jr / New York Times:
The Puzzle of Black Republicans  —  WHEN Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced on Monday that she would name Representative Tim Scott to the Senate, it seemed like another milestone for African-Americans.  Mr. Scott will complete the term of Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to run Heritage Foundation.
RELATED:
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
CNN Anchor Blasts Florida Governor For Ducking Gun Control, Demands Action Before ‘I Cover Another Tragedy’
Ashley Killough / CNN:
TRENDING: Tim Scott points to ‘moral decay’ after school shooting
Discussion: Politico
Roger Kimball / Roger's Rules:
Robert H. Bork, 1927-2012  —  Judge Robert H. Bork, one of the the greatest jurists this country has ever produced, died early this morning from heart complications in a Virginia hospital near his home.  He was 84.  —  Bork was a national celebrity.  Several years ago …
RELATED:
Jeffrey Toobin / News Desk:
Postscript: Robert Bork, 1927-2012
Discussion: American Prospect
Jennifer Rubin / Right Turn:
More trouble for Hagel  —  Joining other groups and individuals opposing Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, the generally liberal American Jewish Committee (among the older and better known Jewish organizations) has signaled it opposes the potential nomination.  Executive director David Harris e-mails me the following:
RELATED:
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Kristol-founded group targets Hagel
Washington Post:
Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Joe Manchin: 'I'm so proud of the NRA'  —  'I'm not supporting a ban on anything.  I'm supporting a conversation on everything,' Manchin said.  AP Photo  —  Close  —  West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who suggested earlier in the week that the time had come for some gun control restrictions …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Mediaite
RELATED:
Shauna Johnson / WV MetroNews:
Senator Manchin attempts clarification
Discussion: The Hill and Politico
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Sensing political shift, Pelosi, Dems call for ban on high-capacity gun clips
Discussion: CNN
NRO Symposium / National Review:
Newtown Answers  —  Twenty children and six adults are dead.  In Nigeria, people put their lives at risk going to church on Sundays.  But in New England?  The thought that going to school could be a final act is hard for us to comprehend.  The seeming senselessness of what happened …
CNN:
CNN Poll: Bare majority now support major gun restrictions  —  Washington (CNN) - Americans are reacting to the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut with elevated levels of anger, shock and fear that have led a growing number of people to look for action from the government and society …
Robert Rizzuto / Union-News:
Sen. Scott Brown says he now supports a federal ban on assault weapons  —  Although he once said banning so-called assault weapons fell under the category of issues best left to the states, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown told The Republican / MassLive.com in an exclusive interview Wednesday that he now supports federal action.
Discussion: The Hill, 2chambers and Post Politics
RELATED:
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
The Assault Weapon Ban Would Have Never Passed If It Wasn't For Ronald Reagan
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Eric Schmitt / New York Times:
3 State Department Resignations After Libya Attack Report  —  WASHINGTON — Three State Department officials resigned under pressure on Wednesday following a report that detailed “grossly inadequate” security measures at the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night assailants besieged …
Matt Townsend / Bloomberg:
Guns Out of Stock at Wal-Mart as Magazine Prices Surge on  —  With President Barack Obama endorsing sweeping gun restrictions in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, prices for handgun magazines are surging on EBay (EBAY) and semi-automatic rifles are sold out at many Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) locations.
Becket Fund:
Federal Appeals Court Hands Victory to Religious Colleges, Commands HHS to Act Quickly to Fix Mandate  —  Media Contact: Emily Hardman, 202.349.7224  —  Washington, D.C. — Today, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. handed Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College a major victory in their challenges to the HHS mandate.
RELATED:
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Court: Obama must rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty
Frank Newport / Gallup:
To Stop Shootings, Americans Focus on Police, Mental Health  —  Democrats substantially more likely to see assault gun ban as effective  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans are most likely to say that an increased police presence at schools, increased government spending on mental health screening and treatment …
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
Va. bill would order schools to arm teachers  —  Del. Robert G. Marshall is proposing a bill that would require some teachers or other school staff to carry concealed weapons in schools.  —  Marshall (R-Prince William) requested that the bill be drafted in response to the mass shooting last week at a Connecticut elementary school.
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Obama to Give Congress Plan on Gun Control Within Weeks  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama declared Wednesday that he would make gun control a “central issue” as he opens a second term, submitting broad new gun control proposals to Congress no later than January and committing the power …
Alex Seitz-Wald / Salon:
Assault rifle company issues “man cards”  —  The maker of the assault weapon that killed 27 people in Connecticut quizzes its customers on their manhood  —  There are lots of reasons to own guns: Hunting, self-defense, clinging purposes, but also to bolster your deflated sense of masculinity.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Obama, Reid slam brakes on gun control … With President Obama's announcement of a commission to study and recommend ways to reduce gun violence, the two most important Democrats in government — Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — have both indicated a desire to slow …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Lisa Daftari / Fox News:
American pastor imprisoned without notice of charges while visiting family in Iran
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
Ted Barrett / CNN:
FIRST ON CNN: Sen. Mikulski to chair Appropriations Committee, becoming first woman to hold the post
Discussion: Politico
Stephen Galloway / Hollywood Reporter:
Steven Spielberg: In 2012, ‘Chris Christie Was a Hero for Me’ (Q&A)
Discussion: Politico and GOP 12
 Earlier Items: 
Bloomberg:
American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2015
Samuel Knight / Washington Monthly:
“Fix the Debt” - Defense Contractor Ties Exposed
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Quoting Rush Limbaugh Verbatim Is the Easiest Way to Discredit Him
 

 
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Will Oremus / Slate:
Facebook's privacy pivot: Mark Zuckerberg's plan to win back trust

 
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