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1:00 AM ET, December 20, 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.
RELATED:
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.
Politico:
Obama, Boehner duel on fiscal cliff  —  President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner traded sharp words Wednesday as each leader urged the other to get serious about averting the fiscal cliff — and Boehner revised his strategy on the Hill.  —  House Republican leaders are changing …
Kos / Daily Kos:
Capitulation is never popular. Or effective.
Tom Cohen / CNN:
Boehner's tax gamble roils fiscal cliff talks
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
White House: Obama Would Veto GOP's Fiscal Cliff ‘Plan B’
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Reuters and Firedoglake
Kate Nocera / Politico:
Norquist giving House Republicans a pass on Boehner's ‘Plan B’
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:
Jeffrey Toobin / News Desk:
Postscript: Robert Bork, 1927-2012  —  Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century.  The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution.
RELATED:
Jeffrey Rosen / The New Republic:
We're Still Paying the Price for the Borking of Robert Bork  —  In the summer of 1987, right out of college, I was a summer intern for Senator Joe Biden, who was chairing the Robert Bork confirmation hearings.  My contribution to the epic battle was modest: I helped with research for a speech …
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Robert H. Bork, Conservative Jurist, Dies at 85
Emily Goodin / The Hill:
Spielberg, Day-Lewis at Capitol for screening of ‘Lincoln’ for senators  —  The two stars brought the Senate to a halt when they arrived for a bipartisan viewing of their hit movie.  —  Actor Daniel Day-Lewis and director Steven Spielberg brought the Senate to a halt on Wednesday afternoon …
Discussion: Politico and CNN
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
jessica valenti:   National Review: Newtown could have been avoided if a man was around
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:
Ashley Killough / CNN:
TRENDING: Tim Scott points to ‘moral decay’ after school shooting
Discussion: Politico
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
CNN Anchor Blasts Florida Governor For Ducking Gun Control, Demands Action Before ‘I Cover Another Tragedy’
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, Balloon Juice and Mediaite
RELATED:
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Sensing political shift, Pelosi, Dems call for ban on high-capacity gun clips
Discussion: CNN
Shauna Johnson / WV MetroNews:
Senator Manchin attempts clarification
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
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 …
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 and Post Politics
RELATED:
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
The Assault Weapon Ban Would Have Never Passed If It Wasn't For Ronald Reagan
Discussion: msnbc.com and Outside the Beltway
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.
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 …
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 …
Ted Barrett / CNN:
FIRST ON CNN: Sen. Mikulski to chair Appropriations Committee, becoming first woman to hold the post  —  Washington (CNN) - Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, will step up to the helm of the Senate Appropriations committee, three Democratic sources told CNN, and one source said she would be the first woman to chair that powerful panel.
Discussion: Politico and Booman Tribune
 
 
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 More Items: 
Lee Enterprises / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Barber shop conversation in Wentzville about Connecticut shootings ends with shots fired at customer
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Miss USA Wins the Crown
Zack Colman / The Hill:
Obama: Climate change among top three priorities for second term
Lisa Daftari / Fox News:
American pastor imprisoned without notice of charges while visiting family in Iran
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
David Martosko / The Daily Caller:
Obamacare could drive Little Sisters of the Poor out of the US
Discussion: National Review and Hot Air
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
Va. bill would order schools to arm teachers
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Krugman:
That Old Sick Feeling
Samuel Knight / Washington Monthly:
“Fix the Debt” - Defense Contractor Ties Exposed
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Court: Obama must rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Kent Walker / Google Public Policy Blog:
Google concerned by reports that MPAA is secretly working with studios to resurrect SOPA

Dave McNary / Variety:
Sony Has ‘No Further Release Plans’ for ‘The Interview’

Justin Ellis / Nieman Lab:
New friends: The Washington Post and The Texas Tribune enter into a new reporting partnership

 
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