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2:40 PM ET, December 19, 2012

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 Top Items: 
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 …
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Richard Stengel / TIME:
The Choice  —  In 1782 an expatriate French aristocrat named J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur who lived in New York's Hudson Valley published a book in London called Letters from an American Farmer.  The third letter was titled “What Is an American?”
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama is Time's ‘Person of the Year’
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:
New York Sun:
Kagan on the Second  —  There have been so many irresponsible statements by those seeking to exploit the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, that it's hard to keep up with them, but for the combination of arrogance and inaccuracy one can't beat the editorial the New York Times ran out this week under …
David Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Robert Bork, failed Supreme Court nominee, dies at age 85
Discussion: protein wisdom
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Robert H. Bork, Conservative Jurist, Dies at 85
John Podhoretz / Commentary Magazine:
Robert Bork, 1927-2012  —  Robert Bork died today at the age of 85 …
Discussion: The Week and ABCNEWS
Washington Post:
Judge Robert H. Bork, conservative icon, dies at 85
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Robert Bork's Revenge?
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.
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Ashley Killough / CNN:
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’
Manu Raju / Politico:
Orrin Hatch would vote against Boehner ‘Plan B’  —  The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said he'd vote against House Speaker John Boehner's back-up plan allowing tax rates on millionaires to increase, the latest sign of the uncertain road ahead for the year-end fiscal cliff.
Discussion: Post Politics
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Tom Cohen / CNN:
Obama to Boehner, Congress: ‘Take the deal’
Associated Press:
Obama Social Security Offer at Odds With Top Dems
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Kos / Daily Kos:
Capitulation is never popular. Or effective.
Matthew Lee / bigstory.ap.org:
STATE DEPT SECURITY CHIEF RESIGNS AFTER BENGHAZI  —  You are here  —  Home » United States government » State Dept security chief resigns after Benghazi  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Three State Department officials resigned under pressure Wednesday, less than a day after a damning …
RELATED:
CNN:
CNN Poll: Majority dissatisfied but don't think administration misled on Benghazi attack
Discussion: Politico, Associated Press and Reuters
New York Times:
Inquiry Into Libya Attack Is Sharply Critical of State Dept.
Justin Sink / The Hill:   Rep. Cole: Report reveals White House ‘failed’ on Benghazi security
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
President Obama Launches Gun-Violence Task Force  —  Five days after deadliest elementary school shooting in U.S. history, President Obama said his administration plans immediate action early next year on proposals to curb an “epidemic of gun violence.”  —  At a morning news conference …
Discussion: ABCNEWS
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Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama: Gun violence group to offer ‘real reforms’ by January
Discussion: CNN
Washington Post:
Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary  —  FORMER SENATOR Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national security team.  He would not, however, move it toward the center …
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Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Neocons push against Chuck Hagel
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Quoting Rush Limbaugh Verbatim Is the Easiest Way to Discredit Him  —  His broadcasts since the Newtown shooting are an apt illustration of his self-contradiction and lack of intellectual integrity.  —  Reuters  —  There's been a lot of talk about the “national conversation” these last few days.
Noel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org:
Piers Morgan Calls Pro-Gun Advocate ‘Unbelievably Stupid,’ ‘Dangerous’: ‘You Shame Your Country’  —  CNN's Piers Morgan has been on a rabid anti-gun rant since July's Aurora, Colorado, shootings that has gotten even more venomous after Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
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NY Daily News:
Comfort dogs help ease pain of mourning Newtown community
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Court: Obama must rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty … Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cannot enforce the Obamacare contraception mandate as it is written, but must follow through on a promise to rewrite the rule to accommodate religious liberty, a federal appeals court ordered.
RELATED:
Becket Fund:
Federal Appeals Court Hands Victory to Religious Colleges, Commands HHS to Act Quickly to Fix Mandate
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.
Zachary Warmbrodt / Politico:
Treasury to exit GM bailout, likely at a loss  —  The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced plans to sell, almost certainly at a loss, the government's remaining shares of Detroit-based automaker General Motors in the latest in a recent string of moves by the administration …
RELATED:
DealBook:
Treasury to Sell G.M. Stake Within 15 Months
Discussion: The Week and Washington Examiner
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 …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House Dem: ‘Turn in your guns’  —  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Wednesday afternoon urged people to turn in their guns, arguing it would be an appropriate response to last week's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.  —  “I would personally just say to those who are listening …
Matt Ridley / Wall Street Journal:
Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change  —  Evidence points to a further rise of just 1°C by 2100.  The net effect on the planet may actually be beneficial.  —  Forget the Doha climate jamboree that ended earlier this month.  The theological discussions in Qatar of the arcana of climate treaties are irrelevant.
Tampa Bay Times:
Man shot at St. Pete pizza joint had been complaining about slow service  —  ST. PETERSBURG — Florida's controversial “stand your ground” law has been cited in hundreds of cases.  People have used it to justify shooting, stabbing, killing and maiming would-be intruders, romantic competitors and rival gang members.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Aryn Baker / TIME:
Runner-Up: Malala Yousafzai, the Fighter
Paul Krugman:
That Old Sick Feeling
Bloomberg:
American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2015
Samuel Knight / Washington Monthly:
“Fix the Debt” - Defense Contractor Ties Exposed
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Boxer calls for Guard help at schools
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:
Newt Gingrich Blames ‘Anti Religious’ Secular Government For Newtown Shooting
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Congressional Negotiators Drop Ban on Indefinite Detention of Citizens, Aides Say
Discussion: Taking Note and Business Insider
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Mormon Church-Owned Website Suspends Gun Sales
 

 
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Jason Koebler / Motherboard:
Sony Threatens to Sue Twitter Unless It Removes Tweets Containing Hacked Emails

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Google completes first fully-functional prototype self-driving car of the design it unveiled in May

Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:
Apple expands its social presence with new iTunes Tumblr blog

 
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