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6:50 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.
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.
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
White House: Obama Would Veto GOP's Fiscal Cliff ‘Plan B’
Tom Cohen / CNN:
Obama to Boehner, Congress: ‘Take the deal’
Kate Nocera / Politico:
Norquist giving House Republicans a pass on Boehner's ‘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:
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
New York Sun:
Kagan on the Second
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
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 …
RELATED:
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, The Hill and Politico
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Sensing political shift, Pelosi, Dems call for ban on high-capacity gun clips
Discussion: CNN
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
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 …
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
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 …
Discussion: Politico and Weasel Zippers
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ted Barrett / CNN:
FIRST ON CNN: Sen. Mikulski to chair Appropriations Committee, becoming first woman to hold the post
Discussion: Politico
David Martosko / The Daily Caller:
Obamacare could drive Little Sisters of the Poor out of the US
Discussion: National Review
Stephen Galloway / Hollywood Reporter:
Steven Spielberg: In 2012, ‘Chris Christie Was a Hero for Me’ (Q&A)
Discussion: GOP 12 and Politico
J.J. Gould / The Atlantic Online:
Slavery's Global Comeback
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
Va. bill would order schools to arm teachers
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
The Assault Weapon Ban Would Have Never Passed If It Wasn't For Ronald Reagan
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
 Earlier Items: 
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
President Obama Launches Gun-Violence Task Force
Paul Krugman:
That Old Sick Feeling
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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