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3:15 PM ET, December 27, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Reuters:
Fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely  —  Nearly all the major players in the fiscal cliff negotiations are starting to agree on one thing: A deal is virtually impossible before the New Year.  —  Unlike the bank bailout in 2008, the tax deal in 2010 and the debt ceiling in 2011 …
RELATED:
Garrett Epps / The Atlantic Online:
Federal Court Won't Rescue the Senate From Its Own Incapacity  —  Senators must tame the filibuster or it will destroy them — and the Congress they serve in.  —  Joshua Roberts/Reuters  —  Federal Judges rarely play Santa Claus, and U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan declined to brighten the holiday for Senate Democrats.
Politico:
Fiscal cliff: House will come back on Sunday  —  House Republican leaders are bringing the House back into session on Sunday, lawmakers were told in a Thursday conference call.  —  one day before the nation reaches the fiscal cliff.
Discussion: Business Insider
Rebecca Berg / BuzzFeed:
Scott Brown Breaks News Of Nonexistent Fiscal Cliff Offer  —  The senator's scoop falls flat.  “Not true,” an aide to Harry Reid responds.  —  Image by Charles Krupa, File / AP  —  WASHINGTON — With a post to his Facebook page Thursday, Sen. Scott Brown sent Washington scurrying …
Discussion: Hot Air and Daily Download
Ramsey Cox / The Hill:
Reid: ‘Fiscal cliff’ deal unlikely
Brett LoGiurato / Business Insider:
HARRY REID: ‘It Looks Like’ We'll Go Over The Cliff Because Of Boehner's ‘Dictatorship’
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Reid Says a Deal Is Unlikely Before the Fiscal Deadline
Discussion: The Caucus and Prairie Weather
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Why John Boehner Wants Action to Move to the Senate
CBS News:
The “fiscal cliff”: What to expect if there's no deal
Discussion: Lynn Sweet and Daily Kos
Katie Glueck / Politico:   Rep. Steve LaTourette: ‘Blame game’ leading to cliff
Wall Street Journal:
Free David Gregory  —  Moving right along in America's gun control, er, “conversation,” we now have the illuminating debate over the alleged criminality of “Meet the Press” host David Gregory.  Somehow this seems appropriate to the quality of the rest of the gun debate.
RELATED:
Howard Kurtz / Daily Download:
Why David Gregory Shouldn't Be Behind Bars  —  David Gregory will not be moderating Meet the Press this Sunday.  —  He must be on the lam!  —  The Twitterverse has exploded over the news that Washington's Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the NBC newsman for brandishing …
John M. Broder / New York Times:
E.P.A. Chief to Step Down, With Climate Still Low Priority  —  Lisa P. Jackson is stepping down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency after a four-year tenure that began with high hopes of sweeping action to address climate change and other environmental ills but ended …
RELATED:
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
Departing Environmental Chief Suggests Obama Has Failed On Climate
Discussion: yosemite.epa.gov
Robert Cox / Talk of the Sound:
Map: Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?  —  The map indicates the addresses of all Journal News Employees in the New York Tri-State area.  Each dot represents an individual Journal News employee — a reporter, editor or staffer.  The data does not include freelancers …
RELATED:
Josh Rogin / Josh Rogin's blog:
Republican senators were for Hagel, before they were against him  —  A growing number of GOP senators have expressed concerns about the potential nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Obama's next secretary of defense, but only four years ago many of these same Republicans praised Hagel as a statesman …
RELATED:
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Log Cabin Republicans release ad attacking possible Hagel nomination
Discussion: Politico
Kevin Cirilli / Politico:
Report: Mike Crapo drank vodka shots  —  Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) drank multiple vodka shots before he was arrested for driving under the influence early Sunday morning in Alexandria, according to public court documents.  —  Crapo, 61, has a court date set for Jan. 4, according to news reports.
RELATED:
Drew Hansen / Del Ray, VA Patch:
Sen. Crapo Consumed Vodka Prior to Arrest in Del Ray
Discussion: Mediaite and The Raw Story
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Supreme Court won't block Obama health law's contraception mandate  —  The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block the Obama administration's contraception mandate from taking effect.  —  Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request for an emergency injunction that would have shielded employers from the mandate.
RELATED:
Megan McArdle / Asymmetrical Information:
Should Piers Morgan Be Deported?  —  Obviously not.  Why do you ask?  —  I hardly even know what to say about the petition to deport Piers Morgan, now at over 80,000 signatures.  I mean, yes, it is a little bit funny to picture the President explaining why we're not going to deport Piers Morgan …
RELATED:
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand?  —  In 1992, there were 103 members of the House of Representatives elected from what might be called swing districts: those in which the margin in the presidential race was within five percentage points of the national result.
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Pollsters' Regrets  —  If you spent a tenth the time I did staring at and trying to understand polls during the 2012 election cycle, then you owe it to yourself to read Steven Shepard's National Journal piece on the post-election debate over polls and poll aggregation.
Edward Glaeser / Bloomberg:
2013 Is the Year to Go to Work, Not Go on Disability  —  The National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the U.S. recession ended in June 2009, yet 2012 didn't look like much of a resurgence.  —  To me, the number that sums up the year's doldrums is the 1.27 million increase in the number …
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Eschaton
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws, Still Oppose Bans  —  Support for strengthening gun sale laws has surged 15 percentage points since 2011  —  PRINCETON, NJ — In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Gallup finds 58% of Americans in favor of strengthening …
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
White House petitions hit Westboro church  —  More than 260,000 people have signed a petition to the White House asking for it to label the notorious Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.  —  The petition aimed at the church best known for picketing military funerals and other events with signs declaring …
New York Times:
Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China  —  CHENGDU, China — One day last summer, Pu Xiaolan was halfway through a shift inspecting iPad cases when she received a beige wooden chair with white stripes and a high, sturdy back.  —  At first, Ms. Pu wondered if someone had made a mistake.
 
 
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 More Items: 
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Matthews raises profile during campaign
Joyce Lee Malcolm / Wall Street Journal:
Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control
Discussion: BizzyBlog
Alistair Dawber / The Independent:
‘Chemical weapons were used on Homs’: Syria's military police defector tells of nerve gas attack
antarctica.ac.uk:
Press Release - Antarctic lake mission called off
Discussion: Guardian and BBC
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Dockworkers Strike Threatens to Close East Coast Ports
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Putin Says He Will Sign Law Barring U.S. Adoptions
Discussion: The Week and Mediaite
CNN:
CNN Poll: How will Obama perform in second term?
Discussion: Politico
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Our History, and Theirs