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3:00 PM ET, December 28, 2012

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 Top Items: 
Jonathan Allen / Politico:
Why they want to go over the cliff  —  Washington's Democratic and Republican power brokers have sent the message to the nation that going over the fiscal cliff is a worst-case scenario.  But they're not acting that way, not at all.  —  Instead, many of them have calculated that it's better …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Narrower Tax Deal Floated as Lawmakers to Sit With Obama  —  WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders prepared for what was looming as a make-or-break White House meeting on the fiscal crisis Friday afternoon as top aides said they were exploring a scaled-back proposal that would prevent tax increases …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
The logic of House GOP intransigence  —  The unruly House Republicans who emasculated Speaker John Boehner as the country flirts with fiscal havoc might've seemed like they were doing their best “Lord of the Flies” rendition.  —  But last week's mayhem had a certain logic — the logic of politicians wanting to keep their jobs.
Steven T. Dennis / Roll Call:
Pessimism Abounds as White House Calls Cliff Meeting
Discussion: The Other McCain
Chelsea Karnash / CBS Philly:
3 Officers Wounded After Suspect Opens Fire At Gloucester Township Police Station  —  CLEMENTON, NJ (CBS) — Police and rescue crews responded to the Gloucester County Municipal Building on Chews Landing Road this morning after shots were fired inside the Gloucester Township police station.
RELATED:
WPVI-TV:
3 officers injured, gunman dead after NJ police station shooting  —  camden county, new jersey, shooting, police, local/state  —  Three officers were injured after gunfire erupted inside Gloucester Township police headquarters Friday morning.  —  Medics responded around 5:30 a.m. to the station …
Discussion: WFTS and ABCNEWS
Dallas Morning News:
Exclusive: David Dewhurst campaign says aide stole at least $600,000  —  Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (front), receiving an endorsement during his U.S. Senate campaign from former rival Craig James, had hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen from his state political accounts by an aide, his campaign says.
Ramsey Cox / The Hill:
Senate approves bill to reauthorize foreign surveillance programs  —  The Senate on Friday approved a bill reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in a 73-23 vote.  —  The bill will extend for five years the ability of U.S. intelligence authorities to conduct surveillance …
RELATED:
Jason Volentine / KASW-TV:
Sheriff Arpaio sending armed posse to protect schools  —  PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday that he plans to deploy his armed volunteer posse to protect Valley schools from the kind of violence that happened in the Connecticut shooting tragedy.
Discussion: Mediaite and The National Memo
Gregory L. White / Wall Street Journal:
Putin Signs Ban on U.S. Adoptions  —  Children at an orphanage in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.  A new law would ban Americans from adopting Russians.  —  MOSCOW—President Vladimir Putin signed a bill Friday banning U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children, raising tensions with Washington …
RELATED:
CNN:
Russia's Putin signs anti-U.S. adoption bill
Matt Schudel / Washington Post:
Retired Gen. Schwarzkopf dies at 78  —  H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the four-star Army general who led allied forces to a stunningly quick and decisive victory over Saddam Hussein's Iraqi military in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and who became the most celebrated U.S. military hero of his generation, died Thursday in Tampa.
RELATED:
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Summoned Back to Work, Senators Chafe at Inaction  —  WASHINGTON — Senators bid hasty goodbyes to families, donned ties and pantsuits in lieu of sweat pants and Christmas sweaters and one by one returned to the Capitol on Thursday to begin the business of doing nothing in particular.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Senate Republicans refuse to confirm Kerry until Hillary testifies about Benghazi  —  Isn't this pushing a jinx?  If Senate Republicans insist on having Hillary Clinton testify before allowing John Kerry's confirmation to proceed, aren't they risking a torn ACL or turf toe for the outgoing Secretary of State?
Discussion: Pirate's Cove
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
112th Congress Set To Become Most Unproductive Since 1940s … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  112th Congress, Harry Reid , John Boehner, Republican Party, Congress Productivity, Olympia Snowe, Bipartisanship, Congress Unproductive, Fiscal Cliff, Unproductive Congress, Politics News
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Senate votes to block Hurricane Sandy relief for tax cheats, dead people  —  The Senate on Friday approved an amendment to a Hurricane Sandy disaster relief bill that would prohibit dead people and anyone with “serious delinquent tax debts” from receiving the funds.
Discussion: Post Politics
Chicago Tribune:
Grim milestone: Austin shooting apparently 500th homicide in Chicago  —  Gave Bates smiled through tears as she swiped her hand across her phone, flipping through pictures of her cousin playing around and striking goofy poses.  —  “He was a lot of fun, very good at imitating people,” Bates said of Nathaniel T. Jackson, 40.
Des Moines Register:
Mississippi's low levels could halt river traffic  —  A shutdown of commercial use could come by next week, a group says  —  The feared shutdown of commercial traffic on the Mississippi River due to low water levels could happen as early as next week, a waterways group said Thursday.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
GOP senators propose $1 trillion debt ceiling deal  —  A pair of GOP senators, confident Congress will head off the tax hikes set to kick in within days, are already turning their attention to entitlements and the debt ceiling.  —  Tennessee Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander pitched …
Discussion: The National Memo
Sky News:
Gang-Rape In India: Teen Victim Kills Herself  —  Video: Women mourn the death of the teenager  —  A 17-year-old Indian girl who was allegedly gang-raped killed herself after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday.
CBS News:
Bush aide: “Please put the harps back in the closet”  —  The chief of staff to former Pres. George H.W. Bush, who is in intensive care at Houston's Methodist Hospital, told Bush family and friends in an email today that the former president “would ask me to tell you to please put the harps back in the closet …
Garett Sloane / New York Post:
Rage against rules  —  Instagram revolt  —  Instagram users outraged over new rules made good on their threat to dump the popular photo-sharing app.  —  The app, which Facebook acquired for $1 billion earlier this year, may have shed nearly a quarter of its daily active users in the wake of the debacle …
Ted Mann / Wall Street Journal:
Next Stop for New York Subway: An App to Track Trains  —  NEW YORK—America's largest subway system launched a smartphone application that will reveal train-arrival times on seven of the city's 24 lines—a leap forward for a service that has lagged behind its peers both at home and abroad in adopting new technologies.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Katie Notopoulos / BuzzFeed:
How Anybody Can Secretly Save Your Snapchat Videos Forever
Discussion: BBC, TechCrunch, Mashable! and The Verge
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
Regulating the Militia  —  My friend Brett Joshpe has published …
Mike M. Ahlers / CNN:
ATF official cites ‘miscommunication’ over NBC gun magazine flap
Discussion: The Agonist
Reuters:
China tightens Internet controls, legalizes post deletion
Discussion: BBC, Mashable! and Hot Air
Matt Canham / Salt Lake Tribune:
Incoming Utah lawmaker open to limited gun control
Discussion: The Hill, AMERICAblog and Post Politics
The Investigative Project on Terrorism:
CAIR Protests Saudi Radical's Exclusion From U.S.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
United States Department of Labor:
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 Earlier Items: 
Harry J Enten / Guardian:
The top five polling lessons from the 2012 election
Joe Schneider / Bloomberg:
Tokyo Electric Sued by U.S. Sailors Exposed to Radiation
Discussion: L.A. NOW
David Thompson:
Monbiot and the Morlocks
Discussion: Moonbattery
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Acting EPA chief among most likely to succeed Jackson
Discussion: The Raw Story