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1:55 AM ET, December 29, 2012

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 Top Items: 
Talking Points Memo:
Obama To Congress: Come To A Deal - Or Else  —  Following a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday, President Obama appeared before the press to urge all parties to take immediate action to reach a deal before a set of major tax increases and spending cuts kick in on Jan. 1.
RELATED:
Brett Taylor / Twitchy:
Dude, where's Nancy Pelosi's car?  Minority leader appears lost in parking lot  —  The suspense!  Usually, lawmakers exit a closed door meeting and head straight for the TV cameras.  House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were uncharacteristically quiet leaving …
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
‘Come together’ breaks Washington apart  —  Twitter has been rather amused by Starbucks' plan to solve the fiscal cliff by scrawling “come together” on every peppermint mocha and salted caramel latte sold in the Beltway.  —  This will not bring people together.  (EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Hullabaloo
New York Times:
Senate Leaders Set to Work on a Last-Minute Tax Agreement  —  WASHINGTON — At the urging of President Obama, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate set to work Friday night to assemble a last-minute tax deal that could pass both chambers of Congress and avert large tax increases …
Manu Raju / Politico:
Obama to Congress: It's time for a deal
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Optimism for ‘fiscal cliff’ agreement grows ahead of White House meeting
Discussion: Politico and Booman Tribune
Glenn Greenwald / Guardian:
GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama's demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping |  Glenn Greenwald  —  The California Democrat's disgusting rhetoric recalls the worst of Dick Cheney while advancing Obama's agenda  —  To this day, many people identify mid-2008 as the time they realized …
RELATED:
Emily Schultheis / Politico:
Kerry, Dems back Markey for Senate  —  Democrats both nationally and in Massachusetts are throwing their support behind Rep. Ed Markey to replace Sen. John Kerry in Massachusetts, hoping to clear the field for him in what could become a crowded Democratic primary.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
RELATED:
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Senate Republicans refuse to confirm Kerry until Hillary testifies about Benghazi
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Obama Orders Pay Raise for Biden, Members of Congress, Federal Workers  —  President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise.  One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.
New York Times:
Woman Dies After a Gang Rape That Galvanized India  —  NEW DELHI — A young woman who had been in critical condition since she was raped two weeks ago by a group of men who lured her onto a bus here died early Saturday, an official at the hospital in Singapore that was caring for her said.
RELATED:
Paul Krugman:
A Double Shot of Misunderstanding  —  One of the enduring fantasies of the pundit class - most dramatically demonstrated by the ludicrous Politico piece on What Insiders Know - is that all we need to fix our economic problems is to get the great and the good together and bypass those pesky elected officials.
Don Mecoy / Daily Oklahoman:
Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby to defy federal law requiring contraception coverage for employees, attorney says  —  Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby will defy a federal law that requires employee health care plans to provide insurance coverage for types of contraception that the firm's owners consider to be …
Associated Press:
Paintings Outrage Islamic Hard-Liners in Pakistan  —  Pakistan's leading arts college has pushed boundaries before in this conservative nation.  But when a series of paintings depicting Muslim clerics in scenes with strong homosexual overtones sparked an uproar and threats of violence by Islamic extremists, it was too much.
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Tea Party Leader: Romney Was ‘The Worst Candidate In History’  —  Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips on Thursday disputed that President Obama claimed a mandate in November's election, arguing that his re-election victory came over “the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney.”
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Harry J Enten / Guardian:
How polarisation in Washington affects a growing feeling of partisanship |  Harry J Enten  —  Legislators may no longer feel they have reason to play to the middle making Washington seem more divided than ever  —  “Can a divided House stand?” is a question that Nate Silver posed in a blogpost Thursday.
Discussion: msnbc.com, theGrio and The Maddow Blog
Marc A. Thiessen / Washington Post:
Why not let taxes rise on the middle class?  —  Barring a last-minute breakthrough, taxes will go up for every American taxpayer on Jan. 1 — and that's a development conservatives should welcome.  —  Don't get me wrong, it would be better not to raise taxes on anyone …
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.
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.
RELATED:
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
Discussion: Crooks and Liars, WFTS and ABCNEWS
 
 
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 More Items: 
Liz Gannes / AllThingsD:
Pinterest Sued by Former Business Partner of Early Investor
Discussion: The Verge and TechCrunch
David Rogers / Reuters:
$60B Sandy aid package clears Senate
Discussion: CNN
Michael M. Grynbaum / City Room:
Crime Is Up and Bloomberg Blames iPhone Thieves
Discussion: Gothamist and The Verge
Louis Charbonneau / Reuters:
National Rifle Association vows to fight arms trade treaty at U.N.
Discussion: Guardian
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Krauthammer To Hannity: Obama Has Successfully Created ‘An Internal Civil War’ Within The GOP
Burgess Everett / Politico:
GOP senators propose $1 trillion debt ceiling deal
Discussion: The National Memo
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin D. Williamson / National Review:
Regulating the Militia  —  My friend Brett Joshpe has published …
Jason Volentine / KASW-TV:
Sheriff Arpaio sending armed posse to protect schools
 

 
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