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7:15 PM ET, December 30, 2012


 Top Items: 
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Lindsay Graham: I Will Destroy America's Solvency Unless The Social Security Retirement Age Is Raised  —  Although official Washington is currently fixated on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” the biggest threat to American prosperity is the debt ceiling, which must be raised in February to prevent economic catastrophe.
No cliff deal as final hour approaches  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still haven't struck a deal to prevent taxes from rising on wage earners in the new year, sources say, as eleventh-hour negotiations to avert historic tax hikes approach a make-or-break moment Sunday.
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
GOP senators backing away from Social Security demand  —  GOP senators on Sunday backed away from demanding that cuts to Social Security benefits be included in any “fiscal cliff” deal.  —  The call to include a measure of inflation known as the chained consumer price index, or “chained CPI …
Discussion: Washington Examiner
New York Times:
Fiscal Talks Resume With Deadline in Mind  —  WASHINGTON — Negotiations over a last-ditch agreement to head off large tax increases and sweeping spending cuts in the new year appeared to resume on Sunday afternoon after Republican senators withdrew a demand that any deal must include …
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama: ‘Pressure’ on Congress, blames GOP as deadline nears
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and CNN
Washington Post:
Senators trade proposals into night to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’
Howard Kurtz / Daily Download:
Meet the President: David Gregory's Low-Intensity Interview  —  Well, this time David Gregory didn't brandish any weapons or show much firepower.  —  He pressed Barack Obama on a few points in the president's appearance this morning, designed to seize control of the media narrative one day before the fiscal cliff deadline.
Discussion: and Mediaite
Boehner says Obama should ‘lead, not cast blame’
Discussion: Mediaite
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Newtown Task Force Returns Biden to Gun Control Arena  —  WASHINGTON — Never much known for restraint, Joseph R. Biden Jr. did not hold back during a presidential primary debate in 2007 when a voter asking about gun rights in a recorded video displayed a fearsome-looking semiautomatic rifle and declared, “This is my baby.”
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Obama hopes to enact new gun-control measures in 2013  —  President Obama on Sunday said he would make gun control a priority in his new term, pledging to put his “full weight” behind passing new restrictions on firearms in 2013.  —  “I'm going to be putting forward a package …
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Sen. Feinstein: US has to ‘bite the bullet’ and enact new gun-control restrictions
Discussion: Politico and Infowars
Pat Buchanan /
Why the War Party Fears Hagel  —  In the fortnight since Chuck Hagel's name was floated for secretary of defense, we have witnessed Washington at its worst.  —  Who is Chuck Hagel?  —  Born in North Platte, Neb., he was a squad leader in Vietnam, twice wounded, who came home to work …
Discussion: Power Line
Ron Radosh / PJ Media:
The Meaning of Pat Buchanan's Surpising Endorsement of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense
Michael Yon / Online Magazine:
Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of Thailand  —  With Former Prime Minister Abhisit.  —  On Christmas Eve, ThaiPBS television interviewed me in Bangkok.  The interview is scheduled to air on 31 December at 9:40PM Thailand time.  Our interview will be online here.
Lori Ziganto / Twitchy:
Benghazi?  Whatever!  There was just some ‘sloppiness’ there, says Obama [Video]  —  That's right.  The President of the United States said that the murders of four Americans in Benghazi were due to “sloppiness.” … From “bumps in the road” to sloppy bumps in the road.
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Power Line
Washington Post:
Worst year in Washington: The tea party  —  The Gadsden flag, which flew proudly over the 2010 midterm elections, now lies in tatters — rent by internal disagreements, losses among its most visible standard-bearers and a growing sense that the tea party movement, which once looked …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Prairie Weather
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Pentagon Readying 800,000 for Rolling Layoffs
Discussion: Hot Air
Jared Bernstein / On the Economy:
My Views on Spending Cuts and Entitlements
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Schumer: Better than even odds of a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal
Discussion: CNN
Ashley Killough / CNN:
Vilsack: Economy will suffer without farm bill
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Victor Davis Hanson / PJ Media:
An Anatomy of a Most Peculiar Institution
Discussion: Joanne Jacobs
Washington Post:
In Congress, relatives lobby on bills before family members
Discussion: The Impolitic and Hullabaloo
Helen Pow / Daily Mail:
Obama picks his favourite photos of himself for 2012 (not that he likes to show off)
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Judge rebuffs feds' secret arguments on no-fly list