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4:20 PM ET, December 31, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Why Is Obama Caving on Taxes?  —  The discouraging thing about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations is not that they have gone into the eleventh hour, or that they may go into the new year, or even that they won't resolve the long-term budget deficit.  It's that President Obama has retreated on his hard line on taxes.
RELATED:
Politico:
Fiscal cliff: Major progress toward deal  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden engaged in furious overnight negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff and made major progress toward a year-end tax deal, giving sudden hope to high-stakes talks …
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
Why the White House thinks it's winning the ‘fiscal cliff’  —  Consider the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations from the White House's perspective.  —  The specifics of the potential McConnell-Biden deal are fluid, but the bottom line, at the moment, seems to be this: It raises taxes …
bigstory.ap.org:
AP SOURCES: ‘FISCAL CLIFF’ DEAL EMERGING  —  You are here  —  Home » United States Congress » AP Sources: ‘Fiscal cliff’ deal emerging  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The contours of a deal to avert the ‘fiscal cliff’ emerged Monday, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing to raise tax rates …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Fiscal Cliff Deal Growing More Likely, Would Raise $715 Billion In Revenue … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Bush Tax Cuts, Video, Boehner Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Cliff Deal, Fiscal Cliff Tax Revenues, Fiscal Cliff Taxes, Obama Fiscal Cliff, Obama Fiscal Cliff Deal, Tax Hikes, Politics News
Timothy Noah / The New Republic:
Kill This Deal … Dear House and Senate Democrats,  —  Your president has sold you out.  A deal will likely be announced today canceling the scheduled income-tax increase on all family income below $450,000, instead of the promised $250,000 threshold, which was already too high.
CBS News:
Finally, a “fiscal cliff” breakthrough  —  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says any potential deal will have to include a tax hike on the upper 2 percent of income earners.  But Geithner says the biggest obstacle is Republicans who refuse to budge.  Anna Werner reports on how close the parties are in reaching a deal.
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
2 Sides in Talks Inch Closer but No Fiscal Deal on Final Day  —  WASHINGTON — A frantic round of late-night negotiations on Sunday between Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, moved the Senate close to a deal to stave off hundreds …
Dana Bash / CNN:
Harkin: Democrats unhappy; “We may object” to suggested deal
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
TRENDING: House unlikely to vote on any deal until after cliff deadline
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and Politico
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Grover Norquist: Tax rates won't increase
Joshua Green / Business Week:
On the Fiscal Cliff, Republicans Are Blowing a Great Deal
First Read:
First Thoughts: Farewell to the 112th Congress
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Steny Hoyer cool to compromise
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Lisa Desjardins / CNN:
Sticking points in fiscal cliff talks
Washington Post:
Biden, McConnell continue ‘cliff’ talks as clock winds down
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
NBC reporter raises Hillary Clinton questions  —  The top science reporter for NBC News raised questions Monday about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's hospitalization, raising the possibility the blood clot causing isn't linked to an earlier concussion.  —  “It's not exactly clear …
RELATED:
BuzzFeed:
8 People Who Thought Hillary Clinton Was Faking Her Concussion
The European / The European Union Times:
Clinton Injured, US Navy Seal Killed In Secret US Mission To Iran
Discussion: Weekly Standard and KTLA 5
Louis Michael Seidman / New York Times:
Let's Give Up on the Constitution  —  AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken.  But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
James Bovard / Wall Street Journal:
How the ‘Dairy Cliff’ Will Cream Consumers  —  Got milk?  Enjoy the price you paid, because federal policy, reaching its sell-by date, will have dire results.  —  If the price of milk zooms up shortly after Jan. 1, the increase will come courtesy of a venal and feckless U.S. Congress.
RELATED:
David Rogers / Politico:   Farm bill fate still up in the air
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Barney Frank Opposes Chuck Hagel For Defense Secretary  —  “I cannot think of any other minority group in the U.S. today where such a negative statement and action made in 1998 would not be an obstacle to a major Presidential appointment,” Barney Frank says.  —  Image by J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Raf Sanchez / Telegraph:
Republican party is ‘devoid of a soul’, says Jon Huntsman  —  The Republican Party is leaderless and “devoid of a soul” but can rebuild in the wake of its election defeat if it embraces its history of supporting limited government, according to Jon Huntsman.  —  Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman
Discussion: Ballot Box, Politico and Mediaite
 
 
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 More Items: 
Suzy Khimm / Wonkblog:
Obama's wrong: This ‘cliff’ deal still raises taxes on the middle class
BBC:
Firework displays kick off 2013
Dan Munro / Forbes:
2012 - The Year In Healthcare Charts
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Gregory under investigation, out of headlines
John O'Sullivan / Wall Street Journal:
Turmoil Over America's Radio Voice in Russia
Discussion: Power Line
 Earlier Items: 
The Week:
Gun control won't work
Discussion: Business Insider
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Citing Citizens United, Federal Appeals Court Blocks Access To Birth Control
Discussion: The Raw Story
Frank Bass / Bloomberg:
U.S. on Pace for Slowest Decade of Population Growth Since 1930s
Discussion: 24/7 Wall St.
Wall Street Journal:
The Elephant in the Courtroom  —  The Big Top beats an abusive lawsuit by the ASPCA.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Cecilia Kang / Washington Post:
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Robin Givhan / New York Magazine:
The Golden Era of ‘Fashion Blogging’ Is Over

Yuras Karmanau / Associated Press:
Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine confirm they're holding Vice's Simon Ostrovsky captive

 
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