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3:00 AM ET, December 7, 2010

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 Top Items: 
Ezra Klein:
An imperfect, but not-that-bad, deal on the tax cuts  —  The White House and the Republicans are pretty close to a final deal on the Bush tax cuts.  Here are the specifics, though it's worth saying that as near as this is to completion, it's still not done, and so it could change:
RELATED:
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Tax-cut deal reached between Obama, Republicans  —  President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed Monday to a tentative deal that would extend for two years all the Bush-era income tax breaks set to expire on Dec. 31, continue unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months …
Pat Garofalo / ThinkProgress:
Obama Agrees To Extend All Bush Tax Cuts And Cut Estate Tax In Deal With Republicans  —  The White House just announced that it has settled on the details of the deal it's been cooking up with Congressional Republicans over the coming expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
Jon Ward / The Daily Caller:
Obama and GOP reach deal on two-year extension of Bush tax cuts for all incomes  —  President Obama and congressional Republicans have reached a tentative deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for all income levels and are presenting the proposal to congressional Democrats Monday afternoon, The Daily Caller has learned.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Tax Cut Deal Includes Monstrous Estate Tax, Dividend Concession  —  I don't think we should jump on this fully until we see a full solution.  But enough of the usual suspects have signaled that a tax cut deal is imminent, with the same broad contours, that we should take a look at the particulars.
Wall Street Journal:
White House Proposes Payroll-Tax Holiday  —  WASHINGTON—Aides to President Barack Obama are proposing a one-year reduction in the payroll tax as part of negotiations with Congress on a broader package to stave off income-tax increases due to take effect next year.
Ezra Klein:
The Bush tax cuts in one chart  —  It's time, I think, to repost this chart showing how much taxpayers at different income levels would get from the Democratic plan, which was to simply extend the cuts for income under $250,000, and the Republican plan, which was to extend the cuts for everyone:
Ezra Klein:
Who graduates, who votes and who's unemployed — in one graph  —  It seems a little crazy that tax cuts for the nation's very richest residents are commanding more political energy and consensus than unemployment insurance.  Among other things, the tax cuts aren't popular.  Unemployment insurance is.
Discussion: Mother Jones and The New Republic
Andrew Samwick / Capital Gains and Games blogs:
If This Is Working Together, I'll Take Gridlock  —  A weak economy is not an excuse to spend money we don't have on things we don't need.  I am with Stan on this tax cut deal.  And Paul Krugman, for that matter.  I repeat my view that the Bush era tax cuts should expire on schedule.
Ezra Klein:
Why aren't the Democrats using reconciliation to pass the tax cuts?
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Bachmann: GOP could scuttle tax deal tied to extending jobless aid
Ezra Klein:
Can the White House win in 2012 by losing on the Bush tax cuts now?
The Caucus:
Deal Would Reportedly Drop a Tax Credit
Discussion: Daily Kos
David Weigel / Weigel:
Just How Big of a Dive is Obama Taking on Tax Cuts?
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama, GOP strike deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts by two years
Discussion: The Hill and The Nation
Sandra Sobieraj Westfall / People.com:
Elizabeth Edwards's Cancer Spreads  —  Elizabeth Edwards's cancer fight has taken a turn for the worse, with the disease spreading to her liver and doctors recommending against additional treatment.  —  “Elizabeth has been advised by her doctors that further treatment of her cancer would be unproductive.
RELATED:
Lbentzterp / CNN:
TRENDING: Elizabeth Edwards stops cancer treatment, releases statement  —  (CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards is surrounded by family and friends in her North Carolina home after being informed by her doctors that further cancer treatment would be unproductive.  —  “Elizabeth has been advised …
WRAL-TV:
Elizabeth Edwards seriously ill
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
The WikiLeaks founder is an unscrupulous megalomaniac with a political agenda.  —  In my most recent book, I reprint some words from a British Embassy cable, sent from Baghdad to the Foreign Office in 1976.  The subject is Iraq's new leader.  His quiet coup d'etat is reassuringly described as …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Julian Assange, Information Anarchist
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Kennedy Still Highest-Rated Modern President, Nixon Lowest  —  Jimmy Carter's retrospective approval rating and rank drop from 2006  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Of the nine U.S. presidents who have served in the past 50 years, John F. Kennedy continues to earn the highest retrospective job approval rating from Americans, now 85%.
RELATED:
James Hohmann / The Politico:
Bush job approval rating higher than Obama's  —  George W. Bush's job approval rating is 1 point higher than Barack Obama's.  —  George W. Bush's job approval rating as president has spiked to 47 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.  —  That's one point higher …
Ben Armbruster / ThinkProgress:
TX GOP Official Opposes Jewish House Speaker: Christians ‘Are The People That Do The Best Jobs’  —  Last month, several Tea Party activists formed a right-wing coalition to oust Rep. Joe Straus (R) as Texas House Speaker.  They began circulating emails with anti-Semitic messages against Straus, who is Jewish.
Felix Salmon:
Chart of the day: U.S. taxes  —  Stephen Culp has another striking chart today:  —  This chart should be ingrained in the mind of anybody who cares about fiscal policy.  The main things to note:  — Federal taxes are the lowest in 60 years, which gives you a pretty good idea …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hullabaloo
Jill / Feministe:
Some thoughts on “sex by surprise”  —  There's a lot going around in bloglandia and on the interwebs about WikiLeaks honcho Julian Assange's sexual assault charge in Sweden; commentators are saying that Assange didn't really rape anyone, and these are trumped-up charges of “sex by surprise …
New York Times:
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Wal-Mart Appeal  —  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal in the biggest employment discrimination case in the nation's history, one claiming that Wal-Mart Stores had discriminated against hundreds of thousands of women in pay and promotion.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Supreme Court Set to Review CO2 Suits
Discussion: Whiskey Fire
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Gov. Gary Johnson: I Smoked Marijuana from 2005 to 2008  —  The former New Mexico governor and likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate talks to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.  —  Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and a likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate …
Rasmussen Reports:
Most Say Continuing Offshore Ban Will Hurt Economy  —  The Obama administration announced last week that it is continuing the ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along the Eastern seaboard and in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico.  Most voters expect that decision to drive up gas prices and hurt the economy.
Discussion: Hot Air and HotAirPundit
Daily Express:
BRITAIN IS FREEZING TO DEATH  —  MIDDLE class families are among millions of Britons who cannot afford to heat their homes this winter, as elderly ride on buses all day to stay in the warm.  —  After a week of snow and freezing temperatures a shocking picture has emerged of the bleak months ahead for 5.5 million households.
Discussion: Don Surber and Althouse
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mary C. Curtis / Politics Daily:
Obama Calls for a New ‘Sputnik Moment’ for America
Discussion: The Page
Associated Press:
Poll: Afghans' faith in U.S. dives as insurgents gain support
Discussion: Ian Welsh
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
China's credit bubble on borrowed time as inflation bites
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Study: 39,294 earmarks sought in 1 year
Adambink / Prop 8 Trial Tracker:
9th Circuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger hearing: analysis and discussion
Discussion: Daily Kos
Matt Yglesias / Yglesias:
Morning in America
Discussion: News Hounds and Eschaton
 Earlier Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
AFL-CIO Legislative Meeting Explodes over Obama's NAFTA-Style Korea Free Trade Deal
The Note:
Sarah Palin Passes On RNC