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12:15 PM ET, December 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
Michael Scherer / TIME:
2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama, the President  —  Twenty-seven years after driving from New York City to Chicago in a $2,000 Honda Civic for a job that probably wouldn't amount to much, Barack Obama, in better shape but with grayer hair, stood in the presidential suite on the top floor …
Richard Stengel / TIME:
The Choice  —  In 1782 an expatriate French aristocrat named J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur who lived in New York's Hudson Valley published a book in London called Letters from an American Farmer.  The third letter was titled “What Is an American?”
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama is Time's ‘Person of the Year’  —  President Barack Obama was named Time magazine's “Person of the Year,” the publication revealed Wednesday morning.  —  It is the president's second time winning the award; he won in 2008 after being elected to the White House for the first time.
Roger Kimball / Roger's Rules:
Robert H. Bork, 1927-2012  —  Judge Robert H. Bork, one of the the greatest jurists this country has ever produced, died early this morning from heart complications in a Virginia hospital near his home.  He was 84.  —  Bork was a national celebrity.  Several years ago …
New York Sun:
Kagan on the Second  —  There have been so many irresponsible statements by those seeking to exploit the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, that it's hard to keep up with them, but for the combination of arrogance and inaccuracy one can't beat the editorial the New York Times ran out this week under …
Washington Post:
Judge Robert H. Bork, conservative icon, dies at 85  —  Alex Wong/GETTY IMAGES - Former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork listens during a panel discussion about the U.S. Senate's role on the judicial nomination process Sept. 1, 2005 in Washington.  Bork died Wednesday at the age of 85.
Fox News:
Robert Bork, former Supreme Court nominee, dies  —  Robert Bork, former federal judge and Supreme Court nominee, has died, his family confirms to  —  Family members said Bork, 85, died early Wednesday morning.  He had a history of heart problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition.
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Robert Bork's Revenge?
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Robert H. Bork, Conservative Jurist, Dies at 85
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:   Judge Robert Bork dead at 85
New York Times:
Inquiry Into Libya Attack Is Sharply Critical of State Dept.  —  WASHINGTON — An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticizes the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel …
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
Anne Gearan / Washington Post:
Review of Benghazi attack faults ‘grossly’ inadequate security, leadership failures
Discussion: NPR and Freedom Outpost
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Benghazi probe faults ‘systemic failures’ at State Department
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Benghazi report could tarnish Clinton's legacy
Discussion: Hot Air
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Benghazi verdict: grossly inadequate security and systemic failures of leadership
Washington Post:
Chuck Hagel is not the right choice for defense secretary  —  FORMER SENATOR Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national security team.  He would not, however, move it toward the center …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Neocons push against Chuck Hagel  —  After word leaked from the White House late last week that Chuck Hagel was in line to become the next secretary of defense, Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard manned the Patriot missile batteries to shoot down that trial balloon.
Associated Press:
Obama Social Security Offer at Odds With Top Dems  —  President Barack Obama's offer to slow the growth of Social Security benefits would force fellow Democrats in Congress to abandon promises to shield the massive retirement and disability program from cuts as part of negotiations to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff.
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Obama Facing Critical Choice After Shooting
Reid J. Epstein / Reuters:
Barack Obama to announce guns task force
Jared A. Favole / Wall Street Journal:
Obama to Tap Biden to Oversee Gun-Control Efforts
Discussion: The Caucus and Business Insider
Austin Wright / Politico:
Flouting veto threat, conferees finish defense bill
Discussion: Lawfare and ABCNEWS
AmEx's Chenault Said to Be Discussed for Treasury Post
Discussion: DealBook, Quartz and Business Insider
Noel Sheppard /
Piers Morgan Calls Pro-Gun Advocate ‘Unbelievably Stupid,’ ‘Dangerous’: ‘You Shame Your Country’  —  CNN's Piers Morgan has been on a rabid anti-gun rant since July's Aurora, Colorado, shootings that has gotten even more venomous after Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
NY Daily News:
Comfort dogs help ease pain of mourning Newtown community
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Jana Winter / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap  —  NEWTOWN, CONN. - The gunman who slaughtered 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility …
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
A better target for gun control
Washington Examiner:
White House endorses specific gun restrictions
Discussion: and The Hill
Adolph L. Reed Jr / New York Times:
The Puzzle of Black Republicans  —  WHEN Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced on Monday that she would name Representative Tim Scott to the Senate, it seemed like another milestone for African-Americans.  Mr. Scott will complete the term of Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to run Heritage Foundation.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Quoting Rush Limbaugh Verbatim Is the Easiest Way to Discredit Him  —  His broadcasts since the Newtown shooting are an apt illustration of his self-contradiction and lack of intellectual integrity.  —  Reuters  —  There's been a lot of talk about the “national conversation” these last few days.
Tampa Bay Times:
Man shot at St. Pete pizza joint had been complaining about slow service  —  ST. PETERSBURG — Florida's controversial “stand your ground” law has been cited in hundreds of cases.  People have used it to justify shooting, stabbing, killing and maiming would-be intruders, romantic competitors and rival gang members.
Matt Ridley / Wall Street Journal:
Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change  —  Evidence points to a further rise of just 1°C by 2100.  The net effect on the planet may actually be beneficial.  —  Forget the Doha climate jamboree that ended earlier this month.  The theological discussions in Qatar of the arcana of climate treaties are irrelevant.
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 More Items: 
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Court: Obama must rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Mormon Church-Owned Website Suspends Gun Sales
Vicki Needham / The Hill:
Democrats turn up pressure on extending long-term jobless aid
 Earlier Items: 
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Boehner: Raising Medicare age can wait until next year
Discussion: CNN
Alexander Burns / Politico:
New GOP polling firm goal: Catch up with Dems
Rajiv Chandrasekaran / Washington Post:
Civilian analysts gained Petraeus's ear while he was commander in Afghanistan
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
The Times Embarrasses Itself on Guns-Again!
Discussion: Quartz and JustOneMinute
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
Family Research Council Sued For Sexual Harassment, Discrimination